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Cybill Shepherd

Cybill Shepherd
Shepherd in 1985.
Born (1950-02-18) February 18, 1950 (age 65)
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 1971–present
Spouse(s) David Ford
Bruce Oppenheim
Partner(s) Peter Bogdanovich
Robert Martin
Children 3, including Clementine Ford

Cybill Lynne Shepherd (born February 18, 1950) is an American actress, singer and former model.

Shepherd's better known roles include Jacy in The Last Picture Show (1971), Kelly in The Heartbreak Kid (1972), Betsy in Taxi Driver (1976), Maddie Hayes in Moonlighting (1985–1989), Cybill Sheridan in Cybill (1995–1998), Phyllis Kroll in The L Word (2007–2009), and Madeleine Spencer in Psych (2008–2013).

Early life

Shepherd was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the daughter of Patty (née Shobe), a homemaker, and William Jennings Shepherd, who managed a home appliance business.[1] Named after her grandfather Cy and her father Bill, Shepherd won the 1966 "Miss Teenage Memphis" contest at age 16, and the 1968 "Model of the Year" contest at age 18, making her a fashion star of the 1960s, resulting in fashion modeling work through high school and after.[2]


According to Shepherd's autobiography, it was a 1970 Glamour magazine cover that caught the eye of film director Peter Bogdanovich. His then-wife, Polly Platt, claimed that it was she who, upon seeing the cover in a check-out line in a Ralphs grocery store in southern California, said "That's Jacy,"[3] referring to the role Bogdanovich was casting—and ultimately offered to Shepherd—in The Last Picture Show (1971). She became intimately involved with him, as well as co-star Jeff Bridges, screenwriter Larry McMurtry, and then location manager Frank Marshall.[4]

First experience of fame

Her first film was The Last Picture Show (1971 film), also starring Jeff Bridges and Timothy Bottoms. The film became a critical and box office hit, earning several Academy Awards and nominations. Shepherd was nominated for a Golden Globe. Shepherd was cast opposite Charles Grodin in The Heartbreak Kid (1972). She played Kelly, the beautiful, sunkissed young woman whom Grodin's character falls for while on his honeymoon in Miami. Directed by Elaine May, it was another critical and box office hit.[5] Also in 1972, Shepherd posed as a Kodak Girl for the camera manufacturer's then ubiquitous cardboard displays.[6]

In 1974, Shepherd released her debut studio album Cybill Does It...To Cole Porter for MCA Records[7] and again teamed with Peter Bogdanovich for the title role in Daisy Miller, based on the Henry James novella. The film—a period piece set in Europe—proved to be a box office failure. Her next film, At Long Last Love (1975), a musical again directed by Bogdanovich, also flopped.

Shepherd returned with good reviews for her work in Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver (1976). According to Shepherd, Scorsese had requested a "Cybill Shepherd type" for the role. She portrayed an ethereal beauty with whom Robert De Niro's character, Travis Bickle, becomes enthralled.

After a series of less successful roles, including The Lady Vanishes, the remake of Alfred Hitchcock's 1938 film of the same name, she moved back to her home town of Memphis to work in regional theatre.[8] Returning to New York in 1982, she took to the stage alongside James MacArthur in a theatre tour of Lunch Hour by Jean Kerr.[9]

Return to Hollywood

Back from Memphis, Shepherd won the role of Colleen Champion in the night-time drama, The Yellow Rose (1983), opposite Sam Elliott. Although critically acclaimed, the series lasted only one season. A year later Shepherd was cast as Maddie Hayes in ABC's Moonlighting (1985–1989), which became the role that defined her career. The producers knew that her role depended on having chemistry with her co-star, and she was involved in the selection of Bruce Willis. A lighthearted combination of mystery and comedy, the series won Shepherd two Golden Globe awards.[10]

She starred in Chances Are (1989) with Robert Downey Jr. and Ryan O'Neal, receiving excellent reviews. She then reprised her role as Jacy in Texasville (1990), the sequel to The Last Picture Show (1971), as the original cast (including director Peter Bogdanovich) reunited 20 years after filming the original. She also appeared in Woody Allen's Alice (1990), and Eugene Levy's Once Upon a Crime (1992), as well as several television films. In 1997 she won her third Golden Globe award[10] for CBS' Cybill (1995–1998), a television sitcom, in which the title character, Cybill Sheridan, an actress struggling with hammy parts in B movies and bad soaps, was loosely modeled on herself (including portrayals of her two ex-husbands).

File:Cybill Shepherd.jpg
Shepherd at 42nd KVIFF, April 2007

In 2000 Shepherd's bestselling autobiography was published, titled Cybill Disobedience: How I Survived Beauty Pageants, Elvis, Sex, Bruce Willis, Lies, Marriage, Motherhood, Hollywood, and the Irrepressible Urge to Say What I Think, written in collaboration with Aimee Lee Ball.[11] That same year, Shepherd hosted a short-lived syndicated talk show version of the book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, but left the show in early 2001 and was replaced by Cristina Ferrare, Bo Griffin, Samantha Phillips, Drew Pinsky, and Rondell Sheridan. In 2003 she guest-starred on 8 Simple Rules as Cate Hennessy's (portrayed by Katey Sagal) sister. She has played Martha Stewart in two television films: Martha, Inc.: The Story of Martha Stewart (2003) and Martha: Behind Bars (2005).

From 2007 until it ended, Shepherd appeared on the Showtime drama, The L Word as the character Phyllis Kroll for the show's final three seasons. In 2008 she joined the cast of the USA Network television series Psych as Shawn Spencer's mother, Madeleine Spencer. On November 7, 2008, Shepherd guest-starred in a February episode of the CBS drama Criminal Minds.[12] In the fall of 2010 Shepherd appeared in an episode of ABC's new show, No Ordinary Family.[13] and in November of the same year she guest-starred in an episode of CBS' $h*! My Dad Says.[14]

After appearing alongside Jennifer Love Hewitt in the 2010 television film The Client List, Shepherd became a regular on the series based on the film in 2012 and will continue this role in the show's second season in 2013. In July 2012 Shepherd made her Broadway debut in the revival of Gore Vidal's The Best Man at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre alongside James Earl Jones, John Stamos, John Larroquette, Kristin Davis and Elizabeth Ashley to positive reviews.[15][16][17]

Shepherd is currently filming a new Christian-themed movie, called Do You Believe? The film, being produced by Pure Flix Entertainment, the same studio that produced God's Not Dead, will star Shepherd as a mother grieving the death of her daughther.[18]

Political activism

Throughout her career, Shepherd has been an outspoken activist for issues such as gay rights[19] and abortion rights.[20][21] In 2009, Shepherd was honored by the Human Rights Campaign in Atlanta to accept one of two National Ally for Equality awards.[22] She has been an advocate for same-sex marriage[23] and parental rights.[citation needed]

She was present at the opening of the National Civil Rights Museum in her hometown of Memphis, for which she lent some financial support.[24]

Personal life

In her autobiography[25] she revealed that in 1978 she called her mother, crying, unhappy with the way her life and career were going, to which her mother replied "Cybill, come home." She went home to Memphis where she met, and began dating local auto parts dealer and nightclub entertainer, David M. Ford. She became pregnant and they married that year, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1982. Their daughter, Clementine Ford, was born in 1979.

In 1987 she became pregnant by chiropractor Bruce Oppenheim, and married him, giving birth to twins, Cyrus Zachariah and Molly Ariel Shepherd-Oppenheim[1] during the fourth season of Moonlighting. They were divorced in 1990. Oppenheim went on to marry actress Jenilee Harrison. It was Harrison who noticed a patch on Shepherd's back which was diagnosed as melanoma and subsequently removed.[26][27]

In June 2012 she became engaged to boyfriend Andrei Nikolajevic.[28]

Religious beliefs

Shepherd has previously described herself as "a goddess-worshipping Christian Pagan Buddhist"; also known as a matriarchal religion.[29]

In October 2014, as part of the publicity for Do You Believe?, the upcoming Christian-themed film in which she will be starring, she revealed that she had returned to her Christian faith. "I was born a Christian, sang in the choir. Then I lost touch with my saviour Jesus Christ. I stopped talking to Him and praying. Then I just started talking to Jesus and I started to feel really good and I got the offer to do this film."[18]


Shepherd made the following claims in her autobiography:[25]

  • She dated Elvis Presley in the early 1970s and cared for him, but could not handle his dependence on drugs, and ultimately chose her boyfriend, film director, Peter Bogdanovich, over Presley.
  • She agreed to a date with actor Jack Nicholson, to make Bogdanovich jealous. She later canceled the date and Nicholson would not speak to her again, except to say "hi" at a party many years later.
  • She did not like working with Charles Grodin on The Heartbreak Kid (1972), and that it took her several years to like him enough to have a one-night stand with him.
  • Robert De Niro asked her out during the filming of Taxi Driver (1976). She turned him down, and he did not speak to her, except in character, for the rest of the filming. She later said that she regretted turning him down.[30]
  • She had a sexual encounter with co-star Don Johnson during the making of the television miniseries, The Long, Hot Summer (1985).
  • The jazz musician, Stan Getz, "came on" to her during a recording session for her album, but she declined and he did not speak to her.
  • She and her Moonlighting costar, Bruce Willis, almost became lovers off-screen, but they agreed that it would hurt the series so they chose not to consummate their relationship.

Award nominations

Emmy Awards


In her autobiography,[25] Shepherd addressed rumors that she was jealous of her co-stars Bruce Willis and Christine Baranski for winning Emmy awards while she has not: "The grain of truth in this controversy was that of course I was envious. Who doesn't want to win an Emmy?"

Golden Globe Awards





Year Title Role Notes
1971 The Last Picture Show Jacy Farrow Nominated—Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress
1972 The Heartbreak Kid Kelly Corcoran
1974 Daisy Miller Annie P. 'Daisy' Miller
1975 At Long Last Love Brooke Carter
1976 Taxi Driver Betsy
1976 Special Delivery Mary Jane
1977 Aliens from Spaceship Earth Herself Documentary
1978 Silver Bears Debbie Luckman
1978 A Guide for the Married Woman Julie Walker Television movie
1979 The Lady Vanishes Amanda
1979 Americathon Gold Girl
1980 The Return Jennifer
1984 Secrets of a Married Man Elaine Television movie
1985 Seduced Vicki Orloff Television movie
1985 The Long Hot Summer Eula Varner Television movie
1989 Chances Are Corinne Jeffries
1990 Texasville Jacy Farrow
1990 Alice Nancy Brill
1991 Which Way Home Karen Parsons Television movie
1991 Picture This: The Times of Peter Bogdanovich Herself Documentary
1991 Married to It Claire Laurent
1992 Once Upon a Crime... Marilyn Schwary
1992 Memphis Reeny Perdew Television movie
1992 Stormy Weathers Samantha Weathers Television movie
1993 Telling Secrets Faith Kelsey Television movie
1993 There Was a Little Boy Julie Television movie
1994 Baby Brokers Debbie Freeman Television movie
1994 While Justice Sleeps Jody Stokes Television movie
1995 The Last Word Kiki Taylor
1997 Journey of the Heart Janice Johnston Television movie
1999 The Muse Herself
2000 Marine Life June
2002 Due East Nell Dugan Television movie
2003 Easy Riders, Raging Bulls Herself
2003 Martha, Inc.: The Story of Martha Stewart Martha Stewart Television movie
2004 Signs and Voices Herself
2005 Detective Karen Ainsile Television movie
2005 Martha: Behind Bars Martha Stewart Television movie
2006 Open Window Arlene Fieldson
2006 Hard Luck Cass
2009 High Noon Essie McNamara Television movie
2009 Mrs. Washington Goes to Smith Alice Washington Television movie
2009 Barry Munday Herself
2009 Another Harvest Moon Vickie
2009 Listen to Your Heart Victoria
2010 Expecting Mary Meg
2010 The Client List Cassie Television movie
2014 Kelly & Cal Bev
2015 Do You Believe? Teri
2015 She's Funny That Way Nettie Patterson


Year Title Role Notes
1983 Fantasy Island Liz Episode: "Return to the Cotton Club"
1983-1984 The Yellow Rose Colleen Champion 22 episodes
1983 Masquerade Carla Episode: "Pilot"
1985-1989 Moonlighting Madelyn 'Maddie' Hayes 66 episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (1986-1987)
People's Choice Award for Favorite Female Performer in a Television Series (1986-1988)
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
1995-1998 Cybill Cybill Sheridan 87 episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy
Nominated—People's Choice Award for Favorite Female Performer in a Television Series
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (1995-1997)
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
2004 8 Simple Rules Maggie 2 episodes
2004 I'm With Her Suzanne 2 episodes
2007-2009 The L Word Phyllis Kroll 19 episodes
2008-2013 Psych Madeline Spencer 5 episodes
2008 Samantha Who? Paula Drake Episode: "So I Think I Can Dance"
2009 Criminal Minds Leone Gless Episode: "Cold Comfort"
2009-2010 Eastwick Eleanor Rougement 5 episodes
2010 Drop Dead Diva Ellie Tannen Episode: "Queen of Mean"
2010 $h*! My Dad Says Charlotte Anne Robinson Episode: "Make a Wish"
2010 No Ordinary Family Barbara Crane Episode: "No Ordinary Visitors"
2012-2013 The Client List Linette Montgomery 25 episodes
2012 Hot in Cleveland April Episode: "What's Behind the Door"
2012 Franklin and Bash Evanthia Steele Episode: "Jango and Rossi"
2013 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit[31] Jolene Castille Episode: "American Tragedy"


  • Cybill Does It...To Cole Porter (1974)[7]
  • At Long Last Love: Film Soundtrack (1975) - Cybill sings various songs
  • Mad About The Boy (1976)
  • Cybill Getz Better (1976)
  • Vanilla (1979)
  • Moonlighting: TV Soundtrack (1987) - Cybill sings "Blue Moon" & "I Told Ya I Love Ya, Now Get Out"
  • Somewhere Down The Road (1990)
  • Talk Memphis To Me (1997)
  • Songs From The Cybill Show (1999)
  • Live at the Cinegrill (2001)
  • At Home With Cybill (2004)
  • Jazz Baby Volumes 1-3 (2005)


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Cybill Shepherd Biography (1950-)". Retrieved April 5, 2012. 
  2. UPI (August 20, 1973). "Cybill Shepherd relaxes with her success". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Retrieved April 5, 2011. 
  3. Polly Platt talks about the magazine cover discovery in the film documentary based on the Peter Biskind book, Easy Riders, Raging Bulls.
  5. "The Heartbreak Kid (1972) — Rotten Tomatoes". Retrieved April 5, 2011. 
  6. Nancy Martha West. Kodak and the Lens of Nostaglia London: University Press of Virginia, 2000, p. 53. ISBN 0-8139-1959-2. Retrieved April 5, 2011. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Cybill Shepherd Music Discography". February 18, 2009. Retrieved April 18, 2012. 
  8. Bykowsky, Stuart (January 9, 1985). "Cybill Shepherd: 'There is a freakdom to beauty'". Evening Independent. Retrieved April 5, 2011. 
  9. "MacArthur & Shepherd star in Lunch Hour". The Hour. August 4, 1982. Retrieved August 30, 2012. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Cybill Shepherd - Awards". Retrieved April 5, 2011. 
  11. "Best Sellers: Hardcover Nonfiction". The New York Times. Retrieved April 5, 2011. 
  12. Exclusive: Michael Biehn, Cybill Shepherd Cop Criminal Roles" TV Guide. November 7, 2008. Retrieved on November 7, 2008.
  13. "No Ordinary Family Books Cybill Shepherd... and Bruce!". Retrieved September 1, 2010. 
  14. "Exclusive $#*!: Cybill Shepherd Guest-Starring on CBS Comedy". Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  15. "First-rate second cast on Broadway in ‘Gore Vidal’s The Best Man’". Daily News. August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2012. 
  16. "Playing politics remains Vidal". New York Post. July 8, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2012. 
  17. "REVIEW: Gore Vidal's 'The Best Man' looks better than ever". June 8, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2012. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 "Cybill Shepherd rekindles Christian faith, says she's 'talking to Jesus' again', October 20, 2014". Christianity Today. October 20, 2014. Retrieved October 20, 2014. 
  19. "New video counters anti-gay message". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. April 21, 1993. Retrieved May 23, 2011. 
  20. BBC (April 26, 2004). "In Pictures: US Abortion March - Actresses Cybill Shepherd, Whoopi Goldberg and Ashley Judd were among those marching". BBC. Retrieved May 23, 2011. 
  21. Cox News Service (April 11, 1989). "Nationwide pro-choice rally planned". Eugene Register-Guard. Retrieved May 23, 2011. 
  22. Cybill Shepherd at Atlanta HRC Dinner - Southern Voice[dead link]
  23. "Cybill Shepherd works with her daughter on 'The L Word'. Both play lesbians, and ignore each other's love scenes". April 1, 2008. Retrieved May 23, 2011. 
  24. "Overview for Cybill Shepherd". TCM. Retrieved May 23, 2011. 
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Shepherd, Cybill (2001). <span />Cybill Disobedience<span />. Avon. ISBN 0-06-103014-7. 
  26. "Cybill Shepherd fights skin cancer". The Scotsman. May 8, 2002. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  27. "Michelle Mone's cancer torment". The Sun. May 22, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  28. "Cybill Shepherd reveals she's recently engaged". Daily News. July 23, 2012. 
  29. "'Cybill Rights', March 22, 2007, interview by Randy Shulman for Metro Weekly". March 22, 2007. Retrieved April 5, 2012. 
  30. "Cybill Shepherd On Past Loves & Almost-Loves: Elvis Presley, Robert DeNiro & More". Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  31. "Exclusive: Cybill Shepherd to Guest Star on Law & Order: SVU". Retrieved August 20, 2013. 

External links

For the official website, see the Infobox

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