Candice Patricia Bergen (born May 9, 1946) is an Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe- and Emmy Award-winning American actress and former fashion model, best known for her starring role on the television situation comedy Murphy Brown, and as Shirley Schmidt, the legal partner of Denny Crane (played by William Shatner), on the ABC comedy-drama Boston Legal. Earlier in her career she starred in the famous Revisionist Western movie Soldier Blue.
Bergen was born in Beverly Hills, California. Her mother, Frances Bergen (née Westerman), was a Powers model who was known professionally as Frances Westcott. Her father, Edgar Bergen, was a ventriloquist, comedian, and actor. Her paternal grandparents were Swedish-born immigrants who anglicized their surname. As a child, Bergen was often referred to as Charlie McCarthy's little sister, which irritated her (Charlie McCarthy being her father's star puppet).
Bergen has written articles, a play, and a memoir. She has also studied photography and worked as a photojournalist. Considered one of Hollywood's most beautiful women, Bergen worked as a fashion model but soon began acting. Despite initial rocky reviews, she appeared in such films as Mike Nichols' bleak Carnal Knowledge and Starting Over, for which she received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for best supporting actress.
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