Who is Cybill Shepherd?
Famous American actress and former model Cybill Lynne Shepherd was born in Memphis, Tennessee USA on 18 February 1950, making Aquarius her zodiac sign. She has 75 acting credits but is perhaps still known best for starring in the comedy series “Cybill”, which also starred Alicia Witt and Christine Baranski, and was created by Chuck Lorre. It follows the lives of a struggling middle-aged actress, her two former husbands, two daughters and alcoholic best friend Maryann, the series aired its 87 episodes from 1995 through 1998, and won eight of its 33 award nominations.
Cybill’s still today highly active in Hollywood, and is currently shooting for the upcoming movie “A Beating Heart”.
Education and early life
Cybill was raised in Memphis alongside her younger brother William and older sister Terry, by their father William Jennings ‘Bill’ Shepherd and mother Patty Shepherd; she hasn’t shared many details about her family, because Cybill respects their privacy.
She studied at East High School and was mostly into acting and dancing during her four years there; it was also around that time that Cybill began thinking about launching a career as a model, having been crowned 1966 Miss Teenage Memphis and thus represented her city in the Miss Teenage America beauty pageant, winning the Congeniality Award.
Cybill matriculated in 1968, and then entered the beauty pageant Model of the Year, which led her to sign a contract with several modelling agencies. She appeared on the cover page of the magazine “Glamour” in 1970, and after the late American film director Peter Bogdanovich’s wife Polly Platt saw the cover and talked to her husband, Cybill was cast to appear in her first movie, the critically acclaimed 1971 romantic drama “The Last Picture Show”, which won 19 of its 31 award nominations, including two Oscar wins for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Ben Johnson) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Cloris Leachman).
Roles in movies
In 1972, Cybill played the lead character Kelly Corcoran in the popular romantic comedy “The Heartbreak Kid”, which also starred Charles Grodin and Jeannie Berlin, and was directed by Elaine May. It follows a recently married man who’s fallen for another woman while on his honeymoon, and the film won three of its 11 award nominations, including two Oscar nominations for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Jeannie Berlin) and Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Eddie Albert). Some of her notable performances in the remainder of the ‘70s were in the 1974 romantic comedy “Daisy Miller”, the 1977 crime comedy “Silver Bears”, and the 1978 romantic comedy “A Guide for the Married Woman”, all lead roles.
Cybill appeared in only a couple of films in the ‘80s, and what marked the decade for her was perhaps portraying the lead character Corinne Jeffries in the 1989 romantic fantasy comedy “Chances Are”, which also starred Robert Downey Jr. and Ryan O’Neal, and was created by Emile Ardolino. It follows a reincarnated man who’s fallen in love with a girl who was his daughter in his previous life; the movie won one of its three award nominations, including an Oscar nomination for Best Music, Original Song.
The first half of the ‘90s saw Cybill appear in several popular movies, such as the 1991 comedy “Married to It”, the 1992 crime mystery comedy “Once Upon a Crime…”, the 1994 drama “While Justice Sleeps” and in 1999, she portrayed Cybill in the popular comedy “The Muse”. It was written and directed by Albert Brooks, who also starred in it, and the film follows the life of a Hollywood screenwriter who’s hired a ‘modern-day muse’; it was nominated for three awards.
Some of Cybill’s notable performances in the 2000s were in the 2005 crime mystery “Detective”, the 2005 drama “Martha Behind Bars” and the 2009 comedy “Mrs Washington Goes to Smith”.
In 2014, she played Nettie Finkelstein in the popular comedy “She’s Funny That Way”, which starred Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson and Imogen Poots, and was written and directed by Peter Bogdanovich. It tells the story of a love triangle between a woman, her former boyfriend and an actress, all of whom are starring in a theatre play, and the film was nominated for a Jupiter Award for Best International Actress (Jennifer Aniston).
Some of Cybill’s most recent film roles have been in the 2018 drama “The Other Side of the Wind”, the 2020 romantic comedy “Love Is Love Is Love” and the 2023 drama “How to Murder Your Husband”.
Roles in TV series
Cybill’s debut TV series role was playing Liz in the 1983 episode “Return to the Cotton Club” of the family adventure “Fantasy Island”, and in 1983 and 1984, she starred as Colleen Champion in all 22 episodes of the drama “The Yellow Rose”, co-starring Sam Elliott and David Soul, and created by Michael Zinberg and John Wilder. It follows the lives of members of the Champion family as they’re running their Yellow Rose ranch – the series was nominated for a single award.
From 1985 through 1989, Cybill portrayed the lead character Maddie Hayes in all 66 episodes of the hit mystery comedy “Moonlighting”, which also starred Allyce Beasley and Bruce Willis, and was created by Glenn Gordon Caron. It follows a detective and a former model as they’re running a private detective agency together, and the series won 19 of its 79 award nominations.
Cybill appeared in only one other TV series in the ‘90s, besides “Cybill”: the episode “A&E Biography: Nina Van Horn” of the comedy “Just Shoot Me”
What marked the 2000s for her was perhaps playing Phyllis Kroll in 19 episodes (2007-2009) of the romantic drama “The L Word”, which starred Leisha Hailey and Jennifer Beals, and was created by Ilene Chaiken and Michele Abbott. It follows the lives of several lesbian women from Los Angeles, California, the series aired from 2004 through 2009, and won five of its 29 award nominations.
Some of Cybill’s most recent TV series roles have been in 25 episodes of the 2013 crime drama “The Client List”, the 2013 episode “American Tragedy” of the crime mystery “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”, and the 2021 episode “Acts of Devotion” of the crime mystery comedy “Guilty Party”.
Cybill Shepherd making her 1971 big screen debut alongside Jeff Bridges, Timothy Bottoms and Ellen Burstyn in 'The Last Picture Show', and more recently alongside Kate Beckinsale in 'Guilty Party'. A happy birthday to the beguiling Memphis star today. pic.twitter.com/FzfSeyLWci
— FilmPhonic (@FilmPhonic) February 18, 2023
Cybill received special thanks for the 1999 documentary movie “Making ‘Taxi Driver’” and the 2006 short documentary film “Memories of Moonlighting”.
She has seven producing credits, while her most recent work has been on the 2000 talk-show “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus”, the 2015 drama movie “Do You Believe?”, and the 2017 drama movie “Being Rose”.
Some of Cybill’s recent talk-show appearances have been in “Entertainment Tonight”, “Tamron Hall” and “Daily Blast Live”.
Awards and nominations
Cybill’s won 13 of her 28 award nominations. Some of her wins include a 1988 Aftonbladet TV Prize, Sweden for Best Foreign TV Personality – Female, a 1996 Golden Apple Award for Female Star of the Year and a 2010 Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Golden Gate Award.
Cybill also won three Golden Globes for Best Actress in a TV Series, Comedy/Musical in 1985, 1986 and 1995; the first two for her performance in “Moonlighting”, and the third for “Cybill”.
She was honored with her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on 21 January 1988.
Love life and marriages
Cybill was in a relationship with moviemaker Peter Bogdanovich in the ‘70s; he divorced his wife to be with her.
She’s since been married twice – her first husband was American nightclub entertainer and auto-parts dealer David M. Ford; they met in 1978, when Cybill was dissatisfied with her career and life in general and thus moved back in with her parents in Memphis. She became pregnant in the same year, and gave birth to her and David’s daughter Clementine Shepherd Ford on 29 June 1979; Clementine’s followed in her mother’s footsteps and has become an actress with 13 credits to her name. Cybill and David married on 19 November 1978 and divorced in September 1982.
She met American chiropractor Bruce Oppenheim in 1986 and became pregnant in the following year, which is believed to be the reason behind Cybill and Bruce marrying in a private ceremony on 1 March 1987. Cybill gave birth to their twins Zachariah and Ariel Shepherd Oppenheim on 6 October 1987, but she and Bruce divorced on 20 March 1990.
Cybill became engaged to psychologist Andrei Nikolajevic in June 2012, but they split in 2015.
She seems to be unattached as of June 2023, has been married twice and has a daughter with her first husband David M. Ford, as well as twins with her second husband Bruce Oppenheim.
Interesting facts and hobbies
Cybill was raised Christian but eventually ‘lost touch’ with Christianity; she stated in an interview in October 2014 that she had become more religious, and went to church at least once a month.
She’s been actively fighting racism since the launch of her career, and the National Civil Rights Museum presented her with a plaque in 1992.
The late American actor Marlon Brando once told her that she had ‘a great ass’.
Cybill published her autobiography on 4 April 2000.
One of Cybill’s favorite actors is Clint Eastwood, and some of her favorite movies include “Heartbreak Ridge”, “Play Misty for Me” and “The Eiger Sanction”.
Height, eyes and wealth
Cybill’s age is 73. She has blue eyes and blonde hair, is 5ft 8ins (1.74m) tall and weighs around 140lbs (64kgs).
Cybill’s net worth’s been estimated at over $40 million, as of June 2023.