Sandra Bernhard (born June 6, 1955) is an American actress, comedian, singer, and author. She first gained attention in the late 1970s, with her stand-up comedy in which she often bitterly critiqued celebrity culture and political figures.
Bernhard at the Daryl Roth Theater in New York City, 2006.
|Born||June 6, 1955|
Flint, Michigan, U.S.
|Education||Saguaro High School|
|Known for||Nancy Bartlett Thomas – Roseanne|
Bernhard is best known as portraying Nancy Barlett Thomas on the ABC sitcom Roseanne from the fourth season (1991) to the end of the show in 1997. She is currently starring as Nurse Judy Kubrak in the FX drama series Pose. Bernhard is number ninety-six on Comedy Central's list of the 100 greatest stand-ups of all time.
Bernhard became a staple at The Comedy Store. As her popularity as a comedian grew she was cast as a supporting player on The Richard Pryor Show in 1977. Guest appearances on evening talk shows followed. Her big break came in 1983 when she was cast by Martin Scorsese to star as stalker and kidnapper Masha in the film The King of Comedy for which she won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress. Bernhard was also a frequent guest on David Letterman's NBC program Late Night with David Letterman, making 28 appearances starting in 1983.
She began performing her first one-woman show called I'm Your Woman in 1985, and an album version was released. Bernhard appeared in a variety of tiny film and television roles throughout the 1980s while crafting her stand-up routine into a more performance art oriented show. She launched an Off-Broadway one woman show called Without You I'm Nothing, with You I'm Not Much Better in 1988 which played at the Orpheum Theatre. In 1990 it was turned into a film and a double album of the same title. The film was mostly shot on location in 1989 in the coconut grove at the Ambassador Hotel.
It was during the run of 'Without You I'm Nothing, With You I'm Not Much Better' that Bernhard appeared with her then-good friend (and rumored lover) Madonna on a 1988 episode of Late Night with David Letterman. The two alluded to their romantic relationship and staged a sexy confrontation; the appearance received much publicity. Berhard and Madonna would continue to be friends for several years, with Bernhard even making an appearance in Madonna's movie Truth or Dare.
In 1991, Bernhard began playing the role of Nancy Bartlett on the hit sitcom Roseanne. She appeared in 33 episodes between 1991 and 1997, and was one of the first actresses to portray an openly bisexual recurring character on American television. The role is one of her best known, something she has lamented in her stand-up as being both a blessing and a curse. In September 1992, Bernhard did a nude pictorial for Playboy. She hosted the USA Network's Reel Wild Cinema for two seasons beginning in 1995. Bernhard continued acting in mostly independent films and TV guest roles and forays into mainstream films such as Hudson Hawk and Dallas Doll. In 1991 she released her first studio album, entitled Excuses for Bad Behavior (Part One). In 1995, she briefly appeared as a guest in the animated talk show Space Ghost Coast to Coast, in an episode titled "Jerk". In 1996, she guest-starred on an episode of Highlander: The Series called "Dramatic License" in which she played a romance novelist writing about the life of the main character. She also appeared (as herself) on Will & Grace in an episode dealing with Will and Grace's spuriously bidding on Bernhard's Manhattan apartment in order to become friendly with her and culminates in a diatribe from Bernhard when their ruse is exposed, with obfuscating sounds of a blender (she was having a smoothie made) blotting out supposed obscenities. She returned as herself briefly, two years later.
Bernhard returned to Broadway in 1998 with the show I'm Still Here... Damn It!, recorded for a live comedy album. At that time of the show Bernhard was pregnant. She gave birth to daughter Cicely Yasin Bernhard on July 4, 1998. Bernhard returned to New York in 2006 with the Off-Broadway show Everything Bad & Beautiful. The CD Everything Bad & Beautiful was critically lauded as one of her best, released by indie label Breaking Records. That year she also hosted the first season of the reality competition show The Search for the Funniest Mom in America on Nick at Nite. In 2007 saw the debut of her one-woman show Plan B from Outer Space, and the inclusion of her Hanukkah-themed song "Miracle of Lights", which she co-wrote with Mitchell Kaplan, in the Breaking Records compilation album Breaking For the Holidays. She toured Plan B through 2008, and performed "Miracle of Lights" on some morning shows in New York.
Bernhard was a featured guest singer with children's artist Dan Zanes on the Family Dance album's "Thrift Shop". In an interview with Howard Stern, the comedian revealed that she was originally offered the role of Miranda Hobbes of TV show Sex and the City, but opted out due to the "terrible" original script and low paycheck. In 2013, the media announced that Sandra Bernhard would be joining the cast of ABC Family's Switched at Birth along with Glee's Max Adler. Sandra would assume the role of an art professor on the Season 3 Opener in January 2014. Starting in 2015, Bernhard began hosting a radio show, Sandyland, on Sirius XM's, Radio Andy.
In 2015, she played a recurring character, Joedth ("Joe"), on season 4 of 2 Broke Girls. She is currently playing Nurse Judy on FX's POSE, a show based on queer and trans ball culture in NYC inspired by the documentary Paris is Burning.
Bernhard is openly bisexual and a strong supporter of gay rights. On July 4, 1998, Bernhard gave birth to a daughter, Cicely Yasin Bernhard, whom she raised with her longtime partner, Sara Switzer.
|1980||Shogun Assassin||Voice-over in English dub|
|1981||Cheech & Chong's Nice Dreams||Girl Nut|
|1983||The King of Comedy||Masha||National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress|
|1984||The House of God||Angel Dutton|
|1985||Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird||Grouch Diner Waitress||Cameo appearance|
|1986||The Whoopee Boys||Extra (uncredited)|
|1988||Casual Sex?||Extra (uncredited)|
|Track 29||Nurse Stein|
|1990||Without You I'm Nothing||Herself (also writer)|
|1991||Madonna: Truth or Dare||Herself||Documentary|
|Hudson Hawk||Minerva Mayflower|
|1992||Inside Monkey Zetterland||Imogene|
|1994||Sandra Bernhard: Confessions of a Pretty Lady||Herself|
|Dallas Doll||Dallas Adair|
|One Hundred and One Nights||La première quêteuse|
|The Reggae Movie||Herself||Documentary|
|1997||Lover Girl||Marci Guerra/'Angel'|
|The Apocalypse||J.T. Wayne|
|Plump Fiction||Bunny Roberts|
|1998||An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn||Ann Glover|
|Wrongfully Accused||Dr. Fridley|
|Somewhere in the City||Betty|
|I Woke Up Early the Day I Died||Sandy Sands/Professional Mourner and Stripper|
|1999||Hercules: Zero to Hero||Cassandra (voice only)|
|2000||One Hell of a Guy||God (voice only)|
|Playing Mona Lisa||Bibi Carlson||Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Stony Brook Film Festival|
|Dinner Rush||Jennifer Freely|
|The Easter Egg Adventure||Claralyne Cluck (voice only)|
|2005||Searching for Bobby D||Sherri Dansen|
|2009||Dare||Dr. Serena Mohr|
|2010||See You in September||Charlotte|
|2011||Looking for Lenny||Herself||Documentary|
|1977||The Richard Pryor Show||Featured Performer||Canceled after 4 episodes|
|1985||Alfred Hitchcock Presents||Karen||The Episode entitled "Night Caller"|
|1991–1997, 2018||Roseanne||Nancy Bartlett||Recurring role (33 episodes)|
|1992||Sandra After Dark, with Your Hostess, Sandra Bernhard||Herself (also co-executive producer)||TV film|
|1992–93||The A-List||Herself/Host||1 episode|
|1994-96||Reel Wild Cinema||Herself/Host||22 episodes|
|1995||Space Ghost Coast to Coast||Herself||1 episode|
|Freaky Friday||Frieda Debny||TV film|
|The Larry Sanders Show||Herself||2 episodes|
|1996||Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist||Herself||1 episode|
|The Late Shift||Herself||TV film|
|Highlander: The Series||Carolyn Marsh||1 episode: "Dramatic License"|
|1997||Superman: The Animated Series||Gsptlsnz||1 episode|
|Ally McBeal||Caroline Poop||2 episodes|
|1998–99||Hercules||Cassandra (voice only)||45 episodes|
|1999||Sandra Bernhard - I'm Still Here..Damn It!||Herself (also writer)||TV film|
|2000||The Sopranos||Herself as Gina||1 episode: "D-Girl"|
|2001-02||Will & Grace||Herself||2 episodes|
|2001||Sandra Bernhard: Giving Them Lip||Herself||TV movie|
|2001–03||The Sandra Bernhard Experience||Herself/Host||unknown episodes|
|2003||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Priscilla Chaney||1 episode|
|2004||Silver Lake||Sheila Fontana||Unsold pilot|
|2005||Crossing Jordan||Roz Framus||2 episodes|
|The L Word||Charlotte Birch||5 episodes|
|2005–06||The Queer Edge||Herself/Co-Host||26 episodes|
|2007||Las Vegas||Margo Poon||1 episode|
|The New Adventures of Old Christine||Audrey||1 episode|
|2009||Head Case||Herself||1 episode|
|2011||Roseanne's Nuts||Herself||1 episode|
|Hot in Cleveland||Nan||1 episode|
|2012||GCB||Debby Horowitz||1 episode|
|2013||The Neighbors||Ms. Porsche||1 episode|
|2014||Switched at Birth||Prof. Teresa Ledarsky||4 episodes|
|You're the Worst||Herself||1 episode|
|2014–15||Brooklyn Nine-Nine||Darlene Linetti||3 episodes|
|2015||2 Broke Girls||Joedth||5 episodes|
|2016||Difficult People||Lilith Feigenbaum||1 episode|
|2018–present||Pose||Judy Kubrak||6 episodes|
|2018||American Horror Story: Apocalypse||Hannah||Episode: "Sojourn"|
|1996||Museum of Love||Kitty|
|2003||The Third Date||Ola|
|2006||Twenty Dollar Drinks||Star|
|1983||The King of Comedy||NSFC Awards||Won|
|1991||Hudson Hawk||Golden Raspberry Awards||Nominated|
|1997||Highlander: The Series||OFTA Awards||
|2002||Herself||GLAAD Media Awards||Won|
|2006||Philadelphia QFest Awards||
- "Sandra Bernhard". www.nndb.com. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
- "Comedy Central's 100 Greatest Standups of All Time". Retrieved 6 October 2018.
- "Sandra Bernhard Biography (1955-)". FilmReference.com. Archived from the original on March 1, 2017. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
- "Jeanette (LaZebnik) Bernhard Obituaryu". MLive Media Group. June 13, 2014. Archived from the original on July 22, 2015. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
- Iovine, Julie V. (October 22, 1998). "At Home With: Sandra Bernhard; When Baby Talk Makes Good Material". The New York Times.
- "Vote Election Day 2008". SandraBernhard.com. Archived from the original on May 27, 2011.
- "Classmates - Find your school, yearbooks and alumni online". www.classmates.com. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
- Bernhard Goes Maternal, CBS News, July 8, 1998, last accessed July 1, 2008.
- Sandra Bernhard a mom at 42 Archived 2008-10-29 at the Wayback Machine, CNN, July 8, 1998, last accessed July 1, 2008.
- "Breaking Records Music". Breaking Records Music.
- amazon.com, Thrift Shop
- "Sandra Bernhard Turned Down 'Sex And The City' Role Due To 'Terrible' Script And Low Paycheck". The Huffington Post.
- "Switched at Birth Adds Max Adler and Sandra Bernhard"., TV Fanatic. October 11, 2013
- "Behind the Voice: Sandra Bernhard elevates the conversation on Radio Andy". 26 December 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
- "Cast & Crew POSE on FX". 2018. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
- "Sandra Bernhard: Bisexuality and savage wit". The Independent. London. 22 October 2007. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
- Feminist.com, Interview with Sandra Bernhard by Marianne Schnall. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
- Iovine, Julie V. (October 22, 1998), At Home with: Sandra Bernhard When Baby Talk Makes Good Material, retrieved October 29, 2015
- "LIZ SMITH: The Time of the Season ..." 7 January 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
- Anna Holmes. "Sandra Bernhard, Daughter, Are A Duo Of Dames With Rebel Red". Jezebel.
- Oswell, Paul (10 June 2015). "Sandra Bernhard on today's young actors: 'They don't have personalities'". The Guardian.
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