Image of Sandra Bernhard

Sandra Bernhard

Love her or hate her, this comic diva is a one-of-a-kind, in-your-face, take-no-prisoners artiste. Racy, confrontational, offensive, cynical, off-putting and angst-ridden to a T, this flinty stand-up from Flint, Michigan was born on June 6, 1955, the daughter of Jerome Bernhard, a proctologist, and his wife Jeanette, an abstract painter, sculptor and photographer who later divorced after 38 years. Moving to Scottsdale, Arizona in her early years, her initial comedy stage work in the 1970s was formulated around her "fish out of water" existence growing up as a "Jewess" amongst a sea of "blonde WASPs". A conventional beauty she was not. Her angular build was hardly complemented by angry, pronounced features, notably a trademark slash of a mouth. She managed to survive high school and went to live on a kibbutz in Israel for a period of time. Moving to Los Angeles at age 19, she paid her rent by working as a beauty salon manicurist to the stars as she tried to make a semi-name for herself in such L.A. haunts as "The Comedy Store." It all began quite modestly at an open-mike night at Ye Little Club in Beverly Hills in 1975.As Bernhard grew in stature, the girl with major attitude was soon getting noticed for TV. She, along with other up-and-coming comics such as Robin Williams and Marsha Warfield, was cast as a regular player on The Richard Pryor Show (1977), a musical variety show. Her cutting-edge humor seemed like a natural fit in an atmosphere provided by a daredevil like Pryor, but the censorship staff and a turned-off audience had the show taken off the air after only five shows. A gifted talker and raconteur, she started making news on the night time talk show circuit for her pungent comments and observances.She demonstrated real chutzpah on camera after Martin Scorsese cast her as Masha, who loose cannon who stalks and covets a talk show host, in his film The King of Comedy (1982) starring Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis. Nothing, however, came out of this dark success and she instead focused on the possibility of doing a one-woman comedy show.Her first solo piece was entitled "I'm Your Woman" in 1985 and was met with a so-so reception and followed by an unsuccessful album release. Undaunted, Bernhard continued to work on film and TV while crafting a more volatile, performance art-oriented show for shock effect. This came in the form of the off-Broadway 1988 piece "Without You I'm Nothing" which played at the Orpheum Theatre. It was a cult hit and immortalized into both a film, also called Without You I'm Nothing (1990), and a double-album. As a monologist, Sandra trademark blending of pop culture topics along with blatant social commentary is usually given a boost by a bluesy-styled song.Bernhard could also make eye-catching news on TV. In 1991 she was cast as Nancy Bartlett on the hit sitcom Roseanne (1988) as one of the first actresses to portray an openly lesbian character on American series TV. Although the character grew more diluted with time, it was nevertheless a groundbreaking character and she appeared on several seasons of the popular show. She did tough-talking turns on such popular shows as "Chicago Hope," "Ally McBeal," "Will & Grace" and "The L Word". Elsewhere, in September of 1992, Sandra opted to do a nude pictorial for Playboy Magazine. She then went on to host the USA network's Reel Wild Cinema (1994) for two seasons. Her brief nudges into mainstream films, which included such bombs Hudson Hawk (1991) and Dallas Doll (1994), did nothing to advance her movie career. Her one-woman shows, however, continue to jell with her liberal following and she enjoyed another New York success with her solo piece "I'm Still Here... Damn It!", which was also filmed. She also performed off-Broadway in "Sandra Bernhard: Everything Bad and Beautiful."At age 50+, Sandra continues to push the envelope on such shows as "The View." Fair game includes everyone from Mariah Carey to Laura Bush to Mother Teresa as the object of her venom. In fact, she pretty much pioneered the celebrity put-down format that has made infamous celebrities out of such comics as Kathy Griffin. It's Sandra's unique brand of crass talk and self-effacing vulnerability that will keep the "Empress of Acerbity" a strong commodity in the nitery circuit.Unmarried with a young daughter, Sandra is openly bisexual and currently living with a longtime companion, writer and PR executive Sara Switzer. Sara was attached to Sandra's talk show The Sandra Bernhard Experience (2001) as a writer and co-host.

Read bio at Wikipedia
Jun 6, 1955 In Flint, Michigan, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the series The Richard Pryor Show 1977-09-13
Latest Project:
Series Brooklyn Nine-Nine 2013-09-17

3 wins & 2 nominations.

Known For
Poster of Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Poster of 2 Broke Girls
Poster of Family Guy
Poster of The Sopranos
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Unknown 2013-09-17
The Birthday Boys Unknown 2013
The '80s: The Decade That Made Us Self 3 episodes, 2013 2013-04-14
GCB Unknown 2012-03-04
The Neighbors Unknown 2012-09-26
Switched at Birth Unknown 2011-06-06
2 Broke Girls Unknown 2011-09-19
Roseanne's Nuts Unknown 2011-07-13
The Green Room with Paul Provenza Unknown 2010
Hot in Cleveland Unknown 2010-06-16
Watch What Happens: Live Unknown 2009-06-16
Drop Dead Diva Unknown 2009-07-12
The Wendy Williams Show Unknown 2008-05-14
The New Adventures of Old Christine Unknown 2006-03-13
American Dad! Unknown 2005-02-06
The L Word Unknown 2004-01-18
Project Runway Unknown 2004-12-01
Dragnet Unknown 2003-02-02
Las Vegas Unknown 2003-09-22
Crossing Jordan Unknown 2001-09-24
Girlfriends Unknown 2000-09-11
The Sopranos Unknown 1999-01-10
Family Guy Unknown 1999-01-31
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Unknown 1999-09-20
Hercules Cassandra 47 episodes, 1998-1999 1998-08-31
Will & Grace Unknown 1998-09-21
V.I.P. Unknown 1998-09-26
Ally McBeal Unknown 1997-09-08
The Daily Show Unknown 1996-07-22
Clueless Unknown 1996-09-20
Superman: The Animated Series Unknown 1996-09-06
Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist Unknown 1995-05-28
Space Ghost Coast to Coast Unknown 1994-04-15
Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man Unknown 1994-01-01
Chicago Hope Unknown 1994-09-18
Spider-Man: The Animated Series Unknown 1994-11-19
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Unknown 1992-05-25
Highlander Unknown 1992-10-06
The Larry Sanders Show Unknown 1992-08-15
Tales from the Crypt Unknown 1989-06-10
Roseanne Unknown 1988-10-18
Pee-wee's Playhouse Unknown 1986-09-13
Jeopardy! Unknown 1984-09-10
The Hitchhiker Unknown 1983-11-23
The Richard Pryor Show Unknown 1977-09-13