At the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Annual Grand Auction and Flea Market, September 2006
December 31, 1958
Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Paul Dorman (1984–1991)
Chris Calkins (2009–present)
Beatrice "Bebe" Neuwirth (/ /; born December 31, 1958) is an American actress, musician and dancer. She has worked in television and is known for her portrayal of Dr. Lilith Sternin, Dr. Frasier Crane's wife (later ex-wife), on both the TV sitcom Cheers (in a starring role), and its spin-off Frasier (in a recurring guest role). On stage, she is also known for the role of Nickie in the revival of Sweet Charity, the role of Velma Kelly in the revival of Chicago (for both of which she won Tony Awards) and for the role of Morticia Addams in The Addams Family musical.
As of 2014, she currently stars as Nadine Tolliver in Madam Secretary.
Neuwirth was born in Princeton, New Jersey, the daughter of Sydney Anne, a painter, and Lee Paul Neuwirth, a mathematician. She has an older brother Peter, an actuary. Neuwirth is Jewish, and attended Chapin School in New Jersey as well as Princeton Day School (New Jersey) of Princeton, but graduated from Princeton High School (a public school) in 1976.
She began to study ballet at the age of five, and chose it as her field of concentration when she attended Juilliard in New York City in 1976 and 1977, during which time she performed with the Princeton Ballet Company in Peter and the Wolf, The Nutcracker, and Coppélia, also appearing in community theater musicals. Neuwirth always dreamed of becoming a ballet dancer; the only other career she reportedly seriously contemplated was being a veterinarian.
Neuwirth made her Broadway debut in the role of Sheila in A Chorus Line in 1980. She later appeared in revivals of Little Me (1982) Sweet Charity (1986), for which she won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, and Damn Yankees (1994). 1996 saw her play Velma Kelly in the Broadway revival of Chicago. That role brought her her greatest stage recognition to date, and several awards including the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. Neuwirth would later return to the still-running revival of Chicago in 2006, this time as Roxie Hart.
She appeared in a musical revue Here Lies Jenny, that featured songs by Kurt Weill, sung and danced by Neuwirth and a four-person supporting cast, as part of an unspoken ambiguous story in an anonymous seedy bar possibly in Berlin in the 1930s. The show ran from May 7 through October 3, 2004, in the Zipper Theater in New York City. Here Lies Jenny was also presented by Neuwirth in San Francisco in 2005. In 2009, Neuwirth toured a one-woman cabaret show with pianist Scott Cady. The cabaret included music by Kurt Weill, Stephen Sondheim, Tom Waits, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, John Kander and Fred Ebb amongst others. In 2010, she returned to Broadway to create the role of Morticia Addams in the original production of The Addams Family opposite Nathan Lane.
Film and television
Her screen credits include Green Card, Bugsy, Say Anything..., Jumanji, Summer of Sam, Liberty Heights, Tadpole (for which the Seattle Film Critics named her Best Supporting Actress), The Associate, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Malice, The Big Bounce, The Faculty and Woody Allen's Celebrity.
On television, from 1986 to 1993 Neuwirth played Dr. Lilith Sternin, who married Dr. Frasier Crane in the hit comedy series Cheers. From the fourth to the seventh season, Neuwirth portrayed Lilith in a regular recurring role, and she appeared on the show as a main star from season eight to the final season, season eleven. Like Kelsey Grammer when he started on the show as Frasier Crane, she was not immediately given star billing in the opening credits, but at the end for seasons eight and nine; she appeared in the opening credits with her own portrait in seasons ten and eleven. She auditioned for this role with her arm in a sling, following a fall a week earlier. She won two Emmy Awards for the role, in 1990 and 1991. The character also made an appearance in the series Wings and in 12 episodes of the Cheers spin-off Frasier, which earned her a 1995 Emmy Award nomination as Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.
Other small-screen credits include a guest appearance in the first season of NewsRadio, a small role on The Adventures of Pete and Pete (episode: "The Call"), Deadline (2000), Hack (2003), Law & Order: Trial by Jury (2005), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999 as a modeling agent/suspect; 2005 as A.D.A Tracey Kibre), and the miniseries Wild Palms and the fourth season Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, First Contact, as Lanel.
She appeared as herself in episodes of Will and Grace, Strangers with Candy and Celebrity Jeopardy!. In 2009, she co-starred as Ms. Kraft in the remake of Fame. She recently had a recurring role as Caroline, the literary editor of Jonathan Ames, on the HBO series Bored to Death. She is currently a member of the cast in "Madam Secretary" on CBS.
Neuwirth's 1984 marriage to Paul Dorman ended in divorce in 1991. Since 2009, she has been married to Chris Calkins.
|1989||Say Anything...||Mrs. Evans|
|1990||Without Her Consent||Gloria Allred||Television movie|
|1991||Bugsy||Countess di Frasso|
|1993||Malice||Det. Dana Harris|
|1996||All Dogs Go to Heaven 2||Anabelle, the Dog Angel|
|1996||The Adventures of Pinocchio||Felinet|
|1996||The Associate||Camille Scott|
|1996||Dear Diary||N/A||Short film|
|1998||Celebrity||Nina, the hooker|
|1998||The Faculty||Principal Valerie Drake|
|1998||An All Dogs Christmas Carol||Annabelle/Belladonna|
|1999||Getting to Know You||Trix|
|1999||Summer of Sam||Gloria|
|1999||Dash and Lilly||Dorothy Parker||Television movie|
|1999||Liberty Heights||Ada Kurtzman|
|2000||An Extremely Goofy Movie||Sylvia Marpole|
|2000||Cupid and Cate||Francesca DeAngelo||Television movie|
|2003||How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days||Lana Jong|
|2003||Le Divorce||Julia Manchevering|
|2004||The Big Bounce||Alison Ritchie|
|2005||Game 6||Joanne Bourne|
|2008||Adopt a Sailor||Patricia|
|2013||Browsers||Julianna Mancuso-Bruni||Television movie|
|1986–1993||Cheers||Dr. Lilith Sternin-Crane||80 episodes|
|1986||Simon & Simon||Receptionist||Episode: "Family Forecast"|
|1986||Fame||Phyllis Turner||Episode: "Stagefright"|
|1990||The Famous Teddy Z||Unknown||Episode: "Teddy Gets a Guru"|
|1990||Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color||Dr. Lilith Sternin||Episode: "Disneyland's 35th Anniversary Celebration"|
|1991||Star Trek: The Next Generation||Lanel||Episode: "First Contact"|
|1992||Wings||Dr. Lilith Sternin-Crane||Episode: "Planes, Trains and Visiting Cranes"|
|1993||Wild Palms||Tabba Schwartzkopf||5 episodes|
|1994||The Adventures of Pete & Pete||Mailcarrier||2 episodes|
|1994–2003||Frasier||Dr. Lilith Sternin||12 episodes|
|1995||NewsRadio||Sandi Angelini||Episode: "Friends"|
|1996||Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man||Tamara La Boinque||Episode: "Noir Gang"|
|1996||Freakazoid!||Deadpan||Episode: "The Wrath of Guitierrez"|
|1996–1998||All Dogs Go to Heaven: The Series||Anabelle/Belladonna||5 episodes|
|1997||The Magic School Bus||Flora Whiff||Episode: "Makes a Stink"|
|1997||Jungle Cubs||La La||Episode: "Old Green Teeth/The Elephant Who Couldn't Say No"|
|1999||Sabrina, the Teenage Witch||Juliette||Episode: "Salem and Juliette"|
|1999||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Nina Laszlo||Episode: "Or Just Look Like One"|
|2000–2001||Deadline||Nikki Masucci||13 episodes|
|2002–2003||Cyberchase||Binky the Cat||2 episodes|
|2003||Hack||Faith O'Connor||5 episodes|
|2005||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||A.D.A. Tracey Kibre||Episode: "Night"|
|2005–2006||Law & Order: Trial by Jury||A.D.A. Tracey Kibre||13 episodes|
|2009–2011||Bored to Death||Caroline Taylor||3 episodes|
|2010||The Late Show with David Letterman||Morticia Addams||Episode: "17.117"|
|2010||The Cleveland Show||Sarah Friedman||Episode: "Brotherly Love"|
|2012–2013||The Good Wife||Judge Claudia Friend||3 episodes|
|2013–2014||Blue Bloods||Kelly Peterson||5 episodes|
|2014–present||Madam Secretary||Nadine Tolliver||5 episodes|
|1975–1990||A Chorus Line||Sheila|
|1982||Little Me||Boom Boom Girl|
|2002–2003||Funny Girl||Fanny Brice|
|2010–2011||The Addams Family||Morticia Addams|
Awards and nominations
- Lee Paul Neuwirth at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- Television "Cheers": A Comprehensive Guide, p. 98
- "Bebe Neuwirth Biography". filmreference. Retrieved July 4, 2008.
- Bloom, Nate (June 25, 2004). "Celebrity Jews: Bebe and Lilith". Jewish News Weekly. Retrieved July 4, 2008.
- "Alumni News: February 2009". Juilliard.edu. Archived from the original on 2011-11-11. "Bebe Neuwirth (’77, dance)"
- Television "Cheers": A Comprehensive Guide
- Jones, Kenneth."Jenny Made Her Mind Up: Here Lies Jenny Will Extend One Last Time, to Oct. 3" playbill.com, August 27, 2004
- "The Addams Family Lands Bebe Neuwirth And Tempts Nathan Lane", New York Post
- Mary Green (May 5, 2009). "Frasier's Bebe Neuwirth Ties the Knot". People magazine. Retrieved October 1, 2009.
- "Bebe Neuwirth on Dancerhips" http://dancerhips.com/bebe.html
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bebe Neuwirth.|
- Bebe Neuwirth at the Internet Broadway Database
- Bebe Neuwirth at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Bebe Neuwirth at the Internet Movie Database
- Bebe Neuwirth – Downstage Center interview at American Theatre Wing.org