Sandahl Bergman

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Sandahl Bergman
Sandahl Bergman on Count Gore De Vol.jpg
Bergman in 2011
Born (1951-11-14) November 14, 1951 (age 69)
EducationShawnee Mission East High School
OccupationActress
Years active1970–2003
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Spouse(s)Josh Taylor (divorced)
Children1

Sandahl Bergman (born November 14, 1951) is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Valeria in the film Conan the Barbarian (1982), for which she won a Golden Globe and a Saturn Award.

Early life and Broadway[edit]

Bergman was born in Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated from Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, Kansas. She grew up 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) tall, athletic, and statuesque.[1][2]

In her 20s, she moved to New York City and appeared in a number of Broadway shows, catching the eye of choreographer Bob Fosse, who cast her as a replacement dancer in Pippin. She had a secondary lead in the stage version of the film Gigi in 1973, and later appeared in Mack & Mabel, and as Judy in the renowned "new New York cast" of A Chorus Line (when many of the original actors left the show in 1977).[3] She was cast again by Fosse in his critically acclaimed 1978 dance concert/musical Dancin', which featured many of the top dancers on Broadway at the time.[4]

Film and television career[edit]

Bergman's movie career began in 1978 with a small role in the TV film How to Pick Up Girls. She followed that in 1979 with the Bob Fosse film All That Jazz, in which she was a featured performer in the "Take Off With Us" sequence.[5] In the 1980 movie Xanadu, she appears as one of the nine immortal Muses during the opening song "I'm Alive" by ELO, as well as the final title number of "Xanadu".

Bergman's participation in Xanadu also led indirectly to her eviction from her apartment in New York and subsequent relocation to California. She had been subletting her apartment in New York in defiance of a clause in her agreement with her landlord, and during her four months in California for filming, he became aware of the situation. Bergman has said she did not return to New York, instead having friends pack and ship her belongings to her.[citation needed]

Her best-known role was playing Valeria opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1982 film Conan the Barbarian. She won the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year - Actress for her role in the film. Because no stunt women could be found to match her size, she learned to do all her own stunt work. She commented on the experience, "It was tough. I nearly lost a finger. Arnold smashed his head against a rock. But that was nothing compared to what the stunt men went through."[citation needed]

In 1985, she played a different character, Queen Gedren, in another Conanesque film, Red Sonja. She was offered the title role, but asked to play the villainess instead.[6] After that, she appeared in a series of low-budget films, such as 1987's Hell Comes to Frogtown. Her most recent work was in 2003, when at the age of 52 she appeared as a dancer in the film version of The Singing Detective. Other appearances include a lunar base officer in the movie Airplane II: The Sequel, the music video "Heavy Metal Love" by the band Helix and the Fred Olen Ray film Possessed by the Night, and guest appearances on television, such as Hart to Hart and a dance sequence choreographed by Stanley Donen in an episode of Moonlighting.

Bergman worked as an instructor for the FIRM series of exercise videos in the 1980s.[7]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1974 Mame Dancer Uncredited
1979 All That Jazz Principal Dancer
1980 Xanadu Muse 1
1982 Conan the Barbarian Valeria Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress
Saturn Award for Best Actress
1982 Airplane II: The Sequel Officer #1
1984 She She
1984 Getting Physical Nadine Cawley Television movie
1985 The Ferret Chandra Television movie
1985 Red Sonja Queen Gedren Nominated—Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress
1986 Stewardess School Wanda Polanski
1987 Programmed to Kill Samira
1987 Kandyland Harlow Divine
1988 Hell Comes to Frogtown Spangle
1991 Raw Nerve Gloria Freedman
1992 In the Arms of a Killer Nurse Henninger Television movie
1992 Loving Lulu Lulu
1992 Revenge on the Highway Python Television movie
1994 Lipstick Camera Lilly Miller
1994 TekWar: TekJustice Valkyrie Television movie
1994 Inner Sanctum II Sharon Reed
1994 Night of the Archer Marla Miles
1995 Ice Cream Man Marion Cassera
1996 The Assault Helen
1997 Sorceress II: The Temptress Virginia
2003 The Singing Detective Dancer

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1970–1973 The Dean Martin Comedy World Golddigger 50 episodes
1978 How to Pick Up Girls! Blond jogger TV movie
1982 Hart to Hart Miranda Episode: "From the Depths of My Heart"
1986 Moonlighting Female Dancer Episode: "Big Man on Mulberry Street"
1988 Dirty Dancing Delia Episode: "Save the Last Dance for Me"
1989 Cheers Judy Marlowe Episode: "Send in the Crane"
1989 Hard Time on Planet Earth Danielle Spencer Episode: "Battle of the Sexes"
1990 Freddy's Nightmares Ginger 'Tracker' Morgan 2 episodes
1990 Designing Women Davida Daniels Episode: "Nowhere to Run To"
1991 Swamp Thing Sienna Episode: "Tremors of the Heart"
1992 Dark Justice Meredith Episode: "Lead Rain"
1993 Murder, She Wrote Sgt. Daisy Kenny Episode: "The Petrified Florist"
1994 Silk Stalkings Sgt. Steele Episode: "The Scarlet Shadow"
1994 Under Suspicion Petrella Gideon Episode: "Serial Killer - Part 1"
1999 Sliders Lead Female Dancer Episode: "The Java Jive"

References[edit]

  1. ^ March 22, G. Allen Johnson (March 22, 2019). "'She' is an ode to butt-kicking '80s action star Sandahl Bergman". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  2. ^ Child, Ben (March 11, 2020). "Max von Sydow could transform the trashiest pulp fantasy flick into a cultural touchstone". The Guardian. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  3. ^ Profile, ibdb.com; accessed August 15, 2015.
  4. ^ Brunner, Jeryl (March 19, 2018). "Ann Reinking on Bob Fosse and an Epic Event Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Dancin'". Parade.
  5. ^ King, Susan (April 4, 2019). "Chita Rivera, Carol Burnett and others talk about working with Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon". Los Angeles Times.
  6. ^ "Comic Book Movies: Red Sonja". Filmwerk.co.uk.
  7. ^ Krucoff, Carol (March 5, 1991). "Battle the Bulge with Home Exercise Videos". The Washington Post.

External links[edit]