Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Birthday Bebe (Neuwirth)!


The Faculty


Morticia & Gomez

Last day of the year happy birthday wishes go out today for one of my favorite actresses, dancers, and performers, Ms. Bebe Neuwirth! (Pronounced Bebe)
Beatrice J Neuwirth was born and raised in Princeton, New Jersey. There's a college there I'm told. Another ballet girl, she started when she was five years old, but continued and was dancing on stage by 7. After graduating from Princeton High School, she attended The Juilliard School in New York City, where she concentrated on her ballet dancing, also performing with the Princeton Ballet Company in productions of "Peter and the Wolf," "The Nutcracker," and "Coppelia."
Naturally she began her professional career on the stage, and would continue working in theater throughout her career.
Bebe made her Broadway debut in the role of Sheila in "A Chorus Line" in 1980 when she was just 22, and in 1986 won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance in "Sweet Charity."
That year she began her work on Television in a big way by securing the role of Dr. Lilith Sternin, M.D., Ph.D., Ed.D., A.P.A., the monotone, emotionally repressed psychiatrist on the hugely successful sitcom "Cheers." This has become her signature role, one she was afraid of being typecast in forever, and thus refused a permanent role on the shows spinoff, "Frasier." She appeared in 80 episodes of "Cheers," between 1986 and 1993, including the show finale, and 12 episodes on "Frasier" (and one episode of "Wings,"). She won two Emmy Awards playing Lilith on "Cheers."
Here's a clip of Bebe on "Will and Grace," concerning the character of Lilith:
She began her film career in 1989 in Cameron Crowe's very first film, "Say Anything," with John Cusack, and Ione Skye, and has been acting in television and films ever since. Here are some of my favorites: "Star Trek, the Next Generation," the Warren Beatty gangster movie "Bugsy," "Jumanji," "Celebrity," (A Woody Allen film in which she plays a hooker who teaches Judy Davis how to perform oral sex with a banana, and which she says Woody wrote specifically for her... one just has to wonder... why?), "Malice," with Nicole Kidman, "The Faculty," the Robert Rodriguez fact based story of how aliens take over a high school, and "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days." That's just a few.
She continued her work on the stage, her first love, winning another Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical as Velma Kelly in "Chicago," Here's a taste:
And she's done a whole bunch... a whole bunch of other stuff.
Such as, this year she starred on Broadway as Morticia Addams in "The Addams Family" musical, with another two time Tony winner, Nathan Lane, who played Gomez.
No one knows where she and her husband lives. It's all some kind of secret.
Still, all of us here at Joyce's Take wish the lovely Bebe continued good fortune and health for her and her family, and anybody else she may happen to meet, and of course, a very, very happy birthday... AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Happy Birthday Bebe!

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