American actor, dancer, and singer Bebe Neuwirth are most known for playing three different roles over the course of multiple timelines in the Broadway production of Chicago. She began studying ballet when she was 5 years old and later attended the renowned “Juilliard School” of performing arts in New York City, where she concentrated in dance. As a junior dancer, she appeared in productions including “The Nutcracker” and “Peter and the Wolf” with the “Princeton Ballet Company.” She made her Broadway debut with the show “A Chorus Line.” Her subsequent performance in “Sweet Charity” earned her a Tony Award for “Best Featured Actress in a Musical.” In addition to reprising her role as “Dr. Lilith Sternin” in the television comedy series “Cheers,” Neuwirth also played the character in the serials “Wings” and “Frasier.” She, however, limited herself to bit parts and guest appearances on television because she did not want to become stereotyped. Her prominent performances on the big screen include those in “Say Anything,” “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” and “Fame.” Currently, she is wed to Chris Calkins. She is not a parent herself. She is an advocate for stray animals and has backed numerous campaigns. She is a well-known figure in the entertainment sector.
Early Childhood & Life
Sydney Anne and Lee Paul Neuwirth welcomed Beatrice into the world on December 31, 1958, in Newark, New Jersey, United States. Her father was a mathematician, while her mother was an artist. She has an actuary brother named Peter. Her family is Jewish, with origins in Russia, Germany, and Austria.
She began studying ballet when she was 5 years old and at a young age realized she had a talent for the performing arts. After graduating from “Princeton High School” in 1976, she studied dance for two years at the famed “Juilliard School” in New York City.
She was introduced to theater at this time and had the chance to dance as a junior ballerina with the “Princeton Ballet Company” in productions like “The Nutcracker” and “Peter and the Wolf.” Additionally, she participated in neighborhood community theater plays, which prepared the groundwork for her future career as “Bebe Neuwirth.”
Bebe Neuwirth’s Career
As Sheila in the 1980 musical “A Chorus Line,” Neuwirth made her Broadway debut. She then made appearances in the films “Little Me” (1982) and “Sweet Charity” (1986). She won a Tony Award for “Best Featured Actress in a Musical” for her work in “Sweet Charity”
She portrayed “Dr. Lilith Sternin” in the television comedy series “Cheers” from 1986 until 1993. She played the part again in the television series “Wings” and the “Cheers” spin-off “Frasier.” She also made appearances in the serials “Simon & Simon” and “Fame” around the same time period.
She was already well-known in the entertainment industry by this point. She quickly made her big-screen debut in the 1989 film “Say Anything…” as “Mrs. Evans.” Her roles in the critically acclaimed films “Green Card” and “Bugsy” came after this.
She appeared in the 1994 musical comedy “Damn Yankees,” which was based on the book by George Abbot and Douglass Wallop, as one of her theater appearances from the 1990s.
With the character of “Velma Kelly” in the “Broadway” version of “Chicago,” she received her biggest break in 1996.
She won multiple accolades for the performance, including a “Tony Award” and an “Outer Critics Circle Award.” She performed in her own musical, “Here Lies Jenny,” from May to October 2004 at the “Zipper Theater” in New York City, where she sang and danced with the help of four other musicians. The next year, the performance was replicated in San Francisco.
In 2009, Neuwirth performed a solo cabaret act, accompanied by Kurt Weill, Paul McCartney, and John Lennon on piano, with Scott Cady. She appeared opposite Nathan Lane in the first Broadway production of “The Addams Family” the following year.
She has made a few cameos on reality shows and brief cameos in a number of TV episodes, including the television film “Without Her Consent.” She appears in five episodes of the 1993 television series Wild Palms and five episodes of the 1996–98 television series All Dogs Go to Heaven. Recent appearances of her include “Madam Secretary” and “New York Is Dead.” Her most recent motion picture was “Humor Me” (2017).
She is today a well-respected figure in the entertainment industry, and her fan base is diverse in age. Her first love has always been theater, but she also feels at home on both television and the big screen.
Bebe’s Bigger Works
Her notable films include “Say Anything…,” “Bugsy,” “The Adventures of Pinocchio,” “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” “Adopt a Sailor,” “Fame,” and more (2009).
The TV series “Cheers” (1986–1993), “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color” (1990), “Wild Palms” (1993), “Frasier” (1994–1955), “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” (1999), “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (1999, 2005), “The Cleveland Show” (2010), “Blue Bloods” (2013–2018), and “Madam Secretary” are a few that have featured Be (2014–2017).
A Chorus Line (1980), Little Me (1982), Sweet Charity (1986), Damn Yankees (1994), Chicago (1996, 2006, and 2014), Funny Girl (2002), and The Addams Family were some of her most notable theater appearances (2010).
Recognition & Achievements
She received the “Best Featured Actress in a Musical” Tony Award in 1986 for her performance in “Sweet Charity.”
She was recognized for her work in “Cheers” by receiving the “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series” award at the “Primetime Emmy Awards” in 1990 and 1991.
Both the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical and the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical went to Neuwirth for her work in “Chicago.”
In 2011, she was also awarded the “Actors Fund Medal of Honor.”
Bebe’s Individual Life
In 1984, she wed the theater director Paul Dorman. But in 1991, the couple filed for divorce. She dated American actor Michael Danek for a while after getting divorced, and they became engaged in 1997. But things quickly turned nasty. Then, in 2009, Bebe wed Chris Calkins. The Napa Valley winery “Destino Wines” was founded by Chris. Before she wed her current spouse, she had ties to TV star George Stephanopoulos.
She is not a parent herself. She is an animal lover and has contributed money to numerous projects aimed at improving the lives of stray cats and dogs.
In May 2006, Bebe underwent hip replacement surgery. She was still able to pursue her acting career despite the procedure.
Estimated Net Worth
An American actress, musician, and singer by the name of Bebe Neuwirth are worth $10 million. On “Cheers” and “Frasier,” Bebe is perhaps most recognized for her portrayal of Dr. Lilith Sterner-Crane. She made an appearance in 12 episodes of “Frasier” and 80 episodes of “Cheers.” Bebe made an appearance in 71 episodes of “Madame Secretary” between 2014 and 2017.
She played “Velma Kelly,” “Roxie Hart,” and “Mama Morton” in the renowned “Broadway” production “Chicago” in 1996, 2006, and 2014, respectively. She became the first actor to portray three distinct roles in various timeframes of the same “Broadway” musical because of this.
She did not want to be stereotyped after her success in the TV series “Cheers,” so she chose to return to “Broadway” instead. She so limited herself to supporting jobs and TV cameos.