Childhood & Early Life
Cybill Lynne Shepherd was born on February 18, 1950, in Memphis, Tennessee. Her father, William Jennings Shepherd, was a manager of a home appliances business. Her mother, Patty, was a homemaker. Not much is known about her siblings.
Shepherd attended the ‘Hunter College,’ the ‘College of New Rochelle,’ ‘New York University,’ and the ‘University of Southern California.’ In 1966, Shepherd won the ‘Miss Teenage Memphis’ title. The same year, she won the congeniality award at the ‘Miss Teenage America’ contest. After this win, Shepherd was offered several modeling assignments.
Continue Reading Below
In 1970, Cybill Shepherd was featured on the cover of the women’s magazine ‘Glamour.’ This was a major turning point in her life. Noted director Peter Bogdanovich noticed her picture and offered her a role in the movie ‘The Last Picture Show,’ released in 1971. It was a drama movie with Jeff Bridges in the lead role. The movie told the story of two friends. Shepherd performed as ‘Jacy Farrow,’ the girlfriend of one of the protagonists. The movie was a huge success and won several awards and accolades. Her performance in this movie earned Shepherd a nomination for the ‘Golden Globe Award’ for the ‘New Star of the Year-Actress.’
In 1972, Shepherd appeared as ‘Kelly Corcoran’ in the dark romantic comedy ‘The Heartbreak Kid.’ The movie narrates the story of a man who falls in love with another girl during his honeymoon trip with his wife. ‘Kelly Corcoran’ was the beautiful college girl who was the love interest of the protagonist. The movie received favorable reviews from critics.
In 1974, Shepherd played the title role in the drama movie ‘Daisy Miller.’ It was about a rich and beautiful young woman disregarding the ways of the upper class. The movie was directed by Peter Bogdanovich. It turned out to be a box-office failure. The same year, she recorded her debut music album, ‘Cybill Does It…To Cole Porter.’
In 1976, Cybill Shepherd appeared in the psychological thriller ‘Taxi Driver.’ The movie was about a taxi driver obsessed with a girl named ‘Betsy’ ending up being driven to insanity. The movie featured Shepherd as ‘Betsy.’ Shepherd received good reviews for her work in the movie.
In the latter half of the 1970s, Shepherd faced a setback in her acting career. Several movies featuring her, such as ‘At Long Last Love,’ ‘The Lady Vanishes,’ and ‘The Return,’ turned out to be box-office failures. Shepherd returned to her hometown, Memphis, and concentrated on performing in regional theater.
In 1982, Shepherd returned to New York for a theater tour of ‘Lunch Hour’ by Jean Kerr. From 1983 to 1984, she performed in the TV series ‘The Yellow Rose,’ which was aired on the ‘NBC’ network. The series was about the life of the ‘Champion’ family, with Shepherd performing as ‘Colleen Champion.’
From 1985 to 1989, Shepherd starred in the comedy–drama series ‘Moonlighting,’ which was telecast on ‘ABC.’ It had Bruce Willis and Shepherd in lead roles. Both played private detectives in the series. The show was a mix of comedy, drama, mystery, and romance. It was highly popular with the viewers and helped Shepherd establish her career on screen. Her performance helped her win two ‘Golden Globe Awards’ for the ‘Best Actress- Television Series Musical or Comedy.’
From 1995 to 1998, Shepherd performed in the title role of ‘Cybill Sheridan’ in the series ‘Cybill,’ which was telecast on ‘CBS.’ It narrated the story of a struggling middle-aged actor and a single mother of two daughters. Her performance in the series earned Shepherd the ‘Golden Globe Award’ for the ‘Best Actress- Television Series Musical or Comedy.’ She was nominated for an ‘Emmy Award,’ too.
In the 2000s, Shepherd performed in series such as ‘The L Word’ and ‘The Client List.’ In 2012, she made her debut on ‘Broadway,’ with a revival of the play ‘The Best Man’ by Gore Vidal. She also appeared in movies such as ‘Listen to Your Heart,’ ‘Expecting Mary,’ and ‘Do You Believe?’
She will be seen as ‘Nancy’ in the drama film ‘The Lunch’ in 2019.
She experimented with a music career and released a number of pop and jazz albums, such as ‘Somewhere Down the Road’ and ‘Jazz Baby Volumes 1–3.’ She also contributed to the soundtracks of ‘Cybill’ and ‘Moonlighting.’
She has worked as an executive producer for a few episodes of ‘Cybill.’ She hosted a talk-show version of the book ‘Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.’
Family & Personal Life
Cybill Shepherd has married twice. From 1978 to 1982, she was married to David M Ford. They have a daughter. In 1987, she married Bruce Oppenheim. They have twins, a son and a daughter.
The couple divorced in 1990. From 2012 to 2015, Shepherd was engaged to Andrei Nikolajevic. The engagement was called off later.
In 2000, Shepherd published her autobiography, ‘Cybill Disobedience: How I Survived Beauty Pageants, Elvis, Sex, Bruce Willis, Lies, Marriage, Motherhood, Hollywood, and the Irrepressible Urge to Say What I Think.’ She is a social activist and speaks on matters such as gay rights and abortion rights.