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Cybill Lynne Shepherd

Current Location:: Los Angeles, CA, United States
Birthplace: Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, United States
Occupation: Actress, singer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Cybill Shepherd

She was a former beauty queen who rose to fame in the early 1970s, after a star-making turn in director Peter Bogdanovich’s Oscar-winning “The Last Picture Show. Her best known roles are as the sassy P.I. Maddie Hayes on the smart TV comedy, “Moonlighting” (ABC, 1985-89) and as campier TV version of herself on the hit sitcom, “Cybill” (CBS, 1995-98).

Cybill Lynne Shepherd was born on February 18, 1950 in Memphis, Tennessee, the daughter of Patty (née Shobe), a homemaker, and William Jennings Shepherd, who managed a home appliance business. Named after her grandfather Cy and her father Bill, Shepherd won the 1966 "Miss Teenage Memphis" contest at age 16, and the 1968 "Model of the Year" contest at age 18, making her a fashion star of the 1960s, resulting in fashion modeling work through high school and after.

According to Shepherd's autobiography, it was a 1970 Glamour magazine cover that caught the eye of film director Peter Bogdanovich. His then-wife Polly Platt, however, claimed that it was she who upon seeing the cover in a check-out line in a Ralphs grocery store in southern California, said "That's Jacy", referring to the role Bogdanovich was casting — and ultimately offered to Shepherd — in The Last Picture Show (1971). A huge hit with audiences and critics alike – and the winner of several Academy Awards – “Show” offered a remarkable showcase for Shepherd’s allure, most notably in a pair of highly erotic nude scenes.

Though critics were split on Shepherd’s talents – some offered praise, while others exhausted themselves in an attempt to properly crush her – she went ahead with her acting career, landing another terrific film for her sophomore effort – comedienne Elaine May’s “The Heartbreak Kid” (1972). In the comedy, she played the object of married man Charles Grodin’s affections. Again, she attracted as much negative press as positive, but she had a knack for good projects and for working for the right people who knew best how to present her.

That is, until she reunited with Bogdanovich for a 1974 film adaptation of Henry James’ novel, “Daisy Miller.” Bogdanovich’s mentor Orson Welles had at one time declared that Shepherd was born to play the role of free-spirited 19th century heroine Daisy Miller, but critics disagreed with a vengeance. It proved to be a box office failure. In a 1987 interview, Shepherd shared that she had recently viewed the film again, and said "It's frustrating to watch now because I've learned so much as an actor, and I would have approached that character so differently". Unfortunately, before Daisy Miller was released, filming was already underway on the even bigger Bogdonavich flop At Long Last Love (co-starring Burt Reynolds). The film was a musical in which Bogdanovich filmed all of the songs live while the camera rolled on each scene, as opposed to the conventional studio-recording of songs prior to production on most movie musicals. This approach was unpleasant on film, and it became a career-hampering mis-step for all involved.

Shepherd bounced back with good reviews for her work in Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver (1976), a role in which "she appeared like an angel, out of this filthy mass", in the words of Robert De Niro's character. According to Shepherd, Martin Scorsese had requested a "Cybill Shepherd type" for the role. She portrayed an ethereal beauty with whom De Niro's title character becomes enthralled.

After a series of less successful roles, including the remake of Hitchcock movie The Lady Vanishes, she left show business in 1978 and moved back to Memphis, saying she was fed up with Hollywood. To this end, she married local auto-parts dealer David Ford in 1978. Their daughter Clementine Ford was born two years later, and they divorced in 1982. After her four year absence, Cybill now felt ready to attempt a comeback in Hollywood.

Back from Memphis, Shepherd won the role of Colleen Champion in the night-time drama The Yellow Rose (1983), opposite Sam Elliott. Although critically acclaimed, the series lasted only one season.

A year later, Cybill was cast as Maddie Hayes in ABC's Moonlighting (1985-1989), which became the role that would define her career. The producers knew that her role depended on having chemistry with her co-star, and she was involved in the selection of Bruce Willis. They quickly became one of the most celebrated television duos. A lighthearted combination of mystery and comedy, the series won Shepherd two Golden Globe awards. Shepherd married her second husband, chiropractor Bruce Oppenheim, and gave birth to twins Ariel and Zack Oppenheim during the series' fourth season.

In 1990, Shepherd's marriage to Oppenheim ended and she once again became a sought-after film actress. She starred in Chances Are (1989) with Robert Downey Jr. and Ryan O'Neal, receiving excellent reviews. She then reprised her role as Jacy in Texasville (1990), the sequel to The Last Picture Show (1971), as the original cast (including director Peter Bogdanovich) reunited 20 years after filming the original. She also appeared in Woody Allen's Alice (1990), and Once Upon a Crime (1992), as well as several television movies.

In 1997, she won her third Golden Globe award, for CBS' Cybill (1995-1998), a television sitcom, in which the title character - Cybill Sheridan, an actress struggling with hammy parts in B movies and bad soaps - was loosely modeled on herself (including portrayals by actors of her two ex-husbands). As she had on Moonlighting, she was involved in casting another unknown co-star (Christine Baranski) who proved to be an asset to the show's popularity.

In 2000, Shepherd's autobiography was published, titled Cybill Disobedience: How I Survived Beauty Pageants, Elvis, Sex, Bruce Willis, Lies, Marriage, Motherhood, Hollywood, and the Irrepressible Urge to Say What I Think, written in collaboration with Aimee Lee Ball.

She has played Martha Stewart in two TV movies: Martha, Inc.: The Story of Martha Stewart (2003) and Martha: Behind Bars (2005).

From 2007, Shepherd has been appearing on the Showtime drama, The L Word as the character Phyllis Kroll. She helped get her real-life daughter Clementine Ford the role of her on screen daughter. In 2008 she joined the cast of the USA Network television series Psych as Shawn Spencer's mother, Madeleine Spencer.

Shepherd is also an accomplished singer, having made over ten albums, including a jazz offering with Stan Getz in 1978 that was widely praised. Her current CD was recorded at her house and is aptly titled At Home With Cybill. She has toured with her cabaret act in the United States and Europe as recently as 2004.


The Last Picture Show (1971)

The Heartbreak Kid (1972)

Daisy Miller (1974)

At Long Last Love (1975)

Taxi Driver (1976)

Special Delivery (1976)

Aliens From Spaceship Earth (1977)

Silver Bears (1978)

The Lady Vanishes (1979)

Americathon (1979)

The Return (1980)

Chances Are (1989)

Texasville (1990)

Alice (1990)

Picture This: The Times of Peter Bogdanovich in Archer City, Texas (1991) (documentary)

Married to It (1991)

Once Upon a Crime... (1992)

The Last Word (1995)

The Muse (1999)

Marine Life (2000)

Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs and Rock 'N' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood (2003) (documentary)

Signs and Voices (2004) (short subject)

Open Window (2006)

Hard Luck (2006)

Barry Munday (2009)

Another Harvest Moon (2009)

Listen to Your Heart (2009)

Mrs. Washington Goes to Smith (2009)

4Chosen (2010)

Expecting Mary (2010)


A Guide for the Married Woman (1978)

The Yellow Rose (1983–1984)

Masquerade (1983) (pilot for a series which Shepherd did not appear in)

Secrets of a Married Man (1984)

Moonlighting (1985–1989)

Seduced (1985)

The Long Hot Summer (1985)

Which Way Home (1991)

Memphis (1992) (also executive producer and writer)

Stormy Weathers (1992) (also executive producer)

Telling Secrets (1993)

There Was a Little Boy (1993)

Baby Brokers (1994)

While Justice Sleeps (1994)

Cybill (1995 in television-1998) (also executive producer)

Journey of the Heart (1997) (also co-executive producer)

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus (2000–2001)

Due East (2002)

Martha, Inc.: The Story of Martha Stewart (2003)

8 Simple Rules (2003)

Detective (2005)

Martha: Behind Bars (2005)

The L Word (2007), portrays Phyllis Kroll

Psych (2008–2009), portrays Madeleine Spencer

         * Ghosts (3.01)
         * Murder? ... Anyone? ... Anyone? ... Bueller? (3.02)
         * An Evening With Mr. Yang (3.16)

Samantha Who? (2008)

Alligator Point[

High Noon (2009)

Mrs. Washington Goes to Smith (2009)

Eastwick(2009), portrays Eleanor Rougement

The Client List (2010)

Cybill Lynne Shepherd (born February 18, 1950) is an American actress, singer and former model. Her better known roles include starring as Jacy in The Last Picture Show (1971), as Kelly in The Heartbreak Kid (1972), as Betsy in Taxi Driver (1976), as Maddie Hayes in Moonlighting (1985–1989), as Cybill Sheridan in Cybill (1995–1998), as Phyllis Kroll in The L Word (2007–2009) and as Madeleine Spencer in Psych (2008–2013).

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Cybill Shepherd's Timeline

February 18, 1950
Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, United States