Beatrice "Bebe" Neuwirth (/ˌbiːətrɪs ˌbiːbiː ˈnjuːwɜrθ/; born December 31, 1958) is an American actress, singer and dancer. On television, she is known for her portrayal of Dr. Lilith Sternin, Dr. Frasier Crane's wife (later ex-wife), on both the TV sitcom Cheers (in a starring role), and its spin-off Frasier (in a recurring guest role). The role won her two Emmy Awards. On stage, she is known for her Tony Award winning roles of Nickie in the revival of Sweet Charity (1986), and Velma Kelly in the revival of Chicago (1996). Other Broadway musical roles include Morticia Addams in The Addams Family (2010). Since 2014, she has starred as Nadine Tolliver in the CBS drama Madam Secretary.
She began to study ballet at the age of five, and chose it as her field of concentration when she attended Juilliard in New York City in 1976 and 1977, during which time she performed with the Princeton Ballet Company in Peter and the Wolf, The Nutcracker, and Coppélia, also appearing in community theater musicals.
Neuwirth made her Broadway debut in the role of Sheila in A Chorus Line in 1980. She later appeared in revivals of Little Me (1982) Sweet Charity (1986), for which she won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, and Damn Yankees (1994). 1996 saw her play Velma Kelly in the Broadway revival of Chicago. That role brought her her greatest stage recognition to date, and several awards including the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. Neuwirth would later return to the still-running revival of Chicago in 2006, this time as Roxie Hart.
She appeared in a musical revue Here Lies Jenny, that featured songs by Kurt Weill, sung and danced by Neuwirth and a four-person supporting cast, as part of an unspoken ambiguous story in an anonymous seedy bar possibly in Berlin in the 1930s. The show ran from May 7 through October 3, 2004, in the Zipper Theater in New York City.Here Lies Jenny was also presented by Neuwirth in San Francisco in 2005. In 2009, Neuwirth toured a one-woman cabaret show with pianist Scott Cady. The cabaret included music by Kurt Weill, Stephen Sondheim, Tom Waits, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, John Kander and Fred Ebb amongst others. In 2010, she returned to Broadway to create the role of Morticia Addams in the original production of The Addams Family opposite Nathan Lane.
Film and television
Her screen credits include Green Card, Bugsy, Say Anything..., Jumanji, Summer of Sam, Liberty Heights, Tadpole, The Associate, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Malice, The Big Bounce, The Faculty and Woody Allen's Celebrity.
On television, from 1986 to 1993 Neuwirth played Dr. Lilith Sternin, who married Dr. Frasier Crane in the hit comedy series Cheers. From the fourth to the seventh season, Neuwirth portrayed Lilith in a regular recurring role, and she appeared on the show as a main star from season eight to the final season, season eleven. Like Kelsey Grammer when he started on the show as Frasier Crane, she was not immediately given star billing in the opening credits, but at the end for seasons eight and nine; she appeared in the opening credits with her own portrait in seasons ten and eleven. She auditioned for this role with her arm in a sling, following a fall a week earlier. She won two Emmy Awards for the role, in 1990 and 1991. The character also made an appearance in the series Wings and in 12 episodes of the Cheers spin-off Frasier, which earned her a 1995 Emmy Award nomination as Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.
Other small-screen credits include a guest appearance in the second season of NewsRadio, a small role on The Adventures of Pete and Pete (episode: "The Call"), Deadline (2000), Hack (2003), Law & Order: Trial by Jury (2005), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999 as a modeling agent/suspect; 2005 as A.D.A Tracey Kibre), and the miniseries Wild Palms and the fourth season Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, First Contact, as Lanel.
She appeared as herself in episodes of Will and Grace, Strangers with Candy and Celebrity Jeopardy!. In 2009, she co-starred as Ms. Kraft in the remake of Fame. She recently had a recurring role as Caroline, the literary editor of Jonathan Ames, on the HBO series Bored to Death. She is currently a member of the cast in Madam Secretary on CBS.
In 1996, Neuwirth starred in a pilot for a TV series called Dear Diary for ABC which was not picked up. The producers had it edited slightly and put into a single theater for a single weekend in November of 1996, and it became one of only two TV pilots to be nominated for an Oscar and the only one to win.
Neuwirth's 1984 marriage to Paul Dorman ended in divorce. In 2009, she married Chris Calkins at the Players Club in Manhattan, in a ceremony officiated by actor Peter Coyote.
In May 2006, she had hip replacement surgery.
|1989||Say Anything...||Mrs. Evans|
|1991||Bugsy||Countess di Frasso|
|1993||Malice||Det. Dana Harris|
|1996||All Dogs Go to Heaven 2||Anabelle, the Dog Angel (voice)|
|1996||The Adventures of Pinocchio||Felinet|
|1996||The Associate||Camille Scott|
|1996||Dear Diary||Annie||The only TV pilot to win an Oscar
(Best Live Action Short)
|1998||Celebrity||Nina, the hooker|
|1998||The Faculty||Principal Valerie Drake|
|1998||An All Dogs Christmas Carol||Annabelle/Belladonna (voice)|
|1999||Getting to Know You||Trix|
|1999||Summer of Sam||Gloria|
|1999||Liberty Heights||Ada Kurtzman|
|2000||An Extremely Goofy Movie||Sylvia Marpole (voice)|
|2003||How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days||Lana Jong|
|2003||Le Divorce||Julia Manchevering|
|2004||The Big Bounce||Alison Ritchie|
|2005||Game 6||Joanne Bourne|
|2008||Adopt a Sailor||Patricia|
|1986–1993||Cheers||Dr. Lilith Sternin-Crane||80 episodes|
|1986||Simon & Simon||Receptionist||Episode: "Family Forecast"|
|1986||Fame||Phyllis Turner||Episode: "Stagefright"|
|1990||The Famous Teddy Z||Unknown||Episode: "Teddy Gets a Guru"|
|1990||Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color||Dr. Lilith Sternin||Episode: "Disneyland's 35th Anniversary Celebration"|
|1990||Without Her Consent||Gloria Allred||Television movie|
|1991||Star Trek: The Next Generation||Lanel||Episode: "First Contact"|
|1992||Wings||Dr. Lilith Sternin-Crane||Episode: "Planes, Trains and Visiting Cranes"|
|1993||Wild Palms||Tabba Schwartzkopf||5 episodes|
|1994||The Adventures of Pete & Pete||Mailcarrier||2 episodes|
|1994–1995||Aladdin||Mirage (voice)||6 episodes|
|1994–2003||Frasier||Dr. Lilith Sternin||12 episodes|
|1995||NewsRadio||Sandi Angelini||Episode: "Friends"|
|1996||Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man||Tamara La Boinque (voice)||Episode: "Noir Gang"|
|1996||Freakazoid!||Deadpan (voice)||Episode: "The Wrath of Guitierrez"|
|1996–1998||All Dogs Go to Heaven: The Series||Anabelle/Belladonna (voice)||5 episodes|
|1997||The Magic School Bus||Flora Whiff||Episode: "Makes a Stink"|
|1997||Jungle Cubs||La La||Episode: "Old Green Teeth/The Elephant Who Couldn't Say No"|
|1999||Sabrina, the Teenage Witch||Juliette||Episode: "Salem and Juliette"|
|1999||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Nina Laszlo||Episode: "Or Just Look Like One"|
|1999||Dash and Lilly||Dorothy Parker||Television movie|
|2000||Cupid and Cate||Francesca DeAngelo||Television movie|
|2000–2001||Deadline||Nikki Masucci||13 episodes|
|2002–2003||Cyberchase||Binky the Cat (voice)||2 episodes|
|2003||Hack||Faith O'Connor||5 episodes|
|2005||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||A.D.A. Tracey Kibre||Episode: "Night"|
|2005–2006||Law & Order: Trial by Jury||A.D.A. Tracey Kibre||13 episodes|
|2009–2011||Bored to Death||Caroline Taylor||3 episodes|
|2010||The Late Show with David Letterman||Morticia Addams||Episode: "17.117"|
|2010||The Cleveland Show||Sarah Friedman (voice)||Episode: "Brotherly Love"|
|2012–2013||The Good Wife||Judge Claudia Friend||3 episodes|
|2013||Browsers||Julianna Mancuso-Bruni||Unsold TV pilot|
|2013–2014||Blue Bloods||Kelly Peterson||5 episodes|
|2014–present||Madam Secretary||Nadine Tolliver||30 episodes|
|2014||Over the Garden Wall||Margueritte Grey (voice)||Episode: "Mad Love"|
|1980||A Chorus Line||Sheila, u/s Cassie|
|1982||Little Me||Boom Boom Girl|
|1986||Sweet Charity||Nickie, Charity standby|
|2002||Funny Girl||Fanny Brice|
|2010||The Addams Family||Morticia Addams|
|2014||Chicago||Matron "Mama" Morton|
Awards and nominations
|1986||Drama Desk Awards||Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical||Sweet Charity||Nominated|
|1986||Tony Awards||Best Featured Actress in a Musical||Won|
|1990||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||Cheers||Won|
|1990||Viewers for Quality Television||Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Comedy Series||Nominated|
|1991||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||Won|
|1991||Viewers for Quality Television||Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Comedy Series||Nominated|
|1995||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series||Frasier||Nominated|
|1997||Drama Desk Awards||Outstanding Actress in a Musical||Chicago||Won|
|1997||Tony Awards||Best Actress in a Musical||Won|
|1999||American Comedy Awards||Funniest Female Guest Appearance in a Television Series||Frasier||Nominated|
|1999||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie||Dash and Lilly||Nominated|
|2000||American Comedy Awards||Funniest Female Guest Appearance in a Television Series||Frasier||Nominated|
|2003||Satellite Awards||Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture||Tadpole||Nominated|