Cybill (Lynne) Shepherd, is an actress and former late 1960’s supermodel. She was born on February 18, 1950, in Memphis, Tennessee where she was raised. She later became a film and television actress and singer. As a television star, she is best known for her role as Madelyn “Maddie” Hayes on the hit ABC comedy “Moonlighting“. Cybill’s life is replete with worthy career comebacks.
Her mother Patty Shobe was divorced. Cybill was named after her father grandfather Cy and her father, William “Bill” Shepherd. Her modeling career began in 1966 when she won the Miss Teenage Memphis beauty pageant. That triumph obtained her modelling work throughout her high school years and then some after. As Miss Teenage Memphis, Cybill went on to compete in the Miss Teenage America pageant, which was held in Texas. Though she didn’t win that title, she was named Miss Congeniality. During that period of her life, Cybill commented during a television bio of her, “I was really a nightmare when I turned fifteen … I lost my virginity, I got caught cheating in Latin, I failed gym.”
After high school, Cybill planned to enroll at Louisiana State University and pursue art studies. *However fate would have it otherwise. In 1968 and at the age of 18, Cybill entered and won Model of the Year on the state level in Tennessee. She went on to win the national competition in New York. Having lost twelve pounds before the finals, coupled with her stunning win enabled her to immediately start her more than promising career as a model. She quickly gained famed through her commercials, magazine work and print ads as a spokesperson for Cover Girl Cosmetics. Her face graced the covers of all the hot magazines.
(*Throughout this time, it must be noted that she did enroll in schools studying at Hunter College in New York in 1969; the College of New Rochelle, in New Rochelle, New York in 1970; New York University from 1971 to 1973 and the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles,California.)
Cybill measured 5’9 and weighed 140 lbs. She was a healthy, clean cut beauty and a stark contrast to the over the top mod glam of Peggy Moffit and Twiggy, who weighed only 91 pounds. She was a far cry from the exotic sexual energy promoted by models like Veruschka and Jean Shrimpton. Earlier in her career, Cybill was the top rival of another All-American beauty too, Cheryl Tiegs. Shepherd and Tiegs seemed locked in a never-ending battle for the covers of Teen and Seventeen. Once Cybill graduated to the ranks of full-time professional model as Tiegs did too, their battle took place on the covers of Elle and Glamour. Cybill also made the December 10, 1971 cover of Life magazine.
Shepherd was everywhere. Her face, her smile and her healthy looks were what could be found in modern fashion campaigns for designers like Tommy Hilfiger or Ralph Lauren. She had beautiful curves.
Cybill had been on top for two years, which was the customary period for a top model at that time. She then branched out into film. Her first opportunity to do so came her way with the film, The Last Picture Show. The film’s director, Peter Bogdanovich, came across Cybill’s face on a 1970 cover of Glamour while at the check-out line at the grocery store. Seeing her Southern charm come through the photo, he exclaimed, “That’s Jacy!”
Soon Cybill found herself filming her movie debut. The movie, The Last Picture Show, went on to become an American Classic. And thanks to Cybill’s uncanny performance as Jacy Farrow, the town tease and teenage sexual ingénue, was one of the most explosive and promising debuts of any film actress. . It earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Most Promising Newcomer. She lost the award to the 1960’s supermodel-turned-actress Twiggy, who had also made her film debut in 1971’s, The Boy Friend.
When initially offered the role, Cybill was very reluctant to accept it. She confessed during her E! bio that she was afraid that people would believe that she was really like the character of Jacy. She said during that E! bio, “I didn’t want to play Jacy because I thought that’s what people would have thought that I was like my whole life, the heartbreaker who destroys all the men, ” but after awhile she realized “I was like that … the only difference was that I enjoyed sex more than my character, that was the only difference between Jacy and me.”
Cybill soon was then cast opposite of Charles Grodin in the smash hit, The Heartbreak Kid (1972). This critically acclaimed piece showed of her comedic talents. She teamed up with Bogdanovich again in 1974’s Daisy Miller and 1975’s At Long Last Love. Both films were massacred by the critics. The latter film starred Burt Reynolds and proved to throw a monkey-wrench in both his and Cybill’s film career. Her cause wasn’t helped any when in 1974, she released her first album, Cybill Does It to Cole Porter, which was also produced by Bogdanovich. It was panned by the critics. These three flops brought more strain on her relationship with her lover/director. She refused to play in Nickelodeon, which he’d written specifically for her. In 1976, she somewhat re-established herself and her credibility in Hollywood thanks to her performance in Martin Scorsese’s, Taxi Driver. Now a classic, it went on to be placed N° 47 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time. However, she released that same year her second album, Mad About the Boy, which was equally panned by the critics like her debut album.
The 8 year Shepherd/Bogdanovich affair had begun during the filming of The Last Picture Show. Cybill was 20 and Bogdanovich, 31. He was already married at the time. His wife, Polly Platt, had been the set designer on that film and shared two children with the director. Though the film had been a hit for the two, the young actress and the director were Hollywood poison to many. They were obnoxious and formed one of the most despised couples in Hollywood. However, that period also allowed Cybill to encircle herself with some of tinsel town’s most prestigious legends and stars: Orson Welles (who became a dear friend and source of advice to Cybill), Cary Grant, Jean Renoir, Alfred Hitchcock, and François Truffaut.
In 1972 and now living with Bogdanovich, Cybill began her much talked about relationship with Elvis Presley. Presley, as well known, was married to Priscilla Beaulieu Presley and had a daughter with her, Lisa Marie.
Presley and Cybill shared a mutual love of their Memphis. On their first date, they went to the movies together. Though they kept the affair a secret, Presley eventually wanted the former supermodel and beauty queen to choose between him and Bogdanovich. When she didn’t, Presley ended the relationship. Her indecision had nothing to do with Presley’s drug addiction. She claimed that she never saw him consume drugs. Together with Bogdanovich again, they made the May 13, 1974 cover of People magazine. They finally ended the relationship when Bogdanovich refused to have children with Cybill after his messy divorce. He claimed that he didn’t need more kid because he and his ex-wife already shared two kids.
Fed up with the drama and scandals that her Hollywood life had created and with her movie career going nowhere, Cybill moved back to Memphis. Once there, she waisted no time in getting to know David Ford, an auto parts dealer. She marryied him on November 19, 1978. Soon afterwards, she gave birth to her daughter Clementine, who was named after one of Cybill’s favourite films, My Darling Clementine.
In 1982, Cybill and Ford divorced. On March 1, 1987, she married the chiropractor, Bruce Oppenheim in Encino, California from Tyler Chiropractic and sons. The two had twin sons, Ariel and Zachariah. This pregnancy was written into Moonlighting. She and Oppenheim divorced in 1990.
After leaving Hollywood, Cybill continued to work on her acting. She did a lounge show in Virginia and got guest spots on shows such as Fantasy Island. In 1983, she got a role in the prime time soap, The Yellow Rose. Her performance in that led to her most memorable role of “Maddie” in Moonlighting. The show began in 1985 and was among the top ten shows by 1986 and garnered two Golden Globe awards and Emmy nominations for Shepherd. It was a well known fact that Cybill and her Moonlighting co-star Bruce Willis detested each other. That made for an very intense moments on the set during filming. The show ended in 1989 as a top rated show.
In 1990, Cybill reunited with Bogdanovich for Texasville, the sequel to The Last Picture Show. Though this movie was not a acclaimed as the 1972 film, Cybill’s star was as high as ever and she continued landing movie and television roles and countless television appearances. In 1994 she released another album, Talk Memphis to Me, which received far better reviews from the critics. She then put together a cabaret act based on her own stories and experiences. That act became the groundwork for her second hit comedy series, Cybill. Thanks to this show, Shepherd found herself in the limelight again. During its three year run, it garnered for her a new loyal fan base and a third and fourth Golden Globe awards and new Emmy nominations.
Nearly thirty years after becoming one of the undisputed top models of her day, Cybill Shepherd signed a deal with the cosmetics behemoth, L’Oreal. And by 1999, she talked of a 2000 presidential run in order to bring attention to her pro-choice platform.
In the Spring of 2000, she published her top selling 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.
In the book Cybill bared her soul and set the record straight on numerous issues. Also in the fall of 2000, she debuted in her talk show, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus”. That experience was short-lived as she was replaced as host in January 2001 a panel of five women. In May 2003, she starred as Martha Steward in television movie Martha, Inc.: The Story of Martha Stewart. In 2005, she went on to repeat that role in movie’s sequel, Martha Behind Bars.
Today, Cybill Shepherd shows no slowing down. She continues to model and act. She is an outspoken activist for issues including gay rights, civil rights and pro-choice rights. She not only was present at the opening of the Civil Rights museum in her native Memphis, but she also donated money so that it could see the day. She may even run for political office one day.
1. Hard Luck (2006)
2. Martha Behind Bars (2005) (TV) …. Martha Stewart
3. Detective (2005) (TV) …. Karen Ainslie
… aka Arthur Hailey’s Detective (USA: complete title)
4. Open Window (2005/I) …. Arlene
5. Signs and Voices (2004)
6. “I’m with Her” (2004)
7. “8 Simple Rules… for Dating My Teenage Daughter” (2003) TV Episode …. Maggie
8. Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘N’ Roll Generation Saved Hollywood (2003)
9. Martha, Inc.: The Story of Martha Stewart (2003) (TV) …. Martha Stewart
… aka Driven to Succeed (Australia: cable TV title)
10. Due East (2002) (TV) …. Nell Dugan
11. Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus (2000-2001)
12. Marine Life (2000) …. June Nordstrom
13. The Muse (1999) …. Cybill Shepherd
14. Journey of the Heart (1997) (TV) …. Janice Johnston
15. “Cybill” (1995- 1998) TV Series …. Cybill Sheridan (1995-1998)
16. The Last Word (1995) …. Kiki Taylor
17. While Justice Sleeps (1994) (TV) …. Jody Stokes
18. Baby Brokers (1994) (TV) …. Debbie Freeman
19. There Was a Little Boy (1993) (TV) …. Julie
20. Telling Secrets (1993) (TV) …. Faith Kelsey
… aka Contract for Murder
21. Stormy Weathers (1992) (TV) …. Samantha Weathers
22. Once Upon a Crime… (1992) …. Marilyn Schwary
23. Memphis (1992) (TV) …. Reeny Perdew
24. Married to It (1991) …. Claire Laurent
25. Which Way Home (1991) (TV) …. Karen Parsons
26. Alice (1990) …. Nancy Brill
27. Texasville (1990) …. Jacy Farrow
28. Picture This: The Times of Peter Bogdanovich in Archer City, Texas (1991) (documentary)
29. Chances Are (1989) …. Corinne Jeffries
30. “Moonlighting” …. (1986-1989)
31. The Long Hot Summer (1985) (TV) …. Eula Varner
32. Seduced (1985) (TV) …. Vicki Orloff
33. Moonlighting (1985) (TV) …. Madelyn ‘Maddie’ Hayes
34. Secrets of a Married Man (1984) (TV) …. Elaine
35. Masquerade (1983) (TV) …. Carla
36. “Masquerade” (1983) TV Episode …. Carla
37. “The Yellow Rose” (1983) TV Series …. Colleen Champion
38. “Fantasy Island” (1983) TV Episode …. Liz
39. The Return (1980)
40. Americathon (1979) …. Gold Girl
41. The Lady Vanishes (1979) …. Amanda Kelly
42. A Guide for the Married Woman (1978) (TV) …. Julie Walker
43. Silver Bears (1978) …. Debbie Luckman)
44. Aliens from Spaceship Earth (1977)
45. Special Delivery (1976) …. Mary Jane
46. Taxi Driver (1976) …. Betsy
47. At Long Last Love (1975) …. Brooke Carter
48. Daisy Miller (1974) …. Annie P. ‘Daisy’ Miller
49. The Heartbreak Kid (1972) …. Kelly Corcoran
50. The Last Picture Show (1971) …. Jacy Farrow
Producer – filmography
1. Journey of the Heart (1997) (TV) (co-executive producer)
2. “Cybill”(1995) TV Series (executive producer)
3. Stormy Weathers (1992) (TV) (executive producer)
4. Memphis (1992) (TV) (executive producer)
Writer – filmography
1. Memphis (1992) (TV) (teleplay)
Herself – Filmography
1. “The Tony Danza Show (2005); (2004)
2. “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch” (2005) TV Episode …. Herself
3. “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” (2005) TV Episode …. Herself
4. Unforgettable Moments in Television Entertainment (2005) (TV) …. Herself
5. “Corazón de…” (2005) TV Episode …. Herself
6. Signs and Voices (2004) …. Herself
7. “The Jane Pauley Show” (2004) TV Episode
8. “Friday Night with Jonathan Ross” (2004) TV Episode …. Herself
9. “GMTV” (2004) TV; (2002) TV
10. The Second Annual TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV (2004) (TV) ….
11. “Biography” :Cybill Shepherd (2004) TV Episode …. Herself
12. 101 Most Shocking Moments in Entertainment (2003) (TV) …. Herself
13. Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘N’ Roll Generation Saved Hollywood (2003)
14. “So Graham Norton” 2002) TV Episode …. Herself
15. “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” (2000) TV; Host (2000-2001)
16. “The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn” (2000) TV Episode …. Herself
17. “Just Shoot Me!” (2000) TV Episode …. Herself
18. “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” 2000) TV (1997) (1996)
19. “Larry King Live” (2000) TV
20. Entertainment Tonight Presents: ‘Moonlighting’ Exposed (2000) (TV)
21. “Dale’s All Stars” (2000)
22. Making ‘Taxi Driver’ (1999) (V)
23. The Last Picture Show: A Look Back (1999) (V)
24. “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” (1997)
25. The 47th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (1995) (TV)
26. “Hollywood Women” (1994) (mini) TV
27. “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” (1992) TV; (1977)
28. A Party for Richard Pryor (1991) (TV)
29. Picture This: The Times of Peter Bogdanovich in Archer City, Texas (1991
30. “Aspel & Company” (1990) TV
31. The 61st Annual Academy Awards (1989)
32. “Late Night with David Letterman” (1989)
33. Elvis: Memories (1985) (V)
The 44th Annual Academy Awards (1972) (TV)
“I think the measure of your success to a certain extent will be the amount of things written about you that aren’t true.”