Bebe Neuwirth was born on 31st December 1958. She is a famous American actress, dancer, and singer who became famous by playing three diverse roles in the Broadway show Chicago. She is a passionate dancer and has been a fan of performing arts since childhood.
Bebe started taking ballet lessons when she was 5 years old.
Bebe Neuwirth was born to Lee Paul Neuwirth in Newark, New Jersey. Bebe’s father was a mathematician at Princeton University, while her mother was her inspiration as she was a painter and a dancer. She completed her education in performing arts from the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City. She had majored in dance, which was her passion.
Bebe talks about how viewing Pippin in Manhattan opened her eyes to her future. She realized that then ballet classes in her area were not so progressive and holistic. So, she tweaked her plans to become a ballerina and aspired to become a Broadway musical dancer.
After leaving Juilliard within a year after enrolling in the dance program, Bebe Neuwirth studied acting from Suzanne Shepherd. Her debut on Broadway was the role of Sheila in A Chorus Line in 1980. The debut was a hit, and she later did some inspiring work in revivals of Little Me (1982) and Sweet Charity (1986). She won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for the latter.
Bebe Neuwirth’s most award-winning performance was her role Velma Kelly in the Broadway revival of Chicago. Her performance in the show was excellent. This role brought her stage recognition along with several awards, including Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, Tony Award, and Drama Desk Award.
In addition to her theatre performances, Bebe Neuwirth also won a Tony Award for her role in Sweet Charity in 1985. During the same time, she also auditioned for a role in the TV series Cheers. According to Bebe Neuwirth, she never considered herself a TV or movie actress, but the role of Dr. Lilith Sternin was so loved and appreciated that the writers wrote her character as a recurring one in the series.
In the classic sitcom Frasier, Neuwirth’s character was married to the star of the show, Frasier Crane (Played by Kelsey Grammer), and appeared from season four to nine. Her character on the show Cheers won her two Emmy Awards in 1990 and 1991. She also appeared in the show’s spin-off Frasier and got an Emmy nomination in 1995 for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.
Her movie career took off with small roles in several movies, such as Say Anything (1989), Penny Ante (1990), and Pacific Heights (1990). This was all followed by her lead role in a movie in 1993, which was of a married woman with a psychological illness. It was a thriller comedy film, The Paint Job.
Bebe Neuwirth’s other big movie credits include:
- Summer of Sam
- An Extremely Goofy Movie
- Liberty Heights
- The Adventures of Pinocchio
- How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
- The Big Bounce
- The Faculty
- Le Divorce
- Celebrity by Woody Allen
Her only Oscar nomination theatre play was in 1996 called Dear Diary. She did a lead role in the play. It was initially recorded as a pilot for a TV series. When the pilot did not pick up, the producers edited the episode to make a single theatre play, and it got an Oscar.
Bebe Neuwirth met and fell in love with Paul Dorman and married him in 1984 in Newark. He was a bartender at a restaurant in New York City, where she was performing. The couple, however, got divorced in 1991. She got married again in 2009 to Chris Calkins – a director, writer, and producer.
The actress has undergone two hip replacement surgeries, after which she got inclined to start The Actor’s Fund. This fund aimed to cater financial and physical problems of dancers who faced problems as she faced. She serves as vice-chair on the board of trustees of the fund.
Bebe Neuwirth is a renowned actress in the American industry and has fans all over the world. She is loved and appreciated by viewers of all ages. She talks about how theatre has always been her first love, even if she worked on TV or the big screen.