Bernadette Peters' Life in Pictures

With a career spanning over 60 years, Bernadette Peters has appeared in countless Broadway musicals, blockbuster films, and hit TV shows. See her incredible career in pictures in honor of her 75th birthday

01 of 19

Bernadette Peters' Life Before Acting and Singing

Bernadette Peters' Life in Pictures
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Born Bernadette Lazzara on Feb. 28, 1948 to parents Marguerite and Peter Lazzara, the actress grew up in Queens, New York.

Peters' acting career started at age 3 as her mother put her on the show Juvenile Jury. After appearing on a handful of other shows including Name That Tune and The Horn and Hardart Children's Hour, Peters received her Actors Equity Card at the young age of 9.

02 of 19

Bernadette Peters on The Carol Burnett Show

Bernadette Peters' Life in Pictures
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After doing a number of stage performances, including the national tour of Gypsy and Broadway's Johnny No-Trump, Peters began transitioning to TV and film.

Some of her earlier work included The Carol Burnett Show and The Muppet Show. The latter earned her an Emmy nomination in 1978 for outstanding continuing or single performance by a supporting actress in a variety or musical.

03 of 19

Bernadette Peters in Silent Movie

Bernadette Peters' Life in Pictures
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In addition to appearing on TV, Peters also starred in a handful of films in the late '70s. In 1976, she played Vilma Kaplan in the Mel Brooks film Silent Movie, which earned her a Golden Globe Award nomination.

04 of 19

Bernadette Peters and Steve Martin's Relationship

Bernadette Peters' Life in Pictures
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Around the time her TV and film career started taking off, Peters began a relationship with actor Steve Martin in 1977 after reportedly meeting through his agent at the time. The couple dated for four years and appeared in a handful of films together.

05 of 19

Bernadette Peters in The Jerk

Bernadette Peters' Life in Pictures
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In 1979, Peters and Martin shared the screen in his comedy The Jerk, which he wrote and starred in (and in which they memorably duet). There are reports that Martin wrote the role of Peters' character specifically for her.

06 of 19

Bernadette Peters in Pennies from Heaven

Bernadette Peters' Life in Pictures
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A few years later, Peters and Martin shared the screen again in the 1981 musical romantic drama Pennies From Heaven. The film earned Peters a Golden Globe Award win for best motion picture actress in a comedy or musical.

07 of 19

Bernadette Peters in Annie

Bernadette Peters' Life in Pictures
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One of Peters' most notable film roles was in the 1982 adaptation of the 1977 Broadway musical Annie. In the film, Peters starred as Lily St. Regis alongside Tim Curry and Carol Burnett.

08 of 19

Bernadette Peters in Pink Cadillac

Bernadette Peters' Life in Pictures
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In 1989, Peters shared the screen with Clint Eastwood in the action comedy Pink Cadillac.

09 of 19

Bernadette Peters and Stephen Sondheim's Friendship

Bernadette Peters' Life in Pictures
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In the 1980s, Peters returned to the stage, appearing in different productions in New York, most notably several Stephen Sondheim musicals.

The two first met in 1971, but didn't actually work together until 13 years later when Peters starred in Sunday in the Park with George.

In addition to having a great working relationship, the two also maintained a strong friendship until his death in November 2021.

Following his death, Peters paid tribute to the Broadway legend, writing, "I am so so sad to lose my friend Steve Sondheim, He gave me so much to sing about I loved him dearly and will miss him so much, Thank you for all the gifts you gave the world Steve."

10 of 19

Bernadette Peters in Sunday in the Park With George

Bernadette Peters' Life in Pictures
Showtime/ Courtesy Everett Collection

After almost 10 years away, Peters returned to Broadway with her role as Dot/Marie in the Stephen Sondheim–James Lapine musical Sunday in the Park with George. The performance was not only met with rave reviews, but it also earned her a Tony nomination.

11 of 19

Bernadette Peters in Into the Woods

Bernadette Peters' Life in Pictures
Courtesy Everett Collection

Peters joined forces with Sondheim yet again for the 1987 musical, Into the Woods, in which she originated the iconic role of the Witch.

12 of 19

Bernadette Peters in Cinderella

Bernadette Peters' Life in Pictures
Walt Disney Television/Courtesy Everett Collection

Following all of her Broadway success, including roles in Neil Simon's The Goodbye Girl and the 1999 Broadway revival of Annie Get Your Gun, Peters took her musical talents back to the small screen with the 1997 TV movie Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella.

Peters played the stepmother alongside a star-studded cast including Brandy, Whitney Houston, Jason Alexander, Whoopi Goldberg and Victor Garber.

13 of 19

Bernadette Peters' Tony Awards

Bernadette Peters' Life in Pictures
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In 1986, Peters took home the Tony Award for best actress in a musical for her performance in Song and Dance. She later took home her second Tony in 1999 for her performance in Annie Get Your Gun.

Overall, Peters has received seven nominations for Tony Awards, with two wins and an honorary award in 2012.

14 of 19

Bernadette Peters and Michael Wittenberg's Relationship

Bernadette Peters' Life in Pictures
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On July 20, 1996, Peters married investment adviser Michael Wittenberg at the home of her friend Mary Tyler Moore. According to Peters, they first met in front of her apartment one night as she was waiting on a date.

"Michael was on his way to a charity event and was in a tuxedo," she told the Philadelphia City Paper in 2000, according to Broadway.com. "So he walked up to me, a stranger, and said: 'Are you ready to go?' How's that for a sense of confidence and a sense of humor?"

In September 2005, Wittenberg tragically died at age 43 in a helicopter crash in Montenegro while on a business trip.

15 of 19

Bernadette Peters on Smash

Bernadette Peters' Life in Pictures
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In the mid-2000s, Peters appeared on a handful of hit TV shows, including Will & Grace, Grey's Anatomy and Ugly Betty.

She also had a guest-starring role on the short-lived musical drama Smash as the mother of Ivy (played by Megan Hilty).

16 of 19

Bernadette Peters on Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist

Bernadette Peters' Life in Pictures
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In 2021, Peters had a guest-starring role on NBC's musical drama Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist. She ended up receiving a Emmy nomatinon for outstanding guest actress in a comedy series for her role.

17 of 19

Bernadette Peters in Hello, Dolly!

Bernadette Peters' Life in Pictures
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In 2018, Peters made a grand return to Broadway as she took on the lead role in the revival of Hello, Dolly!, which was previously played by Bette Midler.

18 of 19

Bernadette Peters' Animal Advocacy

Bernadette Peters
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The actress channels her longtime love of animals into her Broadway Barks charity, which she co-founded with her late friend Mary Tyler Moore. Its annual fundraiser benefits New York City shelters and animal adoption agencies; she has also written three children's books to contribute to the cause.

19 of 19

Bernadette Peters' Recent Work

Bernadette Peters at THE 75TH ANNUAL TONY AWARDS, live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Sunday, June 12 on the CBS Television Network.
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Peters is slated to make her West End debut in the Stephen Sondheim tribute revue Old Friends, which is scheduled to open on Sept. 16, 2023.

Peters previously paid tribute to the late composer during the 75th Annual Tony Awards in June 2022, where she performed "Children Will Listen" from Into the Woods, which she starred in during the original Broadway production in 1987.

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