Badass Ladies of History – Candice Bergen

Young Candice Bergen Modeling Photo
Beautiful! She was a model when she was young.

OK, I know she’s more of a Badass Lady of Now, but still it turns out that Candice Bergen is kind of awesome.  She was on House last week and I remembered how much I loved Murphy Brown. I also like her voice.  So I decided to do a little research.  It’s a small miracle that Candice Bergen has turned out as cool as she is.  You may know that her father is Edgar Bergen who was a famous ventriloquist from the 30’s to the 50’s (side-note, he was mainly a radio ventriloquist because he wasn’t actually that good. I love that).  Anyway, Candice Bergen was frequently referred to as “Charlie’s Sister” – Charlie being her father’s ventriloquist dummy.  If that isn’t something that would set most girls on to a LiLo path of self-destruction, I don’t know what is.  Not that she didn’t make some mistakes along the way.  She went to the University of Pennsylvania, but failed two classes and was kicked out.  She said it was because she said she couldn’t make it to her 8 am classes on time.  A girl after my own heart.

I am too young to remember Candice Bergen as the ’80s Have It All  feminist icon, but her role as such shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who remembers her character on Murphy Brown, raising the ire of Dan Quayle with her *scandalous* single motherhood.  Murphy Brown remains one of my top ladyghosts of TV past.  That may be because she doesn’t suffer fools, another trait I share. If her page is any indication, Bergen is still rockin’ the feminism for the over-50 set.  Her response to a wowowow question about whether she would date a younger man starts off with her saying: “Okay. First, it’s about time THAT sexist taboo was done away with. Once it was addressed, it disintegrated fairly quickly.”  She was a political activist in the ’60’s and participated in an Abbie Hoffman demonstration of throwing dollar bills onto the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, which resulted in it being temporarily shut down. Badass!  And! She was the first woman to host Saturday Night Live! Fun!

Mostly I think I just admire Bergen’s poise.  She seems like a classy dame.  And the vegetarians among our readers may be pleased to know that you can count Bergen among your ranks.  Friend to women and animals!

I will finish this off with a clip from The Muppet Show, where Candice Bergen is an enraged country housewife.

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