On Stage at the Kennedy Center: The Mark Twain Prize Celebrating Lorne Michaels 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)
As the Emmy-winning star of TV's "Murphy Brown" (CBS, 1988-1998), Candice Bergen succeeded in making the public forget that long before embodying her sassy TV reporter alter ego, the actress had begun her career as a model and rather unsuccessful dramatic film actress before an Oscar-nominated turn in "Starting Over" (1979) paved the way for future comedic success. The beautiful Bergen was a child of Hollywood privilege, but early on made a name for herself as an independent, politically progressive feminist who also enjoyed a side career as a nationally published photojournalist. She let a good bit of her real life experience shine through in her work, often portraying professional, intellectual characters whose tough exteriors guarded an inner world of fragility. For "Murphy Brown," Bergen earned a record five Emmy awards for bringing unprecedented depth to a leading female TV character, transforming her into an icon of the 1990s working woman - and one who stood up to a real-life Vice President's character assassination after Murphy chose to have a child out of wedlock. After a decade of playing that revered character, she proved a perfect addition to the cast of the darkly comic legal drama "Boston Legal" (ABC, 2004-), going barb for barb with co-stars William Shatner and James Spader and proving age had only fine-tuned her comedic chops.