The former cover girl dated Elvis and bombed in her movie debut. The bigtime came with De Niro in 'Taxi Driver', 'Moonlighting' with Bruce Willis, and her award winning sitcom.
Cybill Shepherd's pre-acting career included a runner-up prize in the Miss Teenage America pageant, and many modelling jobs. At nineteen, she briefly dated Elvis Presley.
She was spotted on a magazine cover by film director Peter Bogdanovich, who selected her to play a small town heartbreaker in his prestigious 1971 film, 'The Last Picture Show'. Shepherd was praised for her cinematic debut, though the reviews devoted more space to her diving-board striptease than her lines.
Except for a part in 'The Heartbreak Kid', Shepherd did most of her early film work for Bogdanovich, her lover as well as her mentor. Reviewers were barely tolerant of her performance in 'Daisy Miller', but she recovered, and did well in Martin Scorsese's 'Taxi Driver'.
With her starring role in the popular detective/comedy weekly 'Moonlighting', Shepherd made up for lost time and attained star status. Shepherd, and co-star Bruce Willis, played the reluctant partners in a failing detective agency, but the plotlines were secondary to the banter and witticisms between the stars.
An instant success, 'Moonlighting' was plagued with production problems, almost from the outset. Shepherd and Willis made no secret of their distaste for one another, and both behaved badly to those around them. Firings and tantrums were almost everyday occurrences on the set.
Soon it became an event if 'Moonlighting' ran something other than a repeat. In 1987, Shepherd became pregnant with twins, which forced a speed-up in production and some wildly convoluted scripts to accommodate the actress' condition. Power struggles continued between Shepherd and producer Glenn Caron, and 'Moonlighting' was finally cancelled in 1989.
After a moderately successful return to the big screen in films such as 'Texasville' (1990), the under-whelming sequel to 'The Last Picture Show' (1971), she returned to the box with 'Memphis' (1992), a TV-movie she co-wrote with Larry McMurtry. However, she was soon to achieve her most sustained singular success as a comedienne in the situation comedy 'Cybill' (1995), for which she won a Gloden Globe and was three times nominated for an Emmy.
In 2000, Shepherd's bestselling autobiography was published, titled 'Cybill Disobedience: How I Survived Beauty Pageants, Elvis, Sex, Bruce Willis, Lies, Marriage, Motherhood, Hollywood, and the Irrepressible Urge to Say What I Think', written in collaboration with Aimee Lee Ball.
Most recently, Shepherd has been appearing on the US Showtime drama, 'The L Word', as the character Phyllis Kroll. She also helped get her real-life daughter Clementine Ford the role of her on screen daughter. She also appeared in 'The Client List' in a prominent role.