On February 28, 1948, Peter and Marguerite Lazzara welcomed a daughter, Bernadette, into the world. By the time she was six, Bernadette had starring roles on the television shows Juvenile Jury, Name That Tune, and The Horn and Hardart Children’s Hour. When she was nine, she decided to use the stage name “Bernadette Peters” to avoid any ethnic stereotyping. After performing in a touring production of Gypsy and receiving critical acclaim for her work in the musical Dames at Sea, the young actress made her Broadway debut in the show Johnny No-Trump (1967).
By the early 1970s, Bernadette had become one of the most sought after actresses on Broadway. She starred in the revival of On the Town in 1971; a performance that earned her her first Tony Award nomination. Three years later, she was nominated for Best Actress in a Musical by the Tony Awards and the Drama Desk Awards for her work in Mack & Mabel. In 1976, Bernadette made the jump to cinema and starred alongside Steve Martin in the films Silent Movie (1976) and The Jerk (1979).
From the 1980s to present day, Bernadette continues to work on Broadway, in film & television, record and release albums, and has even written several children’s books. Her most popular and critically acclaimed performances include her work in Pennies From Heaven (1981), Sunday in the Park with George (1984), Into the Woods (1987), Annie Get Your Gun (1999), Ally McBeal (2001), Gypsy (2003), and Mozart in the Jungle (2014-present). Bernadette is also involved in a number of philanthropic efforts including Broadway Barks and Broadway Cares.