Sandahl Bergman

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Sandahl Bergman
BornSandahl Bergman
(1951-11-14) November 14, 1951 (age 62)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
OccupationActress, stuntwoman
Years active1980 - 2003
Spouse(s)Josh Taylor (divorced)
 
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Sandahl Bergman
BornSandahl Bergman
(1951-11-14) November 14, 1951 (age 62)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
OccupationActress, stuntwoman
Years active1980 - 2003
Spouse(s)Josh Taylor (divorced)

Sandahl Bergman (born November 14, 1951) is an American dancer, stuntwoman, and actress.

Early life and Broadway[edit]

Bergman was born in Kansas City, Missouri. A statuesque blonde, she is six feet tall but always said 5'12" because "no girl should have to be six feet tall." She graduated from Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, Kansas.

In her 20s, she moved to New York City and appeared in a number of Broadway shows, catching the eye of choreographer Bob Fosse who cast her as a replacement dancer in Pippin. She had a secondary lead in the stage version of the film Gigi in 1973, and later appeared in Mack & Mabel, and as Judy in the renowned "new New York cast" of A Chorus Line (when many of the original actors left the show in 1977). She was cast again by Fosse in his critically acclaimed 1978 dance concert/musical Dancin', which featured many of the top dancers on Broadway at the time.[1]

Film career[edit]

Bergman's movie career began in 1978 with a small role in the TV film How to Pick Up Girls. She followed this in 1979 with a noted appearance as a dancer in the Fosse film All That Jazz, in which she was a featured performer in the "Air-otica" sequence.[2] In the 1980 movie Xanadu, she appears as one of the nine immortal Muses during the opening song "I'm Alive" by ELO as well as the final title number of Xanadu.

Bergman's participation in Xanadu also led indirectly to her eviction from her apartment in New York and her subsequent relocation to California. She had been subletting her apartment in New York in defiance of a clause in her agreement with her landlord, and during her four months in California for filming, he became aware of the situation. Bergman says that she never returned to New York, instead having friends pack and ship her clothes to her.[3][dead link]

Her best-known role was playing Valeria opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1982 film Conan the Barbarian. She won the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year - Actress for her role in the film. Because no stunt women could be found to match her size, she learned to do all her own stunt work. She commented on the experience, "It was tough. I nearly lost a finger. Arnold smashed his head against a rock. But that was nothing compared to what the stunt men went through."

In 1985, she played a different character, Queen Gedren, in another Conanesque film, Red Sonja. She was offered the title role, but asked to play the villainess instead. After that, she appeared in a series of low-budget films, such as 1987's Hell Comes to Frogtown. Her most recent work was in 2003, when at the age of 52, she appeared as a dancer in the film version of The Singing Detective.

Other appearances include a lunar base officer in the movie Airplane II: The Sequel, the music video "Heavy Metal Love" by the band Helix and the Fred Olen Ray film Possessed by the Night, and guest appearances on television, such as Hart to Hart and Moonlighting. Bergman worked as an instructor for the FIRM series of exercise videos in the 1980s.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1974MameDancerUncredited
1978How to Pick Up Girls!Blonde joggerTelevision movie
1979All That JazzPrincipal Dancer
1982XanaduMuse 1
1982SheShe
1982Conan the BarbarianValeriaGolden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress
Saturn Award for Best Actress
1982Airplane II: The SequelOfficer #1
1984Getting PhysicalNadine CawleyTelevision movie
1985The FerretChandraTelevision movie
1985Red SonjaQueen GedrenNominated—Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress
1986Stewardess SchoolWanda Polanski
1987Programmed to KillSamira
1987KandylandHarlow Divine
1988Hell Comes to FrogtownSpangle
1991Raw NerveGloria Freedman
1992In the Arms of a KillerNurse HenningerTelevision movie
1992Loving LuluLulu
1992Revenge on the HighwayPythonTelevision movie
1994Lipstick CameraLilly Miller
1994TekWar: TekJusticeValkyrieTelevision movie
1994Under Sanctum IISharon Reed
1994Night of the ArcherMarla Miles
1995Ice Cream ManMarion Cassera
1996The AssaultHelen
1999Sorceress II: The TemptressVirginia
2003The Singing DetectiveDancer

Television[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1970-1973The Dean Martin Comedy WorldGolddigger50 episodes
1982Hart to HartMirandaEpisode: "From the Depths of My Heart"
1986MoonlightingFemale DancerEpisode: "Big Man on Mulberry Street"
1988Dirty DancingDeliaEpisode: "Save the Last Dance for Me"
1989CheersJudy MarloweEpisode: "Send in the Crane"
1989Hard Time on Planet EarthDanielle SpencerEpisode: "Battle of the Sexes"
1990Freddy's NightmaresGinger 'Tracker' Morgan2 episodes
1990Designing WomenDavida DanielsEpisode: "Nowhere to Run To"
1991Swamp ThingSiennaEpisode: "Tremors of the Heart"
1992Dark JusticeMeredithEpisode: "Lead Rain"
1993Murder, She WroteSgt. Daisy KennyEpisode: "The Petrified Florist"
1994Silk StalkingsSgt. SteeleEpisode: "The Scarlet Shadow"
1994Under SuspicionPetrella GideonEpisode: "Serial Killer - Part 1"
1999SlidersLead Female DancerEpisode: "The Java Jive"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Internet Broadway Database
  2. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSHnK4dvi3w
  3. ^ Maiocco, Diana. "Big Woman on Mulberry Street", Moonlighting Strangers, February/March 2003 (Vol. 1, Issue 5), p. 24.

External links[edit]