Birthplace: Flint, Michigan
After a career as a Beverly Hills pedicurist and “in-your-face” stand-up comedy, she landed the coveted role of Masha opposite Robert De Niro in Martin Scorsese's The King of Comedy (1983). Her performance earned her a National Society of Film Critics Award for best supporting actress, but her film career failed to take off and she went back to the stage. Her hit one-woman Off-Broadway show Without You I'm Nothing (1988) became a movie in 1990. She worked in television as Nancy Bartlett on Roseanne (1991–97). Bernhard's status as a cult icon is reinforced through her friendship with Madonna and frequent appearances on Late Night with David Letterman.