Name: Bernadette Lazzara
Born: February 28, 1948
Occupation: Actress, singer, author
Born in Ozone Park, Queen, New York, Bernadette Peters has been acting since the age of 3 ½, when her mother auditioned her for a roll on Juvenile Jury. She continued acting and appeared on a couple of other television shows at the age of five.
She took acting very seriously. At the age of 9, she applied for her Actors Equity Card and this is when she started going by Peters instead of Lazzara. She wanted to avoid ethnic stereotyping and she chose Peters because it was a derivative of her father’s first name – Peter. In January of 1958, not long after getting her card, she performed in her first stage show, This is Goggle. She went on to start in several stage and television productions. By the age of 13, people were noticing her voice. She was the understudy for a major role in Gypsy and later played Liesel in The Sound of Music.
All of this was accomplished before her high school graduation, and once she graduated Bernadette continued playing in a number of Off-Broadway productions. Her official Broadway debut happened in 1967 when she appeared in Johnny No-Trump. She had starred in dozens of Broadway productions and over 33 films and television movies.
Renowned for her work, Peters has been nominated for seven Tony Awards and has won twice. She also won three Drama Desk Awards and the honorary Isabelle Stevenson Award. She currently has an estimated net worth of $5 million.
How much is $5 million, really?
Peters has written several children’s books in order to support the animal charities she loves. He has a passion for animal adoption issues and could easily open her own animal rescue, should she choose. We’d rather see her spending her time educating children through books, though – and, of course, continuing her stage presence!