Bernadette Peters was born Bernadette Lazzara on February 28, 1948 in Queens, New York City. Peters is one of the most critically-acclaimed Broadway performers, having received nominations for seven Tony Awards, winning two, and eight Drama Desk Awards, winning three. Four of the Broadway cast albums on which she has starred have won Grammy Awards.
She first performed on the stage as a child and then a teenage actor in the 1960s, and in film and television in the 1970s. She was praised for this early work and for appearances on The Muppet Show (1976), The Carol Burnett Show (1991) and in other television work, and for her roles in films like Silent Movie (1976), The Jerk (1979), Pennies from Heaven (1981) and Annie (1982). In the 1980s, she returned to the theatre, where she became one of the best-known Broadway stars over the next three decades. She also has recorded six solo albums and several singles, as well as many cast albums, and performs regularly in her own solo concert act. Peters also continues to act in films and on television, where she has been nominated for three Emmy Awards and three Golden Globe Awards, winning once.
Peters is particularly noted for her starring roles in stage musicals, including "Song and Dance", "Sunday in the Park with George", "Into the Woods", "Annie Get Your Gun" and "Gypsy", becoming closely associated with composer Stephen Sondheim. She had a four-year romantic relationship with comedian Steve Martin and was married to investment adviser Michael Wittenberg for over nine years until he was killed in a helicopter crash on September 26, 2005. Peters is known for her charitable work, including as a founder of the Broadway Barks animal charity.