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Cybill Shepherd Steps Forward to Claim Disgraced Ex-CBS Chairman Les Moonves Hurt her Career

Marion Charatan

Posted on December 23, 2018 16:09

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Cybill Shepherd's hit show "Cybill" only aired from 1995-1998. The actress says it's because she turned down ex CBS Chair Les Moonves' unwanted sexual advances.

I always liked Cybill Shepherd’s work in film and TV.  Shepherd's film debut was in The Last Picture Show in 1971. She was a fresh-faced ingénue, the ‘prettiest girl in town’ who played Timothy Bottoms' girlfriend Jacy Farrow in a coming of age story set in a small Texas town in the early '50s. Director Peter Bogdonavich first spotted Shepard on the cover of Glamour magazine and was smitten. He cast the young model in her pivotal first film role. His professional involvement with the 21-year-old turned personal and led to the dissolution of his marriage to Poly Platt, his creative partner and the mother of his 2 daughters.

Shepherd went on to have many diverse roles; notably in the classic Taxi Driver (1976) a psychological thriller with Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster; directed by Martin Scorsese. She later landed starring parts in two TV series -- Moonlighting with Bruce Willis and Cybill with Christine Baranski.

I happened to catch Cybill when I was having one of my insomnia bouts. I have to say I found it entertaining. Sheperd has a streetwise quality about her. As she’s matured, she could came off as a bit rough around the edges but is still very likeable. Maybe dealing with Hollywood shenanigans toughens up the best of ‘em.

Shepherd recently alleged that her show was axed because she rebuffed the advances of Les Moonves, the ex- Head of CBS Television.  I believe her. Moonves has been accused of sexual misconduct by 12 women.

Unless you live in a bubble, you know the man widely credited for CBS's broad-ranging success resigned last September in shame.  Moonves said any interaction with any women was consensual.

Seeing Cybill again, I do wonder why the show only lasted three years (1995-1998). And I also wonder about the ethereal Mira Sorvino, who won a Best Supporting Oscar for Mighty Aphrodite in 1996. What happened to her? It was odd that Sorvino never achieved the level of career success much less talented actresses have enjoyed.

Then there was Ashley Judd. When I watched her in the 1999 crime thriller Double Jeopardy, I thought she was a skilled actor and we'd all see her work a lot more. And there is Les Moonves' wife Julie Chen, who resigned from her host position on The View after 8 years. Residual damage perhaps?

Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd claimed Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed them. Cybill Shepherd said Les Moonves was her harrasser. Anyone under the law should be considered innocent until proven guilty. But so many accusers?!? Weinstein had 80 and Moonves 12 to date.

It appears Shepherd, Sorvino and Judd’s careers did take huge hits. By most standards, they are all successful women but it would have been interesting to see how their careers might have played out, if decision makers like Harvey Weinstein and Les Moonves had not been in the picture and did not (allegedly) abuse their power and forfeit their morality.

Marion Charatan

Posted on December 23, 2018 16:09

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