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October 20, 2020

Creepy Pictures of Young Actress Candice Bergen Posing With Her Dad’s Famous Puppet, Charlie McCarthy, in 1950

“Let’s get one thing straight: I don’t want your pity. However, this photo of Charlie McCarthy and me in our matching feety pajamas neatly sums up my childhood. My father was a ventriloquist—on the radio—and the dummy he created was a cocky, charming character who went on to become an icon in 1940s and ’50s America. While technically an only child, I was always known—as a kid, at least—as ‘Charlie’s sister.’ Now I want your pity. Is it any wonder my early performances in film were referred to as ‘wooden’?

“This picture was one of many photo ops that people in the entertainment business were required to do for fan magazines to maintain ‘awareness.’ It shows the two of us from a Christmas layout taken at our home in Beverly Hills; I was four. The curse of having a wooden brother. That would not be reversed until some 30 years later when, playing Murphy Brown, I realized I was channeling Charlie.”

Born to famous parents Edgar Bergen, best known for his ventriloquist act alongside dummy Charlie McCarthy, and Frances Westcott, a professional model, Candice was destined for stardom. Best known for her role as Murphy Brown on the CBS sitcom by the same name, Candice quickly made a name for herself, and quite a fortune of her own.

In her memoir A Fine Romance from 2015, Candice Bergen wrote about having to constantly compete for her father’s attention (when she was growing up the puppet had a bigger room than her). When her father died in 1978, he left in his will $10,000 to the puppet; she got nothing.

In leaving the money, Edgar wrote: “I make this provision for sentimental reasons which to me are vital due to the association with Charlie McCarthy who has been my constant companion and who has taken on the character of a real person and from whom I have never been separated even for a day.” It is unclear who actually claims the cash, considering that Charlie is a puppet.

“I’d chased my father’s approval all my life and here was proof I’d never get it,” the actress said of her father’s estate in her memoir. “I was hurt, shocked when I discovered he had left me out of his will.” Luckily, the cold relationship with her father did not prevent her from marrying and becoming a mom.


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