Golden Globe® nominee Bonnie Bedelia has appeared on film, television, and stage, and can currently be seen on ABC’s “Designated Survivor.” In this political drama, Bedelia appears as “first mother-in-law” Eva Booker in a recurring role alongside Kiefer Sutherland. Prior to “Desginated Survivor,” Bedelia portrayed Camille Braverman on NBC’s drama series “Parenthood,” on which she played the calm and winning matriarch of the Braverman family during the show’s successful six-season run.
Bedelia made her professional debut in a 1957 North Jersey Playhouse production of “Dr. Praetorius,” and then was handed a full scholarship to study at George Balanchine's New York City Ballet. But the acting bug had bitten and after dancing in only four productions, including playing the role of Clara in “The Nutcracker,” she decided to hang up her ballet slippers. She proceeded to study at both the HB Studio and Actors Studio in New York.
Bedelia nabbed a five-year role as young teen Sandy Porter in the New York-based daytime soap “Love of Life” starting in 1961. During that time she took her first Broadway bow in “Isle of Children,” a show that lasted but a week in March of 1962. She was also a replacement in the established hit comedy “Enter Laughing” a year later. After appearing in the stage play “The Playroom” in 1965, she earned strong reviews for her touching performance in “My Sweet Charlie,” for which she won the 1967 Theatre World Award for "promising new artist." In it she played a pregnant young Southern girl on the lam with a black lawyer.
Bedelia made her way out to Los Angeles with a classical repertory company, performing coveted roles in Shakespeare, Checkov, Ibson and Tennessee Williams. Thereafter, she made her feature debut lending topnotch support in The Gypsy Moths, which reunited From Here to Eternity stars Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr. She earned even better marks in her next two films, one performance simply haunting and the other one hilarious. Once again playing pregnant and once again delivering a touching pathos, she played the dirt-poor marathon dancer who pitches songs for pennies in the superb, award-winning, Depression-era drama They Shoot Horses, Don't They? On the other end of the acting spectrum, she played the lovable bride-to-be in the sidesplitting comedy classic Lovers and Other Strangers.
At the age of 33, Bedelia received critical acclaim and a Golden Globe® nomination for her role as racecar driver Shirley Muldowney in Jonathan Kaplan's Heart Like a Wheel. She starred opposite Kevin Kline in Violets Are Blue, Ed Harris in Stephen King's Needful Things, Keanu Reeves in The Prince of Pennsylvania for which she received an Independent Spirit Award nod, and Paul Newman in Roland Joffe's Fat Man and Little Boy. She chilled moviegoers as the deranged murderous wife of Harrison Ford in Alan Pakula's Presumed Innocent, and played Bruce Willis' endangered true love in Die Hard and Die Hard 2.
Bedelia found a niche in numerous television films with relevant social themes such as “The Elizabeth Morgan Story,” “Alex, The Life of a Child” and “Any Mother's Son,” for which she received a Cable Ace nomination. Her mini-series credits include “Switched at Birth,” “The Fire Next Time,” the Showtime drama “Judicial Consent,” and the HBO drama “Somebody Has to Shoot the Picture.” She was nominated for an Emmy for “Locked in Silence” and again for her performance in Stephen Soderbergh's “The Quiet Room.”
In a change of pace, Bedelia joined the ensemble cast of the low-budget cult comedy “Sordid Lives,” as Latrelle, a homophobic woman dealing with her mother's death, the imprisonment of her gay brother and her own son's “coming out.” The movie eventually became a TV series, which she also starred in. Recently, she starred as Captain Kate McCafferty on the Lifetime Television drama series “The Division.”
In 2006 she was presented with the Women in Film Nell Shipman Award for Career Achievement. In 2012, Bedelia was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award for Acting from the Ojai Film Festival. The native New Yorker is mother to two grown sons has been happily married for many years to actor Michael MacRae.