On this day in 1946, pop singer, song writer, Academy Award winning actress, producer and record producer, Cher was born Cherilyn Sarkisian in El Centro, CA. Her father was Armenian and her mother was of Cherokee, French and English descent. After her mother remarried and ran into financial difficulties, Cher was placed in temporary foster care. She eventually dropped out of high school due to severe undiagnosed dyslexia.
She met Sonny Bono, 11 years her senior, marrying him and singing together, eventually emerging as the duo, Sonny & Cher. There first hit was “I’ve Got You Babe” which reached the top of the charts in 1965. They had one child, Chastity, born in 1969.
After a brief career slump, talent scouts saw their act in Las Vegas and signed them for a variety special which led to the popular TV variety show, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour . The show ran from 1971 to 1974 collecting 15 Emmy’s. The show was canceled due to the couple’s divorce. Later that year, Cher married her second husband, rock star Gregg Allman. Their son, Elijah Blue, was born on July 10, 1976. They separated in 1977 and divorced two years later.
She went on to not just a successful career as a solo artist but stretched into acting making her movie debut in Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982) which earned her a Golden Globe nomination. In her next role in Silkwood (1983), she played Meryl Streep’s lesbian friend for which she received the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture and her first academy Award nomination. Her role as a mother of a severely disfigured boy in the critically acclaimed The Mask (1985), Cher won the Best Actress prize at the Cannes Film Festival and received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama. In 1987 Cher starred in three films, The Witches of Eastwick, Suspect and Moonstruck for which she received the academy Award for Best Actress in 1988.
She returned to singing and concerts. Her Fairwell Tour lasted three years (2002 – 2005). After a three year hiatus, Cher returned to the stage in Las Vegas where she still performs at Caesar’s Palace. The dance hit Believe (1999), selling over 10 million copies world wide ans she is the only female performer to have Top 100 Billboard hits for the last four consecutive decades. During her 40 years career she has sold over 100 million records world wide.
Happy Birthday, Cher