Sonny Bono

Sonny Bono

  • Highest Rated: 98% Hairspray (1988)
  • Lowest Rated: 0% Good Times (1967)
  • Birthday: Feb 16, 1935
  • Birthplace: Not Available
  • Sonny Bono found success in wildly different venues. From the late '60s through the early '70s, he was best known as the driving force in the pop duo Sonny and Cher. He was also an actor, the owner of a small restaurant chain, the longtime mayor of Palm Springs, CA, and a United States Congressman representing California's 44th Congressional District. A first-generation Sicilian-American from Detroit, Bono (born Salvatore Bono) was raised in Los Angeles since early childhood. Though his parents wanted him to be a doctor, Bono had his eye on becoming a performer. In the late '50s, he was hired as a songwriter and singer for Dig Records and had his first hit with "Needles and Pins." When he first teamed up with willowy and exotic-looking teenager Cherilyn Sarkisian, they billed themselves as Caesar and Cleo; later they married and became Sonny and Cher. They had their first successful single with "Baby Don't Go." The two went on to have more major chart success with songs such as "I Got You Babe" and "The Beat Goes On." Sonny and Cher also recorded separately and Bono had success with "Laugh at Me." At the peak of their popularity as singers, the duo appeared as themselves in a couple of films with their largest role in Good Times (1967). In 1969, Bono wrote the screenplay and music and produced a vehicle for Cher, Chastity. In the late '60s, Bono saw that the popularity of Sonny and Cher was in decline -- in part because they took a public stand against drugs at a time when illegal drugs were hip -- and reworked their act and began getting nightclub bookings. The new Sonny and Cher act relied heavily on their comical patter in which the diminutive Sonny played the clueless straight man to the tall, cool, hip, and tart-tongued Cher. The act was popular and the two were given a summer variety show on CBS in 1971 that featured much of the writing staff from the recently canceled and controversial Smothers Brothers program. The show became a hit and ran through 1974. By that time the couple had divorced and went on to make unsuccessful bids at solo series before reuniting again with a new version of their show in 1977. Unfortunately, they were unable to capture the magic of their first show and the new show was canceled. In 1975, Bono made his solo debut as an actor in the made-for-TV movie Murder on Flight 502. He subsequently continued the occasional film appearance as an actor through the '80s, and in 1994 made a cameo appearance in the comedy First Kid. In 1982, he opened a restaurant, BONO, in West Hollywood and after it became a hot spot, he opened another in Houston. It too was a success, but he eventually sold them both to open another BONO restaurant in Palm Springs that specialized in authentic Sicilian cuisine based on old family recipes.In 1988, conservative Republican Bono was elected Mayor of Palm Springs by a landslide and played an integral role in enlarging and rejuvenating the popular desert resort community. Interestingly, up until a year before the election, Bono had never been a registered voter. The Palm Springs International Film Festival was one of many community events he helped launch. Despite his contributions to Palm Springs, critics questioned his income, which was allegedly higher after becoming the mayor than it was when he was a businessman. Bono rose above the allegations and remained popular. He made an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate in 1991. However, in 1994, he successfully ran for Congress where, in addition to his legislative duties, he was appointed by the Speaker of the House to chair the Entertainment Industry Task Force. As a conservative, Bono was known for being outspoken and even blunt in his assessment of policies and issues. That he tempered his views, which included a stand against the National Endowment for the Arts and same sex marriages (this despite the fact that his first daughter Chastity is a lesbian activist), with humor did little to soften their impact. On the other ha

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Rating

Title

Credit

Box
Office

Year

87% Mayor of the Sunset Strip Actor 2004
96% Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea Actor 2004
No Score Yet Sixties Soft Rock Actor 2004
23% First Kid Congressman Sonny Bono 1996
No Score Yet Under the Boardwalk Ancient Two 1989
No Score Yet Rockin' the Night Away Actor 1988
98% Hairspray Franklin von Tussle 1988
No Score Yet Dirty Laundry Maurice 1987
25% Troll Peter Dickinson 1986
No Score Yet The Vals Spaced-Out Guest 1985
42% Airplane 2 - The Sequel Bomber 1982
No Score Yet Balboa Terry Carlo 1982
No Score Yet Murder in Music City Actor 1979
No Score Yet Escape to Athena Rotelli 1979
No Score Yet Murder on Flight 502 Actor 1975
No Score Yet Sonny & Cher - Nitty Gritty Hour Actor 1970
No Score Yet Chastity Producer Screenwriter 1969
No Score Yet 420 Triple Feature Actor 1968
0% Good Times Himself 1967
No Score Yet Wild on the Beach Himself 1965

TV

Rating

Title

Credit

Year

86% Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
1993-1997
Mayor Berkowitz
  • 1993
No Score Yet Blossom
1991-1995
  • 1991
No Score Yet The Golden Girls
1985-1992
Guest
  • 1990
No Score Yet Murder, She Wrote
1984-1996
Valentino Reggiore
  • 1988
No Score Yet Charlie's Angels
1976-1981
Walrus
  • 1980
No Score Yet CHiPs
1977-1983
Mike
  • 1980
No Score Yet Marcus Welby, M.D.
1969-1976
Rico
  • 1973
100% The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
1964-1968
  • 1967

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