Crystal Bernard
Birth Date:
September 30, 1961
Birth Place:
Garland, Texas, USA
Famous for:
Her role as Helen Chappel Hackett on the sitcom Wings
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Crystal Bernard _160612


American actress and singer Crystal Bernard is best recalled as the foiled and glamorous cellist, Helen Chappel Hackett, on the popular television series “Wings” (syndication, 1990-1997). She previously portrayed Krystal “KC” Cunningham in the ABC comedy series “Happy Days” (1982-83) and Amy Tompkins on the syndicated sitcom “It's a Living”(1985-1989). She has also appeared in some films, including “Young Doctors in Love” (1982), “Gideon” (1999) and “Jackpot” (2001). On the music front, Bernard, who started out as a child entertainer by performing in gospel revivals with her father and sister, has released two countries albums, “Girl Next Door” (1996) and “Don't Touch Me There” (1999). She has written for Paula Abdul, Tracie Spencer,Lisa Stansfield, and Debbie and Angie Winans, among other artists.  

Bernard is a former longtime girlfriend of producer Tony Thomas, son of Danny Thomas. She was involved with Grammy winning producer/engineer/music mixer Michael Shipley.

Southern Girl

Childhood and Family:

Born on September 30, 1961, in Garland, Texas, Crystal Lynn Bernard was raised in a Southern Baptist household in the Oak Creek Village subdivision in Houston, Texas. She is the daughter of Dr. Jerry Wayne Bernard, a Baptist televangelist who traveled across the United States preaching and singing, and Gaylon Bernard. She has three sisters: Robyn Bernard (born May 26, 1959), Scarlett Lane Bernard (born February 6, 1970) and Angelique Bernard (born April 26, 1971). She and her older sister Robyn started as child entertainers by singing gospel songs with their father. Crystal studied acting at  at Alley Theatre while growing up in Houston. After graduating from Spring High School, she went to  Baylor University in Waco, TX, where she studied drama and international relations, before moving to Los Angeles to launch her acting career.

Girl Next Door    


Crystal Bernard began singing gospel at age 3 and would become part of the Bernard Trio, along with her father and older sister Robyn. The trio traveled the United Stated to perform at gospel revivals and recorded several gospel albums together. At age 14, Bernard (also with Robyn) performed in a Bobbie Gentry stage show in Las Vegas after the invitation of the Grammy winning artist.  

Already having rich singing experience before she reached adulthood, Bernard was originally intended to pursue a career as a songwriter but later became deeply fell in love with acting. After moving to Los Angeles, she appeared in a Pepsi commercial and broke into the big screen in 1982 with a substantial role as the roller-skating hooker on the Garry Marshall comedy “Young Doctors in Love,” opposite Sean Young and Michael McKean. After a guest spot in the Nell carter sitcom “Gimme a Break!” (1982), Bernard appeared as Ron Howard's niece, Krystal “KC” Cunningham, in the tenth season of the ABC comedy series “Happy Days” (1982-83), marking her TV series debut.     

In 1983, Bernard joined an ensemble cast that included Michael J. Fox, Anthony Edwards, and Crispin Glover in the NBC movie “High School U.S.A.,” directed by Rodney Amateau. There she played Anne-Marie Conklin. She continued making gust appearances in shows like “Fantasy Island” (1983), “The Master” (1984) and “The Love Boat” (1983, 1985) before securing her next TV series job on “It's a Living” when the sitcom aired in syndication from 1985 to 1989. She portrayed a new waitress named Amy Tompkins.

In 1987, Bernard starred as Courtney Bates in the slasher rock movie “Slumber Party Massacre II,” opposite Patrick Lowe, Kimberly McArthur, Juliette Cummins, Heidi Kozak and Joel Hoffman. She went on to film a failed television series pilot called “Chameleons,” along with Jaime Alba and Jim Antonio, and appear in episodes of “My Two Dads” and “Guns of Paradise” (all 1989).

Bernard's huge break arrived when she was cast as Helen Chappel, the cello-playing lunch counter waitress/owner at the airport on the NBC comedy series “Wings,” opposite Tim Daly and Steven Weber. She remained with the show throughout its eight season run from April 19, 1990 to May 21, 1997.

Meanwhile, Bernard took on roles on the television movies “Without Her Consent” (1990, as Marty), “When Will I Be Loved?” (as Julie Weston), “Lady Against the Odds” (1992, as Dol Bonner), “Miracle Child” (1993, as Lisa Porter), “As Good as Dead” (1995, as Susan Warfield), “Dying to Be Perfect: The Ellen Hart Pena Story” (as Ellen hart Pena) and “Siringo” (1996).

Bernard released a country album called “Girl Next Door” on October 29, 1996 under the indie River North label. It peaked at No. 47 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and No. 36 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers. The album produced three singles: “Have We Forgotten What Love Is” (1996, #56), “State of Mind” (1997, #70) and “You're Gonna Miss a Whole Lotta Love.” Bernard also recorded a Top 10 duet single with Peter Cetera, “(I Wanna Take) Forever Tonight” (1996), performed “Watching The River Run,” a duet sung with Jim Messina, and recorded  a cover version of “Photographs And Memories” on the 1997 various artists album, “Jim Croce: A Nashville Tribute” (1997). She co-wrote and co-produced the ballad “If I Were Your Girl” with Rhett Lawrence, which appeared on the Paula Abdul album “Head Over Heels” in 1996. She has written songs for other artists like Lisa Stansfield, Debbie and Angie Winans, and Tracie Spencer.    

Bernard launched her second studio album, “Don't Touch Me There,” on February 2, 1999. The title track charted at No. 25 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. The album featured a duet with her father on the closing “If You Need A Touch.” Bernard also produced and sang on her dad's album, “My Friend” (1999). 1999 saw roles on the made for TV films “The Secret Path,” “A Face to Kill for” and “To Love, Honor & Betray” and in the film “Gideon,” starring Christopher Lambert. Besides, she had a featured role on a Los Angeles stage production of “Crimes of the Heart.”

In 2001, Bernard made her Broadway debut in the revival of “Annie Get Your Gun,” where she played  Annie Oakley. The same year, she also appeared the Independent Spirit Award winner “Jackpot,” directed by Michael Polish and written by Michael and his brother, Mark Polish. Two years later, she appeared as Lisa Christie in an episode of “According to Jim” called “The Ring.” Bernard next starred as Beth in the made for TV films “Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus” and “Meet the Santa” (both 2005), as Debbie Laramie in the drama/family film “Welcome to Paradise” (2007), opposite Bobby Edner and Brian Dennehy, and as Julia London on the Lifetime thriller film “Grave Misconduct” (2008), with Fran Bennett.   

“We actors have to be conscious of ourselves; there's vanity involved. There's a competitiveness. There's something that's not appealing to me about myself that I try to get away from. I'm constantly trying. To see that in others, that doesn't feel like home to me.” Crystal Bernard     


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