“I was born deaf and it wouldn't be in my control to change it even if I wanted to. If I listened to them say, ‘You're deaf, so you can't do this,’ it would mean I'm allowing myself to believe that. I know I've earned the right to be who I am.” Shoshannah Stern
American actress Shoshannah Stern has appeared in film, on television and on the stage. She is perhaps best known for playing Bonnie Richmond in the CBS series “Jericho” (2006-2008). She received her first reoccurring role on the short lived show “Threat Matrix” (2003-2004) and had a role on “Weeds” (2005-2006). She has also guest starred in popular series like “ER” and “Boston Public.” Stern's film credits include “The Last Shot” (2004), “Adventures of Power” (2008) and “Hamill” (2010).
“I don't really think you can ever really prepare for acting. Anyone can go to acting classes and rattle off dates of famous playwrights' deaths. You'll ace the class, but that doesn't necessarily mean you'll land a role. That being said, I also think that my love for literature and translation and learning itself helped a lot. To be an actor, you have to know things, feel things. I think the more you know, the more you learn, the better of an actor you become. My love of the English language definitely paid off. Acting's all about interpretation and if you give an interesting or different approach to a classic piece of work, that's always a good thing in my opinion.” Shoshannah Stern
Childhood and Family:
“I am fourth generation deaf, which means everyone in my immediate family is deaf, so I grew up always having 100 percent accessibility to language and communication, which was wonderful and something so many deaf people don't have. On the flip side, even though I had some hearing, I wore hearing aids only when watching movies because hearing was really more of a distraction than a benefit for me. I had no reason to hear since everyone in my world was deaf and I went to a university for the deaf.” Shoshannah Stern
Shoshannah Stern was born on July 3, 1980, in Walnut Creek, California. Her parents are Ron Stern and Hedy Udowski-Stern. Her first language is American Sign Language, but she can read lips and speaks without an interpreter. Shoshannah was raised in Fremont, California, where she attended the California School for the Deaf. She is a graduate of the Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., the only liberal arts college for the deaf in the world. She was an English major at the university.
“I've never wanted to be anything else. My mother says that even my birth was dramatic. I'd always find excuses to act growing up, even if it was to make up a long-winded story about being an orphan to con some poor man out of buying me a candy bar when I was around 7 years old. I've never wanted to be a fireman or an astronaut like all the other kids my age. I always wanted to be an actor.” Shoshannah Stern
Shoshannah Stern made her first feature appearance in the 1999 comedy “The Auteur Theory,” by Evan Oppenheimer. The film, starring Alan Cox, Sean Gunn and Daniel Cantor, won Best of the Fest-Comedy at the 2000 Breckenridge Festival of Film. Her television debut arrived three years later when she was cast as Rebecca in an episode of The WB's sitcom “Off Centre” called “Hear No Evil, See No Package,” which aired on March 3, 2002. The following month, she was cast as Renee in “Great Expectations,” an episode of the NBC dramatic series “Providence” (1999-2002), which starred Melina Kanakaredes. Later that same year, she appeared on the David E. Kelley created show “Boston Public” episode titled “Chapter Fifty.”
Following a guest appearance in the medical hit series “ER” and Lifetime's “The Division” (both 2003), Stern landed her first regular series role as Holly Brodeen, a member of an elite government anti-terrorist task force, on the ABC series “Threat Matrix.” The show premiered on September 18, 2003, but was canceled after 14 episodes. She was then featured in the film “Justice,” a reunion with director/writer Evan Oppenheimer. The film starred Erik Palladino, Catherine Kellner and Daphne Rubin-Vega. She went on to appear as Steven's girlfriend in Jeff Nathanson's comedy “The Last Shot,” starring Matthew Broderick. In August 2005, Stern joined the cast of the Showtime series “Weeds.” She stayed with the show until September 2006, during which time she appeared in 16 episodes.
After leaving “Weeds,” Stern scored a regular role on the CBS post-apocalyptic dramatic series “Jericho,” playing Bonnie Richmond. Debuting on September 20, 2006, the show was axed after its first full season because of low ratings and the season finale aired on May 9, 2007. After a fan campaign, the show was brought back in February 2008 for a seven episode second season. However, it was canceled for a second time after that run. The last episode was broadcasted on March 25, 2008.
In 2008, Stern costarred with Ari Gold, Michael McKean and Jane Lynch in the comedy film “Adventures of Power,” which was directed and written by Gold. She also portrayed Valerie Parks in television’s “Sweet Nothing in My Ear,” which debuted on the CBS network as a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie on April 20, 2008. The film starred Jeff Daniels, Marlee Matlin and Noah Valencia. Still in 2008, she also appeared in an episode of “Cold Case” titled “Andy in C Minor.”
Recently, in 2010, Stern portrayed Sarah in two episodes of Fox's “Lie to Me” called “The Royal We” and “In the Red.” In addition, she starred as Kristi in the coming of age drama “Hamill” (2010),
Stern has also acted on stage in various productions and played Susan in “Open Window,” Sarah in “Children of a Lesser God,” Martine in “The Doctor in Spite of Himself,” Juliet in “Romeo & Juliet,” Annabelle in “The Cat and the Canary,” Gymnasia in “ A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” and Anne in “ Anne of Green Gables.” She also appeared as a dancer in “Aladdin” and joined an ensemble cast of “The Vagina Monologues.”