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It’s nearly impossible to recall a time when Cher wasn’t around — in terms of longevity alone, she’s been performing for the past five decades. Her mix of humor and sexuality has been a staple of her beginnings on the Sonny & Cher Show and with hit roles in such films as Moonstruck and Mermaids. 1987’s Suspect, however, brings audiences Cher as they’ve never seen her before.

She’s a smart, tough-as-nails, no-nonsense Washington public defender who lives entirely for her work. She even wears glasses. In this chilling courtroom thriller, Kathleen (Cher) is tasked with a tough case. A judge commits suicide, a secretary is found murdered and a homeless deaf-mute vagrant Vietnam vet named Carl Wayne Anderson (Liam Neeson) is charged with the crime. Amid a circle of corruption, she sets out to find the real killer, with the help of a seductive juror and Washington lobbyist Eddie Sanger (Dennis Quaid).

Even with strong performances by Quaid and Neeson, Cher turns out to be most endearing — and most credible — in this role. Get to know the Academy Award-winning actress, singer and surprise Suspect success.

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Cher
1. She was born Cherilyn Sarkisian in 1946 in the isolated California desert community of El Centro. Her father was Armenian, and her mother was part-Cherokee.

2. By the time "I Got You, Babe" hit the charts in 1965, Sonny Bono and Cher were considered America’s darlings and became the archetype of hippie love. Soon after, CBS created a one-hour, kitschy television variety show — The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour — that attracted fans with witty banter and chemistry.

3. Cher was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 30.

4. Her Oscar-winning role in 1987’s Moonstruck was originally offered to Sally Field, who turned it down.

5. Cher earned $1 million for both Suspect and Moonstruck, and three years later, she made $4 million in Mermaids.

6. Besides Sonny, Cher married rock star Gregg Allman but quickly divorced. She has also had several very public relationships, including one with Warren Beatty, record executive David Geffen and Kiss guitarist Gene Simmons. She has also been rumored to date younger stars such as Eric Stoltz and Val Kilmer.

7. Before her career comeback in the ’90s, she quickly became known as the Infomercial Queen, pitching hair-care products, and served as the punchline of many late-night TV jokes.

8. She actually wanted to play Morticia in 1991’s The Addams Family, but the part went to Anjelica Huston.

9. In an interview with Barbara Walters, Cher said she would like to be remembered as "somebody who succeeded at everything she attempted, despite not being terribly talented."

10. She and Barbra Streisand are the only two female performers in the U.S. to have earned both a No. 1 single and an Academy Award. Cher is the only certified female performer in music history to have had a U.S. No. 1 single in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

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