Sonny Bono was more of a caricature than an actor and most likely that was on purpose. He couldn’t be taken seriously beside Cher. Neither of them were talented so they had that in common. Sonny wrote their songs, releasing his only hit, Laugh at Me, which went to #10 on the top 100. video: Sonny & Cher perform 1966
The Sonny and Cher Show ran from 1971 to 1974 but came to an abrupt halt when they divorced. By all accounts Sonny was devastated. He later stated in an interview that it took him “ten years to get over Cher.” Must be the hair. They had one child together, a then girl, Chastity. More on that train wreck later. That’s when Sonny’s entertainment career took a nosedive. S & C’s last appearance together was on Late Night with David Letterman in 1987.
video: Sonny and Cher on Letterman
Sonny made appearances on those sitcoms where washed up celebrities go: Fantasy Island and Love Boat. Ouch. In 1982 he landed (pun) a small role in Airplane II.In 1986 he starred in the tongue-in-cheek horror Troll. He appeared on The Golden Girls. His last acting role was 1993 when made an appearance on The New Adventures of Superman. Sonny entered a new career in politics, becoming Mayor of Palm Springs from 1988 to 1992.
video: Sonny Bono Debate- trouble maker
video: 1991 – Sonny Bono David Letterman
Sonny died in 1998 from a skiing accident in Nevada (he skied into a tree…perhaps he saw Cher and turned his head to take another look).
video: Sonny’s Funeral Cher Speaks
video: Sonny Bono’s Grave
video: NBC Dateline – life and death of Sonny Bono
That’s where it gets tawdry.
In the early 1990s, Chastity Bono was outed as a fat lesbian by the press. Sonny wasn’t thrilled with the news. He was in politics and didn’t want the publicity. Cher wasn’t any better, yelling in rage. Such warm parents. However Chastity also had gender identity disorder and at 39 had sex reassignment surgery, mercifully after Sonny’s death. He goes by the name of Chaz. That’s Sonny and Cher’s parenting skills at work for you.
video: Cher Tells All About Sonny – Ellen Degeneres
video: MAD TV spoofs Sonny’s death
video: Chaz on It Gets Better site
video: Gender Switch Chastity Bono to become Chaz
video: Chastity Bono 1996 Part 2