For years she was Edgar Bergen's private treasure. "My husband was adorable," she says of the famed ventriloquist who died in 1978, "but...he didn't want me to work. Once, I really wanted to do a project, and he said, 'You would leave me and the baby?' The baby, Candy, was about 11. I'm not bitter, but I did have to obey. I was raised the same way." The baby, Candice, is now the luminous star of Murphy Brown
and parent of a 5-year-old, and Frances is making movies—a delicious turn in American Gigolo
some years back and now a starring role in the clever confessional Eating
. Says her director, Henry Jaglom: "She has the elegance of another time and the hipness of today." Bergen doesn't worry that roles and wrinkles are arriving at the same time. "I just go along with them and say, 'Oh, there's my character coming out.' "