In the 1990s, actress Crystal Bernard was a household name thanks to her role as the upbeat and energetic waitress Helen Chappel Hackett on the hit sitcom Wings. Alongside Tim Daly and Tony Shalhoub, Bernard brought humor and heart to the show for eight seasons as it charmed viewers. But while many of her co-stars went on to high-profile roles after Wings ended in 1997, Bernard seemed to disappear from the spotlight. So what exactly happened to Crystal Bernard after Wings?
Born on September 30th, 1961, in West Garland, Texas, Crystal Lynn Bernard was raised in an artistic family, singing gospel with her sister under the influence of her father, televangelist Jerry Wayne Bernard, and her mother, Gaylon, a teacher and artist.
Her passion for the performing arts blossomed early, leading to a video project on Tom Sawyer in middle school and further development of her acting skills at Houston’s Alley Theatre and Spring Hill School. After studying acting and international relations at Baylor University, Bernard moved to Los Angeles, initially pursuing a singing career before transitioning to acting.
Crystal Bernard’s acting career began with a guest role in the 1982 episode “Hot Muffins” of the TV series “Gimme a Break!” and her film debut the same year in “Young Doctors in Love.”
She gained prominence on “Happy Days” as K.C. Cunningham, Howard’s niece, appearing in 16 episodes from 1982 to 1983.
Bernard’s career continued to flourish with appearances in “Fantasy Island” and “The Love Boat,” leading to a significant role in the sitcom “It’s a Living.” In this series, set in a Los Angeles restaurant, she played waitress Amy Tompkins across 93 episodes. Although “It’s a Living” was initially canceled by ABC in 1982, it continued in syndication for four more years, featuring a cast that included Marian Mercer and Paul Kreppel.
Crystal Bernard’s most notable role was in the television comedy-drama “Wings,” where she starred from 1990 to 1997. The show, set in the fictional Tom Nevers Field airport in Nantucket, Massachusetts, revolved around the crew of a small airline.
Bernard played a character who managed the airport’s lunch counter, was a childhood friend of the main characters, brothers and pilots Joe and Brian Hackett, and served as a love interest.
Created by “Cheers” producers David Angell, Peter Casey, and David Lee, who also developed “Frasier,” “Wings” shared a fictional universe with these shows, featuring occasional crossovers. It enjoyed a successful run of eight seasons and 172 episodes.
What Did She Do After Wings?
After “Wings” concluded in the late 90s, Crystal Bernard shifted to low-budget films and TV movies like Hallmark’s “Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus” and “Meet the Santas,” and stage productions, while simultaneously pursuing her gospel music career.
She released two albums, “The Girl Next Door” (1996) and “Don’t Touch Me There” (1999), collaborated with artists like Peter Cetera and Jim Messina, and co-wrote “If I Were Your Girl” for Paula Abdul. Bernard retired from acting in 2008, choosing a private life akin to actress Traylor Howard, and was honored in 2003 with an induction into the Hair Fan’s Hall of Fame.
What is Crystal Bernard Doing Now?
Crystal Bernard has largely stepped away from the spotlight since her last television movie, “Grave Misconduct,” aired in 2008. Bernard made a deliberate choice to leave the entertainment industry.
She has maintained a low profile since retiring from acting, with no recent news, updates, or interviews about her, and she does not have a presence on social media platforms.
While specific details about her current activities are scarce, there are indications that she may have gotten married. Comments on another video about Bernard suggest that she married for the first time at age 57, having previously been skeptical about the institution of marriage. These comments, although unverified, hint at a significant change in her personal life.
Beyond this, it seems Bernard has chosen a path of privacy, focusing on living a life away from the public eye, a decision that has left her fans somewhat in the dark about her daily activities.