Cher was born as Cherilyn Sarkisian in 1946 to an alcoholic truck driver named John Sarkisian and an occasional model and actress named Jackie Jean Crouch. Her parents eventually divorced and remarried multiple times, but Cher considers her mother's second husband to be her true father.
Cher was born in El Centro, California, but her family moved around the country many times during her childhood, ending up in places such as New York and Texas. Cher secured her first acting gig thanks to her mother as an extra on the television show "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" alongside her half sister. Cher had developed an oddly low voice by the age of nine. She produced a version of the play "Oklahoma!" in the fifth with different girls from her school. However, since boys did not want to participate, she sang their songs instead.
Cher secured her television show with then-husband Sonny Bono after CBS head of programming Fred Silverman noticed them as guest hosts on "The Merv Griffin Show" in 1971. "The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour" was originally ordered as a summer replacement series with six episodes, but its high ratings eventually led to a total of four seasons. The couple eventually divorced, ending the show's run, but they reunited for two seasons of another show titled "The Sonny & Cher Show."