Bern Cohen grew up in New York City's Chinatown until his family moved to Long Island where he attended Valley Stream South High School and there was struck by the sense he loved acting and was adept at its nuances. He attended Adelphi University on a full scholarship and landed NYC stage roles while still in college. After graduation, he was successful on regional and off-Broadway stages until he left acting for education in his mid-twenties to more fully participate as a parent of two young children.
During his years as a young stage actor, highlights included work with Mercedes Reuhl, Samuel L. Jackson, Paul Price, Sesame Street, ZOOM, Rupert Holmes, Marsha Rodd and others. These experiences were put on hold while Bern established himself as an outstanding English teacher in NYC's Harlem and eventually a successful high school principal.
While an educator, Bern served as a consultant to National Geographic,Sesame Street, and WNET. He wrote several college textbooks in the field of education which brought him national recognition as an educational consultant.
In 2003, Bern returned to acting by studying with Penny Templeton (Acting for the Camera)and Ruth Nerkin (Camera Technique). After two years of study, Bern retired as a principal,sent out his resume and has been busy since.
During his first years back in acting, Bern had principal or featured roles in nearly twenty indie films of an unusually diverse nature, playing a mentally depraved judge, a Trump-like CEO, the ghost of Boss Tweed coming back to take over NYC, several different rabbis, a bizarre psychologist, and a nasty publisher, among others. He works with Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Jerry Ferrara in Alec Baldwin's recent Brooklyn Rules. Bern is also currently seen in the 27 Dresses.
During the 2008-2009 season, Bern has principal roles due out: as Lena Olin's agent in Devil You Know; Adam Pascal's foil in Goyband; and, Eli Wallach's antagonist in Tickling Leo. Bern's first starring role in a film is "Woodhaven Pause," a Fall '08 festival release in which he plays an abusive father who must eventually be cared for by the son who hates him because of the abuse.
On the New York stage, Bern is Daddy in the 2008 (August) NY International Fringe Festival production, Woodhull. Bern has also worked diverse stage roles during recent years. The NY Times and Variety both gave him "standout" reviews for his role in Motke Thief. He also played Freud, the lead in "Secrets Revealed," had a lead, James, in the 2006 Fringe Festival musical "HA HA Club," and currently has a supporting lead in the musical-in-workshop, "Kabbalistic Love Story".