Polly Bergen, versatile actress, singer dies at 84
"when you feel what you've done fulfills yourself, makes you happy and makes people around you happy." Polly Bergen
Emmy-winning actress and singer Polly Bergen died Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014 at age 84. She died at her home in Southbury, Connecticut, from natural causes, said publicist Judy Katz, surrounded by family and close friends.
A brunette beauty with a warm, sultry singing voice, Bergen became a household name from her 20s onward. She made albums and played leading roles in films, stage musicals and TV dramas. She also hosted her own variety series, was a popular game show panelist, and founded a thriving beauty products company that bore her name.
Bergen won an Emmy in 1958 portraying the tragic singer Helen Morgan on the famed anthology series "Playhouse 90." She was nominated for another Emmy in 1989 for best supporting actress in a miniseries or special for "War and Remembrance."
Bergen published the first of her three advice books, "The Polly Bergen Book of Beauty, Fashion and Charm" in 1962. That led to her own cosmetics company, which earned her millions.
In 1964's "Kisses for My President," Bergen was cast as the first female U.S. president, with Fred MacMurray as First Gentleman. Also, when Geena Davis portrayed a first woman president in the 2005 TV drama "Commander in Chief," Bergen was cast as her mother.
She played Felicity Huffman's mother on "Desperate Housewives" and the past mistress of Tony Soprano's late father on "The Sopranos."
|U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, left, with Polly Bergen Add caption|
She is survived by her children Peter Fields, Kathy Lander and Pamela Fields and three grandchildren.