Polly Bergen: Cape Fear and Sopranos Actress Dies


polly bergenBeloved actress Polly Bergen from Cape Fear, the Sopranos, and Desperate Housewives has passed away in her Connecticut home at age 84. Bergen has been a popular television, movie, and stage actress for more than 60 years.

Although Bergen has left a mark on the entertainment industry having been in countless roles, she is best known in television for being the frightened wife in Cape Fear and in movies, the first woman president in “Kisses for my President”. According to Judy Katz, the actress’ publicist, Bergen died peacefully on Saturday from natural causes.

Even in her later years, Bergen continued to grace the screen to include playing the mother of Felicity Huffman on Desperate Housewives and one of the many mistresses of Tony Soprano in “The Sopranos”.

However, her fans also remember her amazing and sultry singing voice. From the time she was around twenty years old, Bergen has been involved in music, having made multiple albums and performed in theater stage musicals. In addition to her incredible acting and singing careers, she founded a successful beauty products company bearing her name and was a game show panelist on a popular show.

At a very young age, Bergen had starred in “At War with the Army” with the late Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. The trio had such incredible acting chemistry that she joined them in two additional comedy films to include “The Stooge” and “That’s my Boy”.

Bergen made her Broadway debut in 1953 alongside the great Harry Belafonte and by 1962, had published three books on advice specific to charm, beauty, and fashion. One of her best and most remembered roles came in 1964 when she played the first United States President in “Kisses for my President”, also starring Fred MacMurray as her supportive husband.

In 1958, Bergen won an Emmy in her portrayal of Helen Morgan, a tragic singer, on the series Playhouse 90. Then in 1989, she was nominated for another Emmy, this time for the role of supporting actress in the miniseries, “War and Remembrance”.

Ten years after receiving her Emmy, women in a business group asked Bergen her definition of success to which she replied “When you feel what you’ve done fulfills yourself, makes you happy, and makes people around you happy”.

Bergen’s acting career continued when in 2005, she starred with Geena Davis in the television drama “Commander in Chief”, playing the role of her mother. Like none other, Bergen had a genuine passion for life and making a difference in the people around her. She admitted to being fanatically ambitious and stated that as far back as she could remember all she wanted to do was act.


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