Polly Bergen

Actor, Singer, Producer
One of the most diversely talented of American performers, Polly Bergen was an Emmy-winning actress, singer and entrepreneur who found success in nearly every medium over the course of a half-century in show business. A ... Read more »
Born: 07/13/1930 in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

Filmography

Actor (55)

Struck by Lightning 2013 (Movie)

Grandma (Actor)

Desperate Housewives 2007, 2009, 2011 (Tv Show)

Actor

Commander in Chief 2005 - 2006 (Tv Show)

Actor

A Very Serious Person 2005 (Movie)

Mrs A (Actor)

Burke's Law 1985 - 1986, 1993 - 1994, 1997 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

Murder, She Wrote 1985 - 1986, 1997 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

Touched By an Angel 1997 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

Once Upon a Time... When We Were Colored 1996 (Movie)

Miss Mabry (Actor)

The Surrogate 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Dr. Jekyll and MS. Hyde 1995 (Movie)

Mrs Unterveldt (Actor)

Arly Hanks Mysteries 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Baby Talk 1990 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Robert Mitchum: The Reluctant Star 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Cry Baby 1990 (Movie)

Mrs Vernon-Williams (Actor)

My Brother's Wife 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Steel Magnolias 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Addicted to His Love 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Mother, Mother 1988 (Movie)

(Actor)

Making Mr. Right 1987 (Movie)

Estelle Stone (Actor)

The Winds of War 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Harold Robbins' "79 Park Avenue" 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

Not For Women Only 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

A Guide For the Married Man 1967 (Movie)

Guest Star (Actor)

Kisses For My President 1963 (Movie)

Leslie McCloud (Actor)

The Dick Powell Show 1961 - 1963 (TV Show)

Actor

Belle Sommers 1962 (Movie)

Belle Sommers (Actor)

Cape Fear 1962 (Movie)

Peggy Bowden (Actor)

Move Over, Darling 1962 (Movie)

Bianca Steele Arden (Actor)

The Caretakers 1962 (Movie)

Lorna Melford (Actor)

The Lux Video Theater 1950 - 1960 (TV Show)

Actor

Schlitz Playhouse of Stars 1951 - 1959 (TV Show)

Actor

Arena 1953 (Movie)

Ruth Danvers (Actor)

Cry of the Hunted 1953 (Movie)

Janet Tunner (Actor)

Escape From Fort Bravo 1953 (Movie)

(Actor)

An Echo of Theresa (TV Show)

Actor

At War With the Army (Movie)

Helen (Actor)

Born Beautiful (TV Show)

Actor

Candles on Bay Street (TV Show)

Actor

Death Cruise (TV Show)

Actor

For Hope (TV Show)

Actor

Half a Hero (Movie)

Guest Appearance (Actor)

How to Pick Up Girls! (TV Show)

Actor

In the Blink of an Eye (TV Show)

Actor

Lady Against the Odds (TV Show)

Actor

Leave of Absence (TV Show)

Actor

Murder on Flight 502 (TV Show)

Actor

She Was Marked For Murder (TV Show)

Actor

Telethon (TV Show)

Actor

The Haunting of Sarah Hardy (TV Show)

Actor

The Lightning Incident (TV Show)

Actor

The Million Dollar Face (TV Show)

Actor

The Polly Bergen Special (TV Show)

Actor

Velvet (TV Show)

Actor

War and Remembrance (TV Show)

Actor
Music (1)

Belle Sommers 1962 (Movie)

("Exactly Like You" "Once I Had a True Love") (Song Performer)

Biography

One of the most diversely talented of American performers, Polly Bergen was an Emmy-winning actress, singer and entrepreneur who found success in nearly every medium over the course of a half-century in show business. A professional singer while still in her teens, she transitioned from nightclub chanteuse to film actress in the 1950s, but found her early roles lacking. She returned to singing while keeping a hand in acting via television and Broadway. The former proved to be Bergen's best showcase, and an Emmy win in 1957 led to her own variety series, "The Polly Bergen Show" (NBC, 1957-58). It also improved the quality of her film choices, which by the 1960s included an acclaimed turn in "Cape Fear" (1962). In the late 1960s and 1970s, she shifted her interest to the business world, where she founded her own fashion lines. Emmy-nominated turns in the epic miniseries "The Winds of War" (ABC, 1983) and its sequel "The Winds of Remembrance" (ABC, 1988) revived her profile in the 1980s, and she was an active and vibrant presence on countless television series - most notably "Desperate Housewives" (ABC, 2004-2012). Her Emmy nomination for an appearance on the latter series was a clear indication that an actress with a breadth of talent like Bergen would never go out of style. Her death at the age of 84 on September 20, 2014 saddened friends and fans alike.

Relationships

Lucy Burgin

Mother

Pamela K Fields

Daughter
Father, Freddie Fields

Peter Fields

Son
Father, Freddy Fields

William Burgin

Father

Barbra Burgin

Sister
Born c. 1939 suffers with schleroderma

Jerome Courtland Director

Companion
Married from 1954 divorced 1955

Jeff Endervelt

Husband
Married from 1982-1990

Freddie Fields Director

Husband
Married from 1956 divorced 1975

Wendy Riche

Niece
Emmy-winning executive producer of ABC's "General Hospital"

EDUCATION

Compton Junior College

Compton , California

Milestones

2007

Had a role on ABC's "Desperate Housewives" as Lynette Scavo's (Felicity Huffman) mother; earned an Emmy nomination in 2008 for Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

2005

Played a recurring role on ABC's "Commander in Chief," as the mother of the US President played by Geena Davis

2002

Joined cast of the hit revival of "Cabaret" as Frau Schneider

2001

Returned to Broadway to play Carlotta Campion in the Broadway revival of "Follies"; earned Tony nomination

2001

Appeared in the Off-Broadway run of "The Vagina Monologues"

2000

Resumed singing career and began making nightclub appearances

1994

Produced "Leave of Absence" for NBC

1991

Regular cast member of "Baby Talk"

1990

Co-starred in John Waters' "Cry-Baby"

1988

Reprised role of Rhoda Henry in "War and Remembrance" (ABC)

1983

Earned an Emmy nomination for her role as Rhoda Henry in the ABC miniseries, "The Winds of War"

1977

Starred in TV miniseries "79 Park Avenue"

1974

Made TV-movie debut, "Death Cruise"

1965

Formed the Polly Bergen Co., creating and selling cosmetics

1963

Won plaudits for dramatic turn in "The Caretakers"

1962

Appeared in the original "Cape Fear" opposite Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum

1957

Starred in NBC variety series "The Polly Bergen Show"

1956

Was panelist on "To Tell The Truth" (CBS)

1955

Hosted "The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse" (ABC)

1954

Hosted "The Best in Mystery"; sang on "The Blue Angel" series

1953

Made stage debut on Broadway in "John Murray Anderson's Almanac"

1952

Made dramatic TV debut in an episode of "Schlitz Playhouse" (CBS)

1951

Recorded first album, "Little Girl Blue"

1950

Made film debut in "At War With the Army"

1950

Regularly sang on "The Alan Young Show"

1943

Made professional singing debut

Bonus Trivia

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At the Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine in Denver, CO, one can find the Polly Bergen Cardio-Pulmonary Laboratory.

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In 1965, she created the Polly Bergen Co. cosmetics line. She also is the founder of personal jewelry and shoe brands.

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