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Polly Bergen

at the 1989 Emmy Awards
Born Nellie Paulina Burgin
July 14, 1930 (1930-07-14) (age 79)
Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.
Occupation Actress, Singer, Entrepreneur
Years active 1949 – present
Spouse(s) Jerome Courtland
(1954-1955)
Freddie Fields (1956-1975)
Jeffrey Endervelt
(1982-1990)

Polly Bergen (born Nellie Paulina Burgin; July 14, 1930) is an American actress, singer, and entrepreneur.

Contents

Career

Bergen appeared in many film roles, most notably in the original Cape Fear (1962) opposite Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum. She had roles in three Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis comedy films in the early 1950s: At War with the Army, That's My Boy and The Stooge. Later on, In a role Mrs. Vernon Williams in Cry-baby a John Waters film.

Bergen received an Emmy award for her portrayal of singer Helen Morgan in an episode of the 1950s television series Playhouse 90. Signed to Columbia Records, she enjoyed a successful recording career during this era, as well.

She was a regular panelist on the CBS game show To Tell the Truth during its original run. She also appeared on the NBC interview program Here's Hollywood.

In 1963, Bergen co-starred with Doris Day and James Garner in the film comedy Move Over, Darling. Garner's character marries hers when he believes his long-lost wife (Day) to be deceased, only to have her turn up.

Bergen earned an Emmy nomination for her role as Rhoda Henry, wife of Capt. "Pug" Henry (played by Mitchum) in two ABC miniseries, The Winds of War and its sequel War and Remembrance.

She starred in a 2001 Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's Follies at the Belasco Theater and received a Tony Award nomination as Best Featured Actress in a Musical.

She also appeared as Fran Felstein on HBO's The Sopranos, the former mistress of Tony Soprano's father, and former acquaintance of John F. Kennedy.

From 2007 to 2009, Bergen had a guest role in Desperate Housewives as Lynette Scavo's mother, Stella Wingfield, which earned her an Emmy Award nomination.

Bergen became a semi-regular cast member of 2006's Commander-in-Chief as the mother of Mackenzie Allen, the President of the United States, played by Geena Davis. Bergen herself had once played the first female President of the United States as President Leslie McCloud in the 1964 film Kisses for My President.

Another of her recent appearances came in CBS' Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation Candles on Bay Street (2006), in which she played the assistant to a husband-and-wife team of veterinarians. In the 1950s, she was also known as "The Pepsi Cola Girl," having done a series of commercials for that product.[1]

Personal life

Bergen was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, the daughter of Lucy (née Lawhorn) and William Hugh Burgin, a construction engineer.[2] In 1965, she created the Polly Bergen Co. cosmetics line. She has also created lines of jewelry and shoe brands, and has authored three books on beauty.

Bergen converted to Judaism[citation needed] after having married Hollywood talent agent Freddie Fields, with whom she had one biological child and two adopted children. She had previously been a Southern Baptist.[3]

She had two other marriages that ended in divorce. When not working, Bergen lives in Connecticut. Her third marriage, to Jeffery Endervelt, ended in divorce in 1990.

Bergen is the aunt of television producer Wendy Riche.

Filmography

Television

Film

References

External links








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