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Polly Bergen 1930-2014


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I'm sorry to report that Polly Bergen has died at her home in Connecticut. Many of us first saw her on television, but she had a rich career in film and on stage as well.

 

Here she is in an acclaimed revival of Follies:

 

 

 

And singing "Come Rain or Come Shine:"

 

 

 

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/actress-polly-bergen-dies-at-734506

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I loved her. The first film I saw of hers was the original CAPE FEAR. It made me want to seek out her other motion pictures. It was a pleasant surprise to find out she was a singer. In recent years she turned up as Felicity Huffman's mother on Desperate Housewives. RIP.

She also played Geena Davis' mother in the short-lived ABC show "Madam President," which is interesting because she played the first female president in the television film "Kiss for the President." I have been trying to find that film since I read about her originally a few years ago. 

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She also played Geena Davis' mother in the short-lived ABC show "Madam President," which is interesting because she played the first female president in the television film "Kiss for the President." I have been trying to find that film since I read about her originally a few years ago. 

KISSES FOR MY PRESIDENT airs often on TCM. It was last seen in August for Arlene Dahl's SUTS tribute. I am sure it will air again.

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Polly Bergen played Elizabeth Bennett in First Impressions, the 1959 Broadway musical version of Pride and Prejudice. Although the show was not a success, Ms. Bergen has some lovely songs on the cast album, including "I Suddenly Find It Agreeable."

 

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Polly Bergen was a beautiful and  talented actress and singer. I read one of books years ago and she had some very excellent advice on beauty and business. She was a very successful and bright businesswoman. I vaguely remember my parents watching her tv show and I do remember her singing The Party's Over at the end of each show. I was so surprised and glad when she appeared as Lynette's mother on Desperate Housewives and Tony's father's mistress on The Sopranos. Sad news.

 

RIP Lovely Polly Bergen

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In recent years she turned up as Felicity Huffman's mother on Desperate Housewives.

 

Polly Bergen was a hoot as the mother of Lynette Scavo (Felicity Huffman) on DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES.

 

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES did a great job in casting the mothers of the leads.

 

 

 

The series with Geena Davis as the first female President (with Polly Bergen as her mother) was called COMMANDER IN CHIEF.

Someone in another misidentified the name of the series. 

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Polly Bergen was a hoot as the mother of Lynette Scavo (Felicity Huffman) on DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES.

 

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES did a great job in casting the mothers of the leads.

 

 

The series with Geena Davis as the first female President (with Polly Bergen as her mother) was called COMMANDER IN CHIEF.

Someone in another misidentified the name of the series. 

Very funny scenes when Polly baked up some brownies laced with pot(or hash) to help Lynette with her nausea, and her scenes with Richard Chamberlain were very sweet. On one of the episodes of The Sopranos she did an imitation of Marilyn singing at Kennedy's birthday gala.She was so good in Cape Fear.

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I don't think anyone has mentioned one of Miss Bergen's later film roles, John Waters' hilarious musical comedy send-up of 1950's JD films Cry-Baby, wherein she costars with a young Johnny Depp as a high society matriarch who gives in when her granddaughter falls for a motorcycle-riding bad boy. She throws herself completely in to the delightfully campy nature of the film, and is even included in a sultry dance finale Please, Mr. Jailer (Won't You Let My Man Go Free?)

 

She also has a wonderful line about the 50's fashion of young women wearing tight trousers that I have never forgotten: "hysterectomy pants, I call 'em."

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Polly Bergen was a hoot as the mother of Lynette Scavo (Felicity Huffman) on DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES.

 

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES did a great job in casting the mothers of the leads.

 

 

 

The series with Geena Davis as the first female President (with Polly Bergen as her mother) was called COMMANDER IN CHIEF.

Someone in another misidentified the name of the series. 

Thanks for correcting that, HoldenIsHere. 

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I, too, will remember her always as Rhoda Henry, the unfaithful wife of Victor "Pug" Henry (Robert Mitchum) in "The Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance." The ABC miniseries based on Herman Wouk's novels were among the best-ever made-for-TV productions. 

 

 

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When I was in Vietnam I purchased a musical tape by someone who was primarily a poet, but can't remember who (Rod McCuen?).  One section I remember was where he asked if Polly Bergen was still selling turtle oil.  I think she promoted this on TV at one time as a beauty treatment.

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Sadly, and a bit oddly, my earliest exposure to Ms. bergen was the comedy "Move Over, Darling" with her, Doris Day and James Garner.  THEN "Kisses For My President".

 

For some reason, the name perhaps, I thought she was either an ex-wife of EDGAR BERGEN, and possibly the Mother of CANDICE BERGEN.

 

Until Ms. Bergen got "up there" in age, I didn't think it possible for another woman to have a deeper voice than BEA ARTHUR.

 

Rest in peace, Polly...You STILL were stunning in your old age!

 

Sepiatone

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Sadly, and a bit oddly, my earliest exposure to Ms. bergen was the comedy "Move Over, Darling" with her, Doris Day and James Garner.  THEN "Kisses For My President".

 

For some reason, the name perhaps, I thought she was either an ex-wife of EDGAR BERGEN, and possibly the Mother of CANDICE BERGEN.

 

Until Ms. Bergen got "up there" in age, I didn't think it possible for another woman to have a deeper voice than BEA ARTHUR.

 

Rest in peace, Polly...You STILL were stunning in your old age!

 

Sepiatone

She was the mother of Charlie McCarthy.........Seriously, R.I.P, Ms. Bergen.

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I was exposed to her television work before I discovered her film work. I first remember her in a TV movie from 1996 called "Once Upon A Time When We Were Colored," and I loved her in that. I don't think that she ever got the breaks and the recognition that she should have, but I admired the way that she kept on going and working at her craft. And what a unique voice!

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I found one of her beauty books at a time when I was starting over with a small budget.  In it she stated that she always wore skin-toned shoes as they made her look taller than she really was.  The fashion dictates then always insisted that shoes should match the clothing.  I noticed that some ice skaters covered their white shoes with nude tights and it worked for them so I tired it.  I don't know if my legs looked better but it did save me money by my only having a few pairs rather than a closet full of different colors.  I always liked her work as well; she could look so ladylike then, oh my, did the sparks fly.  RIP, Dear Lady.   

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Ditto to L H Forbes love of "Cry Baby", with Polly as the proprietor of a charm school. Polly absolutely gave it her all. I first knew her as a singer, but she later became known more as an actress, like Della Reese. In the late 50's, she acted and sang in a TV version of Helen Morgan's life story, which must have been right around the same time as the Ann Blyth theatrical version, in which Gogi Grant did the singing. RIP, Polly.

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I, too, will remember her always as Rhoda Henry, the unfaithful wife of Victor "Pug" Henry (Robert Mitchum) in "The Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance." The ABC miniseries based on Herman Wouk's novels were among the best-ever made-for-TV productions. 

 

 

Both are available on DVD and probably at your local library.  Both were excellent.

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