Cape Fear actress dies at 84
POLLY Bergen, an actress and singer who won an Emmy in 1957 for her portrayal of the alcoholic torch singer Helen Morgan, died on Saturday at her home in Southbury, Connecticut. She was 84.
Bergen was nominated for another Emmy 50 years later, for her recurring role on the television show Desperate Housewives.
Her career highlights included a chilling turn as the menaced wife of a lawyer (Gregory Peck) stalked by a psychopathic convict (Robert Mitchum) in the 1962 film Cape Fear, and five years as a panellist on the CBS game show To Tell The Truth.
She gave a Tony-nominated performance as a gritty former showgirl in the 2001 revival of the Stephen Sondheim musical Follies. The song Bergen performed in that show, I'm Still Here, could well have served as her own defiant anthem.
Her later acting career featured cameos in several hit TV series, including The Sopranos, where she played the mistress of Tony Soprano's father.
Her work on Desperate Housewives earned her a nomination as outstanding guest actress in a comedy series.
She also played the mother of female United States President Mackenzie Allen (Geena Davis) in the 2006 show Commander In Chief.
Bergen is survived by two daughters, Kathy Lander and Pamela Fields; a son, Peter Fields; and three grandchildren.