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‘Desperate Housewives’ actress Polly Bergen dies, aged 84

By Josh Haggis


Veteran actress Polly Bergen has died at the age of 84.

In recent years, Bergen was seen as Stella Wingfield, the mother of Felicity Huffman’s Lynette Scavo, in ten episodes of Desperate Housewives. She also appeared in Struck By Lightning, the 2012 indie film written by and starring Glee‘s Chris Colfer.

Bergen’s other recent TV appearances included ten episodes of the US drama Commander-in-Chief opposite Geena Davis and a guest spot on The Sopranos in 2004.

Earlier in her career, Bergen had co-starred in a series of acclaimed films including 1962’s Cape Fear, opposite Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum, and 1963’s The Caretakers with Joan Crawford. One of her notable later big screen appearances came in John Waters’ 1990 rom-com Cry-Baby, in which she appeared alongside Johnny Depp and Ricki Lake.

During an accomplished career that stretched over 60 years, Bergen racked up numerous Emmy, Tony and Golden Globe nominations, starred in her own TV variety show in the late 1950s, released a series of pop albums in the 1960s, wrote several books about beauty and style, and even created her own Polly Bergen cosmetics line.

Her publicist said in a statement yesterday (September 20):

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of legendary actress and long-time friend and client, Polly Bergen. She died peacefully at her home in Southbury, Conn. this [Saturday] morning at 11.10am, surrounded by her family, long-time personal manager, Jan McCormack and close friends.”

Polly Bergen died of complications from emphysema at her home in Southbury, Connecticut yesterday morning (September 20). She is survived by her two adopted children, and was married three times.