Emmy winning actress and singer Polly Bergen, who in a long career played the first woman president in Kisses for My President, died Saturday, according to her publicist Judy Katz. She was 84.
Bergen died at her home in Southbury, Connecticut, surrounded by family and close friends, publicist Judy said. She had battled emphysema and other ailments in the late 1990s, a result of 50 years of smoking.
A brunette beauty with a warm, sultry singing voice, Bergen was a household name from her 20s onward. She made albums and played leading roles in films, stage musicals and TV dramas. She also hosted her own variety series, was a popular game show panelist, and founded a thriving beauty products company that bore her name.
Bergen appeared in many film roles, most notably in the original Cape Fear - 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.
In recent years, she played Felicity Huffman's mother on Desperate Housewives and the past mistress of Tony Soprano's late father on The Sopranos.