Polly Bergen - Rotten Tomatoes

Polly Bergen

Highest Rated:   95% Cape Fear (1962)
Lowest Rated:   14% Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde (1995)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Not Available
A radio performer from the age of 14, Polly Bergen went the summer stock-nightclub route before heading for Hollywood in 1949. During her first months in the entertainment capitol, Bergen married actor Jerome Courtland, a union that was over virtually before it began; her later marriage to agent Freddie Fields endured for nearly 20 years. Though she could take some pride in having survived three Martin and Lewis films (At War With the Army, That's My Boy and The Stooge), Bergen chafed at the nondescript movie parts being offered her, and in 1953 walked out of a very lucrative studio contract. She headed for New York, where, while headlining in the Broadway revue John Murray Anderson's Almanac, she strained her voice and was forced to undergo a painful throat operation. Another serious career set-back occurred in 1959 when, while starring in the musical First Impressions, she nearly lost her life during a difficult pregnancy. Gamely surviving these and other personal travails, Bergen rose to stardom via her stage performance, her one-woman cabaret act, and her many TV appearances, notably her Emmy-winning turn in The Helen Morgan Story (1957). In 1962, she gave films a second chance when she played a North Carolina housewife threatened with rape by rampaging ex-con Robert Mitchum in Cape Fear (1962) (over 20 years later, she and Mitchum played husband and wife in the popular TV miniseries The Winds of War and War and Remembrance). Her bravura portrayal of a mental patient in The Caretakers (1963) was quite an eye-opener for those familiar with Bergen only through her appearances on TV's To Tell the Truth. Less aesthetically successful was Kisses for My President (1964), in which Bergen starred as the first female Chief Executive. Though busy with her show-business activities into the 1990s (she co-starred in the network sitcom Baby Talk), it is interesting to note that, in her Who's Who entry, Bergen listed herself as a business executive first, an actress second. There is certainly plenty of justification for this; for over 40 years, she maintained successful business ventures as Polly Bergen Cosmetics, Polly Bergen Jewelry, and Polly Bergen Shoes; she was also active as part-owner of and pitch person for Oil-of-the-Turtle cosmetics. Equally busy in nonprofit organizations, she served with such concerns as the National Business Council and Freedom of Choice. She also authored three books: Fashion and Charm (1960), Polly's Principles (1974), and I'd Love to, but What'll I Wear? (1977).In later years, Bergen had recurring roles on Commander in Chief and Desperate Housewives, and was nominated for an Emmy for Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2008. Bergen died in 2014 at age 84.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
27% Struck by Lightning
  • Grandma
$0.1M 2013
No Score Yet Paradise Texas
  • Actor
2007
No Score Yet Candles on Bay Street
  • Rosemary
2006
No Score Yet A Very Serious Person
  • Mrs. A
2006
No Score Yet Paradise, Texas
  • Actor
2005
No Score Yet For Hope
  • Molly
1996
No Score Yet In the Blink of an Eye
  • Murial
1996
71% Once upon a Time...When We Were Colored
  • Miss Maybry
1995
No Score Yet The Surrogate
  • Sandy Gilman
1995
14% Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde
  • Mrs. Unterveldt
1995
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Skin-Deep Scandal
  • Barbara Fox
1993
No Score Yet Lady Against the Odds
  • Cleo Storrs
1992
No Score Yet Lightning Field (The Lightning Incident)
  • Carol
1991
73% Cry-Baby
  • Mrs. Vernon-Williams
1990
No Score Yet My Brother's Wife
  • Myra Gilbert
1989
No Score Yet The Haunting of Sarah Hardy
  • Actor
1989
No Score Yet Addicted To His Love
  • Actor
1988
46% Making Mr. Right
  • Estelle Stone
1987
No Score Yet Murder on Flight 502
  • Mona Briarly
1975
No Score Yet Death Cruise
  • Actor
1974
No Score Yet Anatomy Of Terror
  • Actor
1974
67% A Guide for the Married Man
  • Technical Advisor
1967
No Score Yet Kisses For My President
  • U.S. President Leslie Harrison McCloud
1964
No Score Yet Move Over Darling
  • Bianca Steele Arden
1963
No Score Yet The Caretakers
  • Lorna Melford
1963
95% Cape Fear
  • Peggy Bowden
1962
No Score Yet Escape From Fort Bravo
  • Alice Owens
1953
No Score Yet Arena
  • Ruth Danvers
1953
No Score Yet Cry of the Hunted
  • Janet Tunner
1953
No Score Yet The Stooge
  • Mary
1953
No Score Yet Warpath
  • Molly Quade
1951
No Score Yet That's My Boy
  • Betty Hunter
1951
No Score Yet At War With the Army
  • Helen Palmer
1950
No Score Yet Martin & Lewis: At War with the Army
  • Actor
1950

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Desperate Housewives
2004-2012
  • Stella Wingfield
  • 2011
  • 2009
  • 2007
  • 2004
97% The Sopranos
1999-2007
  • Fran Felstein
  • 2004

Quotes from Polly Bergen's Characters