Polly Bergen

Polly Bergen

Polly Bergen was born Nellie Paulina Burgin on July 14, 1930 in Bluegrass, Tennessee. The beautiful and versatile Miss Bergen was a radio performer from the age of 14. She did summer stock and made nightclub appearances en route to Hollywood in 1949. During her first months in Tinseltown, Miss Bergen married actor Jerome Courtland. She managed to survive three Martin and Lewis films at Paramount. When Hal Wallis failed to notice her contract with Paramount had expired, she signed with MGM. She tired of the lackluster movie parts being offered her by MGM and in 1953 walked out of a very lucrative studio contract.

She divorced Courtland and married Freddie Fields in 1955, a union that lasted nearly 20 years producing two adopted children, Pamela Kerry [P.K.] and Peter. Miss Bergen has a stepdaughter Kathy via her marriage to Fields. She was also married and divorced from Jeffrey Endervelt in the 1980s.

Blessed with a marvelous singing voice, she made more than a dozen successful albums while recording for Columbia Records. In my opinion "Bergen Sings Morgan" is her best album and her best single is the standard "You'll Never Know" from the album with the same title as the theme from her TV show, "The Party's Over." She recorded an album with her father, "Polly and Her Pop."

YEAR |||||||||| ALBUM TITLE |||||||||| RECORD LABEL

pbbullet1955 |||||||||| Little Girl Blue |||||||||| Jubilee
pbbullet1955 |||||||||| Polly Bergen |||||||||| Jubilee
pbbullet1957 |||||||||| Bergen Sings Morgan |||||||||| Columbia
pbbullet1957 |||||||||| The Party's Over |||||||||| Columbia
pbbullet1958 |||||||||| Polly and Her Pop |||||||||| Columbia
pbbullet1959 |||||||||| First Impressions |||||||||| Columbia
pbbullet1959 |||||||||| All Alone by the Telephone |||||||||| Columbia
pbbullet1960 |||||||||| Four Seasons of Love |||||||||| Columbia
pbbullet1961 |||||||||| 'Do Re Mi' and 'Annie Get Your Gun' |||||||||| Columbia
pbbullet1963 |||||||||| Act One-Sing, Too |||||||||| Philips
pbbullet1987 |||||||||| My Heart Sings |||||||||| Columbia Special Edition
pbbullet1992 |||||||||| Bob Crosby's Orchestra |||||||||| Collectables Records
pbbullet1999 |||||||||| Bergen Sings Morgan/The Party's Over ||||||||| Collectables Records


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pbbulletCLICK HERE to listen to a zip clip of the Cape Fear Title Theme
pbbulletCLICK HERE to listen to a zip clip of Polly singing "Don't Ever Leave Me!"
pbbulletCLICK HERE to listen to a zip clip of Polly singing "I'm In The Mood For Love"
pbbulletCLICK HERE to listen to a zip clip of Polly singing "When I Fall In Love"
pbbulletCLICK HERE to listen to a zip clip of Polly singing "You'll Never Know"


pbbulletCLICK HERE to watch a clip of Polly in Move Over, Darling

Polly found her niche in New York starring on Broadway and in numerous television productions, most notably her Emmy-winning performance as Helen Morgan in Playhouse 90's "The Helen Morgan Story." 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 due to an ectopic pregnancy.

Miss Bergen rose to stardom via her stage performances, her one-woman cabaret act, and her many TV appearances. In 1962 she went back to films playing wife to Gregory Peck and attempted rape victim to Robert Mitchum in "Cape Fear." Mitchum and Bergen would play husband and wife in the 1980s in the popular TV mini-series "The Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance" for which she was Emmy-nominated for her performance as Rhoda Henry. Her fantastic portrayal of a mental patient in "The Caretakers" was quite a shock for those familiar with Bergen only through her appearances on TV's "To Tell the Truth." She took the Gail Patrick part in the remake of "My Favorite Wife" titled "Move Over, Darling." She portrayed the first female President of the United States in "Kisses for My President" in grand fashion.

Though still active in show business, it is quite interesting to note that, in her Who's Who entry, Miss Bergen lists herself as a business executive first, an actress second. This is certainly justified; over the last 40 years, she has undertaken such successful business ventures as Polly Bergen Cosmetics, Polly Bergen Jewelry, and Polly Bergen Shoes; she has also been active as part-owner of and pitch person for Oil-of-the-Turtle cosmetics. She now endorses the skin care line ChanTal and markets it on the Home Shopping Network. She recently was Tony-nominated for her outstanding work in "Follies" and is presently performing her award-winning cabaret act.

Equally busy in nonprofit activities, she has served with such organizations as the National Business Council and Freedom of Choice. Scarcely a year goes by without Miss Bergen receiving an award or honorarium from a professional, charitable, political or civic organization. In addition, Polly Bergen is also the author of three books: "The Polly Bergen Book of Beauty, Fashion and Charm" (1962), "Polly's Principles" (1974), and "I'd Love to, but What'll I Wear?" (1977).


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4 T. olive oil
4 yellow onions, chopped
4 lb. LEAN ground chuck
12 oz. tomato paste
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 T. salt
3 whole cloves garlic
2 lg. cloves garlic -- peel; mince
2 lg. green peppers -- seed; mince
3 lb. canned tomatoes, cut large chunks smaller
4 T. chili powder
1 T. instant coffee granules
1 bay leaf

In an 8 quart Dutch oven, heat the oil; saute garlic, onions, peppers until tender. Add chuck, crumbling it loosely. Cook slowly over medium heat for 10 minutes or until chuck loses color.
Add tomatoes, tomato paste, chili powder, vinegar, instant coffee and salt. Stir in cloves and bay leaf; then cook, uncovered, 1 hour. At end of hour, check liquid content; if there's too much, simmer a bit longer; if too dry, add another can of tomatoes.
Refrigerate chili mixture until cool. Turn it into freezer-type plastic bags or containers and freeze up to 1 month.
To serve, remove desired amount from freezer. Turn into a Dutch oven and heat over very low heat until hot and bubbly. Serve in bowls.


ImageMap * by Meredy


Polly Bergen as Rhoda Henry



"Twice In a Lifetime" (1999) TV Series ~~ Judge
For Hope (1997) (TV)
Once Upon a Time... When We Were Colored (1996) ~~ Miss Maybry
In the Blink of an Eye (1996) (TV) ~~ Murial
Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde (1995) ~~ Mrs. Unterveldt
Surrogate, The (1995) (TV) ~~ Sandy Gilman
Leave of Absence (1994) (TV)
Perry Mason: The Case of the Skin-Deep Scandal (1993) (TV) ~~ Barbara Fox
Lady Against the Odds (1992) (TV) ~~ Cleo Storrs
Lightning Field (1991) (TV) ~~ Carol
"Baby Talk" (1991) TV Series ~~ Doris Campbell
Cry-Baby (1990) ~~ Mrs. Vernon-Williams
My Brother's Wife (1989) (TV) ~~ Myra Gilbert
Haunting of Sarah Hardy, The (1989) (TV)
"War and Remembrance" (1989) (mini) TV Series ~~ Rhoda Henry
Mother, Mother (1989) ~~ Barbara Cutler
She Was Marked for Murder (1988) (TV)
Addicted to His Love (1988) (TV) ~~ Vivien
Making Mr. Right (1987) ~~ Estelle Stone
Velvet (1984) (TV) ~~ Mrs. Vance
"Winds of War, The" (1983) (mini) TV Series ~~ Rhoda Henry
Born Beautiful (1982) (TV) ~~ Marion Carmody
Million Dollar Face, The (1981) (TV) ~~ Jo Burns
How to Pick Up Girls! (1978) (TV) ~~ Dana Greenberg
Telethon (1977) (TV) ~~ Dorothy Goodwin
"Harold Robbins' 79 Park Avenue" (1977) (mini) TV Series ~~ Vera Keppler
Murder on Flight 502 (1975) (TV) ~~ Mona Briarly
Death Cruise (1974) (TV) ~~ Sylvia Carter
Anatoomy of Terror (1973) (TV) ~~ Suzy Hunter (2)
Sotto a chi tocca! (1972)
Guide for the Married Man, A (1967) ~~ Technical Adviser
Kisses for My President (1964) ~~ Leslie Harrison McCloud
Move Over, Darling (1963) ~~ Bianca Steele Arden
Caretakers, The (1963) ~~ Lorna Melford
Cape Fear (1962) ~~ Peggy Bowden
Belle Sommers (1962) (TV)
"Polly Bergen Show, The" (1957) TV Series ~~ Host (1957-58)
"To Tell the Truth" (1956) TV Series ~~ Panelist (1956-1961)
Arena (1953) ~~ Ruth Danvers
Stooge, The (1953) ~~ Mary Turner
"Pepsi-Cola Playhouse" (1953) TV Series ~~ Host (c. 1955)
Cry of the Hunted (1953) ~~ Janet Tunner
Escape from Fort Bravo (1953) ~~ Alice Owens
Fast Company (1953) ~~ Carol Maldon
Half a Hero (1953) ~~ Special Guest Appearance as Herself
That's My Boy (1951) ~~ Betty Hunter
Warpath (1951) ~~ Molly Quade
At War with the Army (1950) ~~ Helen
Across the Rio Grande (1949) (as Polly Burgin) ~~ Cantina Singer
Champion (1949) (uncredited) (voice) ~~ Radio/jukebox singer

Leave of Absence (1994) (TV) (co-executive)

Touch of Class, A (1973) (cosmetics)

Leave of Absence (1994) (TV) (story)


"Burke's Law" (1994) in episode: "Who Killed the Starlet?" (episode # 1.1) 1/7/1994
"Murder, She Wrote" (1984) playing "Dr. Jocelyn Laird" in episode: "School for Scandal" (episode # 2.4) 10/25/1985
"Andy Williams Show, The" (1962) 11/6/1966
"Andy Williams Show, The" (1962) 12/27/1965
"Andy Williams Show, The" (1962) 4/5/1965
"Wagon Train" (1957) playing "Kitty Allbright" in episode: "Kitty Allbright Story, The" (episode # 5.2) 10/4/1961
"Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (1955) playing "Crystal Coe" in episode: "You Can't Trust a Man" (episode # 6.30) 5/9/1961
"United States Steel Hour, The" (1953) in episode: "Great Cold Mountain, The" 6/29/1960
"Star Stage" (1955)


Polly Bergen Current Month TV Schedule

Polly Bergen Birthday Countdown


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