Bergen, Polly, 1930-2014

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Biographical Note

Actress/singer Polly Bergen was born July 14, 1930 in Knoxville, TN, making her radio debut at the age of 14 and honing her craft on the summer stock circuit before journeying to Hollywood in 1949. She soon made her feature debut in Across the Rio Grande, quickly followed by roles in no less than three Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis comedies -- At War with the Army, That's My Boy and The Stooge. Increasing dissatisfaction with the roles coming her way prompted Bergen to walk away from a lucrative movie contract in 1953, however, and she soon made her Broadway debut in the revue John Murray Anderson's Almanac; upon recovering from throat surgery, two years later she also recorded her self-titled debut LP for Jubilee, followed later that year by Little Girl Blue. She jumped to Columbia for 1957's Bergen Sings Morgan, and continued recording for the label until the early 1960s; in the meantime she also maintained her stage career, additionally finding success in the business world through a series of ventures including Polly Bergen Cosmetics, Polly Bergen Jewelry and Polly Bergen Shoes. In 1960, she also authored the first of three books, Fashion and Charm. Bergen returned to film in the 1961 noir classic Cape Fear, although in the decades she was perhaps best known for her many television appearances, including a starring role in the 1983 miniseries The Winds of War and its 1988 sequel War and Remembrance.

From the guide to the Polly Bergen Musical Arrangements Collection, 1955-1970, (University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Performing Arts Special Collections)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Polly Bergen collection [ca. 2001-ongoing]. Museum of Performance & Design
creatorOf Bergen, Polly, 1930-. Musical arrangements collection, 1955-1970. University of California, Los Angeles
referencedIn John Eldon Thayer collection of motion picture memorabilia, 1916-1979. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Johnny Green additional papers, 1923-1989. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Bergen, Polly : [miscellaneous ephemeral material]. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library
referencedIn New York Times Company records. A.M. Rosenthal papers, 1955-1994, 1967-1986 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
contributorOf A&P 11 - POLLY BERGEN CHRISTMAS PHOTO FEATURE - 1958 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn [NARAL [National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League] 30th Anniversary Background 1/22/99] [4] United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Irving Berlin collection of non-commercial sound recordings [sound recording] The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
contributorOf Fox Movietone News Collection. 1957 - 1963. Motion Picture Newsreel Films. 1957 - 1963. MOVIETONE NEWS
referencedIn President Gerald R. Ford's Daily Diary, July 14, 1976 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn White House Press Releases (Ford Administration). 1974 - 1977. Press Releases. 1974 - 1977. Press Releases, October 14, 1976. 10/14/1976 - 10/14/1976. Guest list for the dinner to be given by President and Mrs. Ford in honor of Miss Martha Graham on October 14, 1976
President Gerald R. Ford's Daily Diary, July 14, 1976 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Souvenir programs for theatrical productions, 1906-2005. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Hugh Morton Photographs and Films,  , late 1920s-2006, (bulk 1940s-1990s) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. North Carolina Collection.
creatorOf POLLY BERGEN United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn The Bell Telephone Hour collection of sound recordings [sound recording], 1940-1968 The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
referencedIn Morton, Hugh M. Hugh Morton photographs and films: People and events, late 1920s-early 2000s (bulk 1940s-1990s) (Series 2). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn President Gerald R. Ford's Daily Diary, October 14, 1976 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
creatorOf Polly Bergen Musical Arrangements Collection, 1955-1970 University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Performing Arts Special Collections.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Berlin, Irving, 1888-1989 person
associatedWith Day, Doris, 1922- person
associatedWith Ford, Betty, 1918-2011 person
associatedWith Ford, Gerald R., 1913-2006 person
associatedWith Garner, James, 1928-2014 person
correspondedWith Green, Johnny, 1908-1989 person
associatedWith Morton, Hugh M. person
associatedWith Morton, Hugh M. person
associatedWith Rosenthal, A. M. (Abraham Michael), 1922-2006 person
correspondedWith Thayer, John Eldon, 1899-1980 person
associatedWith United States. Federal Security Administration. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Treasury Department. Savings Bond Division corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Television music--Scores
Popular music
Music--Manuscripts
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1930-07-14

Death 2014-09-20

Americans

Information

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SNAC ID: 17878513