BERGEN, POLLY (Nellie Paulina Burgin ; 1930– ), U.S. actress, singer, entrepreneur. During her long professional life, Bergen distinguished herself as an extremely versatile entertainer and business executive. She enjoyed enduring success as an actress on the stage and screen, as a singer, and as the founder of her own cosmetic and jewelry lines. Born in Blue-grass, Tennessee, Bergen began working in radio at the age of 14. She arrived in Hollywood at age 19, making her feature film debut in Across the Rio Grande (1949). Bergen subsequently starred in three films alongside legendary comedy duo Dean Martin and Jerry *Lewis, including At War With the Army (1950), That's My Boy (1951), and The Stooge (1953) as well as making her Broadway debut with a starring role in the revue John Murray Anderson's Almanac. Bergen released the first two of her 17 musical albums, Polly Bergen and Little Girl Blue, on the Jubilee record label in 1955. She became a household name as a regular on the tv game show To Tell The Truth (1956–61). Bergen's many film and television credits over the following half-century include two memorable performances opposite actor Robert Mitchum. The first as Peggy Bowden in the classic film Cape Fear (1962), and again two decades later as Rhoda Henry in the mini-series The Winds of War (1983), for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award. Bergen was also nominated for a Tony Award for her role in Follies (2001). She acted as the ceo and public face of several corporations, including Polly Bergen Cosmetics, Polly Bergen Shoes, and Polly Bergen Jewelry. Bergen is 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). Continuing to perform, she made a notable tv appearance in 2004 on The Sopranos.
[Walter Driver (2nd ed.)]