This Canadian turned American actress is one person that history dares not forget. While alive, she contributed a great deal to the movie and game-show industry and even though we lost her to a terminal disease, her legacy lives on. Brett Somers was a Canadian-American singer and actress that was very popular for being a game show personality. Her career began as early as 1952 and extended well into 2004 until she fell sick. Read on to discover facts about her early life, career, marriage, and cause of her death.
Brett Somers’ Age – How Old Was She?
Unknown to so many, Brett Somers is not her real name but merely an alias she picked up during her career. She named herself Brett after the lead female character in the 1926 Novel by Ernest Hemingway called The Sun Also Rises. Her second name Somers was her mother’s maiden name and she simply adopted it. Brett was born Audrey Dawn Johnston on the 11th of July, 1924 in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Once she turned 18 years old, she moved to the city of New York to pursue her dreams of being an actress. This young lady from Canada eventually settled in Greenwich Village.
What About Her Career?
Brett Somers’ career began as early as 1952 when she became a member of the Actors Studio. The Actors Studio is located in Manhattan, New York City and is an organization open to professional actors, directors, and even playwrights. Brett became a part of this organization barely 5 years after it was created and received training in acting. She launched her career as an actress by making television appearances in a couple of dramatic programs. Some of these programs include Robert Montgomery Presents and Playhouse 90.
Like in every actor’s dream, Brett Somers also appeared on Broadway multiple times. However, like every actor’s nightmare, her debut show was a failure. The play was called Maybe Tuesday and it was stopped after barely 5 performances. Undeterred, Somers kept working at her career. She eventually appeared in Happy Ending, The Seven Year Itch and The Country Girl. The Country Girl was a dramatic play that centered on the subject of alcoholism; it premiered in 1954.
Also appearing on television, this talented actress was on the ABC sitcom titled The Odd Couple where she had the recurring role of Blanche. Interestingly, her character Blanche was married to another character called Oscar Madison and this character was played by Jack Klugman who was her husband in real life. In 1978, Brett Somers featured as Siress Belloby in a sci-fi series called Battlestar Galactica. Aside from lead roles, she has also had multiple episodic appearances in television shows including but not limited to Ben Casey, The Fugitive, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and The Defenders.
Perhaps what she is best known for is her appearance on the game show Match Game. The show was owned by CBS and Brett Somers appeared multiple times as a panelist. She soon gained a reputation for her big eyeglasses and outlandish wigs. The show ran for 9 years and Brett worked with the game show all through this period. It is known that her husband Jack Klugman was the one who suggested to the producers that she would make a great contribution to the show and she did! In fact, Robin Quivers, who is an on-air personality, once impersonated her during a parody of the game show. From 2003 to 2004, she appeared in her own show which was called An Evening With Brett Somers.
Brett Somers’ Relationships and Marriage
Brett Somers was married twice during her life. First, she married a man named Robert Klein shortly after settling in New York City. Their marriage bore a daughter whom they named Leslie. After a few years of marriage, the two got divorced. In 1953, she got married to her fellow actor Jack Klugman and their marriage bore two sons; David and Adam. The dynamics of their marriage was a bit confusing because even though the two remained together until after her death, it is reported that they separated in 1977. Klugman remarried after Brett Somers died.
What is Brett Somers’ Cause of Death, When Did She Die?
Rumors began swirling way back in 2002 that the Canadian-American actress was fighting a battle with cancer. She denied the rumors. In the end, it surfaced in 2004 that she was diagnosed with stomach and colon cancer. Brett Somers braved the illness and fought it as best as she could. Sadly, on the 15th of September, 2007 Brett passed away due to cancer. She died at the age of 83 in Connecticut.