Peggy McCay

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Peggy McCay
Peggy McCay 1964.JPG
McCay on Ben Casey (in 1964)
BornMargaret Ann McCay
(1927-11-03)November 3, 1927[1]
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedOctober 7, 2018(2018-10-07) (aged 90)
OccupationActress
Years active1949–2016

Margaret Ann McCay (November 3, 1927 – October 7, 2018),[1] known professionally as Peggy McCay, was an American actress whose career began in 1949, and includes theatre, television, soap operas, and feature films. McCay may be best known for originating the roles of Vanessa Dale on the CBS soap opera Love of Life (a role she played from 1951–55), and Caroline Brady, which she played from 1983 to 2016 on NBC's Days of Our Lives.

Biography[edit]

McCay was born in Manhattan in 1927, the only child of Catherine (or Cathryn) and Michael McCay, who owned a construction company that specialized in building schools. Peggy attended Saint Walburga's Convent School and Barnard College, graduating from the latter in June 1949.[2] After her father's sudden death, she and her mother ran his construction company for a period of time.[3]

Following her graduation from college, McCay joined impresaria Margo Jones's Texas-based theatre company and graduated to repertory, where she essayed numerous roles. She also studied with Lee Strasberg in New York and later helped to set up Strasberg's West Coast studio. In New York one of her first roles was in a 1956 off-Broadway production of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, playing opposite Franchot Tone.[4][5] Her role as Sonya in Uncle Vanya earned her the off-Broadway award "OBIE" for Best "Off-Broadway" Young Actress of the Year.[6][7] The next year both she and Tone reprised their roles in the Hollywood film version of the play.

McCay accepted her first major role as the heroine Vanessa Dale on the soap opera Love of Life, which premiered in 1951. After four years, she left in 1955 to pursue other options. In 1958 she appeared on Perry Mason as defendant Stephanie Falkner in "The Case of the Long-Legged Models", and in 1959 as fraudster Melissa Maybrook in the Maverick episode "The Sheriff of Duck 'n' Shoot" with James Garner and Jack Kelly. Soon after, she was cast in an episode of the CBS anthology series, Appointment with Adventure. She appeared in four feature films in the late 1950s before landing a lead role in 1962 in the ABC television series Room for One More as Anna Perrott Rose, who had written a memoir about her family life as a foster mother.[8] In 1962, McCay starred in the feature film Lad, A Dog.[9]

On February 4, 1963, she appeared as Sheriff Andy Taylor's old girlfriend Sharon DeSpain in the "Class Reunion" episode of The Andy Griffith Show. On April 9, 1963, McCay appeared in the episode "Broken Honor" of NBC's Laramie; she and Rod Cameron played Martha and Roy Halloran, a farm couple who stumble upon $30,000 in money found inside a strong box on their property. The loot has been seized by bandits in a stagecoach heist and hidden away for later retrieval. Roy, who uses a wheelchair, insists on keeping the money until Jess Harper, played by series regular Robert Fuller, arrives at their farm amid grave danger to all from the bandits.[10]

McCay guest-starred on ABC's The Roaring 20s, The Greatest Show on Earth, and Jason Evers's Channing. In 1963, she appeared on NBC's Redigo, with Richard Egan, and on CBS's Perry Mason (as defendant Margaret Layton in "The Case of the Skeleton's Closet").[8] In 1964, she returned to daytime television as a lead on ABC's The Young Marrieds. When the show went off the air in 1966, she was written into the story line on ABC's General Hospital (as Iris Fairchild) until 1970. In the 1970s, McCay appeared in Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years, How the West Was Won, and The Lazarus Syndrome. She appeared in a 1975 television movie, John O'Hara's Gibbsville (also known as The Turning Point of Jim Malloy), and was a regular in the cast of the short-lived 1976 series Gibbsville.[8] During the late 1970s and early 1980s, she had a recurring role as Marion Hume in the CBS drama Lou Grant.

She may be best known as matriarch Caroline Brady on Days of Our Lives. McCay first appeared on the program in February 1983. After signing a long-term contract in 1985, she played the character of Caroline on a regular basis for over thirty years. Her final appearance in the role was aired August 24, 2016. McCay died on October 7, 2018 from natural causes at her home in the Greater Los Angeles area.[11][12][13] She never married or had children, and left no immediate survivors.[14]

Awards and nominations[edit]

List of acting awards and nominations
Year Award Category Title Result Ref.
1956
Obie Award Distinguished Performance by an Actress Uncle Vanya Won
[15]
1986
Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Days of Our Lives Nominated
[16]
1986
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series Cagney & Lacey Nominated
[17]
1987
Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Days of Our Lives Nominated
[18]
1991
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series The Trials of Rosie O'Neill Won
[17][19]
1993
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Special Woman on the Run: The Lawrencia Bembenek Story Nominated
[20]
1994
Gemini Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role Woman on the Run: The Lawrencia Bembenek Story Nominated
[21]
2013
Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Days of Our Lives Nominated
[22]
2015
Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Days of Our Lives Nominated
[23]
2016
Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Days of Our Lives Nominated
[24]

Feature films[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b 1930 U.S. census indicates she was born in 1927, giving her age in April 1930 as 2½
  2. ^ "Dramatic Composition Brings Barnard Prize". The New York Times. ProQuest Document ID 105824661. May 29, 1949. p. 28. Miss Peggy Ann McCay, who will be graduated from Barnard College next Wednesday, has received the Helen Prince Prize for excellence in dramatic composition
  3. ^ Associated Press (1962-01-28). "TV Actress Is Official of Construction Company". The St. Joseph Gazette. p. 5D. Retrieved 2012-12-11.
  4. ^ McCay profile, Internet Off-Broadway Database; accessed May 6, 2014.
  5. ^ Tallmer, Jerry (1956-02-08). "Theatre: Uncle Vanya". The Village Voice. pp. 6–7. Retrieved 2012-12-11. To access the next page, drag the image down a bit and to the left.
  6. ^ Tallmer, Jerry (1958-04-23). "Movies: Uncle Vanya". The Village Voice: p. 12 and 13; retrieved December 11, 2012.
  7. ^ Peggy McCay clippings file at the New York Library for the Performing Arts, 3rd floor, Lincoln Center; accessed August 31, 2014.
  8. ^ a b c Peggy McCay on IMDb
  9. ^ "Lad: A Dog (1962)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved October 22, 2009.
  10. ^ ""Broken Honor", April 9, 1963". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
  11. ^ Fix, Christine (October 9, 2018). "Days' Peggy McCay Dead at 90". Soaps.com. United States: SheKnows Media. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  12. ^ "'Days of Our Lives' star Peggy McCay dead at 90, co-stars react to her death". Eu.usatoday.com. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  13. ^ Sorace, Stephen (October 11, 2018). "Peggy McCay, 'Days of Our Lives' star, dead at 90". Foxnews.com. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  14. ^ Fix, Christine (October 9, 2018). "Days' Peggy McCay Dead at 90". Soaps.com. United States: SheKnows Media. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  15. ^ "First Obie Winners Cheered at Limelight". The Village Voice. 1956-06-20. p. 5. Retrieved 2012-12-11.
  16. ^ "1986 Emmy Winners & Nominees". Soap Opera Digest. Archived from the original on August 18, 2004. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
  17. ^ a b "Peggy McCay at the Emmys". Emmy.com. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
  18. ^ "1987 Emmy Winners & Nominees". Soap Opera Digest. Archived from the original on August 18, 2004. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
  19. ^ "Cheers and L.A. Law Top Emmys: Television honors its top prime-time shows and performers". The New York Times. ProQuest document ID 108709362. August 26, 1991. p. C13. This is a partial list of the Emmy winners ... Peggy McCay [for] The Trials of Rosie O'Neill, CBS
  20. ^ "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Special 1993". Emmy.com. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
  21. ^ "Event: Gemini Awards (1994)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
  22. ^ "The 40th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Award Nominations". Emmyonline.org. May 1, 2013. Archived from the original on June 28, 2013. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
  23. ^ "The 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Award Nominations" (PDF). Emmyonline.org and National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. New York. March 31, 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 31, 2015. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  24. ^ "The 43rd Annual Daytime Emmy Award Nominations" (PDF). Emmyonline.org and National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. New York. March 24, 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 24, 2016. Retrieved March 24, 2016.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]