Over the course of her career, Brett Somers succeeded in creating a lasting legacy. She was an actress and television personality, perhaps, best known as one of the finest panellists on CBS’ Match Game, which happened to be the top game show for a greater part of the 1970s. As an actress, Brett began her career in 1955 and established herself as an outstanding performer, recording huge success all through her active years until her retirement in 2006.
Of all the roles she played on screen, she is most popular for playing Blanche Madison on the sitcom The Odd Couple, which aired on ABC from September 24, 1970, to March 7, 1975.
Life Of Brett Somers
The actress was born as Audrey Dawn Johnston on July 11, 1924, in New Brunswick, Canada. Not long after she was born, her family moved to Portland Maine, where she grew up. At the age of 18, the young adult, who dreamt of becoming an actress, decided to leave home and settle in Greenwich Village in New York City, to make her dream a reality.
There, she changed her name to Brett Somers. She took up the first name “Brett” after the lead female character in the 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises written by Ernest Hemingway while her chosen last name “Somers” was the maiden name of her mother.
Brett Somers joined the Actors Studio in 1952 and kicked off her acting career in theater. Many of the television appearances she made initially were in dramatic programs such as Kraft Television Theatre, The Philco Television Playhouse, Robert Montgomery Presents, and Playhouse 90.
The actress debuted on Broadway in the play Maybe Tuesday, which turned out to be a flop. She subsequently performed in the production of other plays such as The Seven Year Itch and The Country Girl. Although Bret also appeared in a number of films some of which are A Rage to Live and Bus Riley’s Back in Town, her acting resume features more of television works.
She was cast in many roles on episodic primetime television such as Have Gun Will Travel, The Fugitive, Love, The Love Boat, American Style, The Mary Tyler Moore Show among others. She landed her most notable role in the early 1970s on the ABC sitcom The Odd Couple. Brett Somers portrayed the character of Blanche, the ex-wife of the character Oscar Madison (played by her then-husband Jack Klugman).
Bret became well-known in the 1970s as a result of her appearance on the popular CBS game show Match Game. On the show hosted by Gene Rayburn, contestants were required to match answers to senseless questions presented by a panel of celebrities which Brett Somers was among and due to her witty remarks, she became a popular celebrity panellist on the show.
During her active years in the entertainment industry, Brett Somers had a great time working as an actress and a game-show personality and earned a lot of money from them. However, the exact amount of her net worth prior to her death was never known. Nevertheless, there is no gainsaying the fact that she had more than enough money to live a comfortable life.
Meet Brett Somers’ Children
Brett Somers enjoyed a flourishing career, no doubt, but her love life was a direct opposite of that. The actress was twice divorced; she got married to her first husband, Robert Klein, after relocating to New York to begin her professional acting career. To date, it is not known when exactly they tied the knot or where the ceremony took place. Sadly, their marriage lasted for a few years before it hit the rocks, resulting in a divorce. Before the divorce, however, the couple had already given birth to a daughter named Leslie, who died in 2006.
Moving forward, the multihyphenate got into another relationship with actor Jack Klugman the then-future star of TV shows Quincy and The Odd Couple and by 1953 they were married. They had two sons – David Klugman and Adam Somers Klugman (born on the 11th of July 1963). According to reports, the actress and her second husband got separated in 1974 but remained legally married until her death. The fact that Jack Klugman never remarried until Brett’s death gave substance to this belief. Nevertheless, California records show that the marriage between the duo officially ended in August 1977.
All of Brett Somers’ children are doing well in their chosen fields. While her eldest child and only daughter Leslie Klein, is an actress popular for her role in Walk the Talk (2007), her first son, David Klugman, is a writer, painter, public speaker, and certified psychoanalyst, certified both in teaching and in training psychosynthesis. He has been in private practice for more than two decades in Nyack, New York, where he lives with his wife and daughter. On the other hand, Adam, an award-winning media strategist and campaign consultant, lives with his family in West Linn, Oregon.
Death (Cause of Death)
Sometime in 2002, there were rumours that the prolific actress had cancer but during an interview that same year, Brett Somers said the rumors were untrue and went further to reiterate that point in subsequent interviews. Somer’s voice was naturally husky and that might have triggered the rumors that she had a throat ailment. Shortly after people came to believe that she was actually okay, she was struck with cancer for real.
The diagnosis was made in 2004 and after she had battled the disease for three years, she lost the fight, passing away on September 15, 2007, at her home in Westport, Connecticut, at the age of 83. According to Brett’s younger son, Adam, who broke the news of her death, she died of stomach and colon cancer.