Brett Somers (Audrey Dawn Johnston; July 11, 1924 – September 15, 2007) was a Canadian-American game show host, actress, and singer who was born Audrey Dawn Johnston. As a panelist on the 1970s game program Match Game and as Blanche Madison on The Odd Couple, where she co-starred with her real-life husband, actor Jack Klugman, in recurrent roles, Brett was well-known.
The young Audrey Dawn Johnston grew raised in the Portland area of Maine, not far from where she was born in Halcomb, New Brunswick. When she was 18, she moved to New York City and settled in Greenwich Village to pursue her acting career. In Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, Brett is the protagonist’s first name. Her mother’s maiden name was Somers, hence her choice of surname.
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Brett Somers’s Personal Information
In 1948, she married Robert H. Klein, a New York businessman, rather than the famed comic. They had one child, Leslie Klein, who died of lung cancer in 2003, and were divorced after only a few short years of marriage. The couple had two children, David and Adam. She married actor Jack Klugman in 1953, and they had two boys together.
For a long time, it was claimed that Somers and Klugman divorced in 1974 but remained legally married until her death; this misunderstanding was exacerbated by the fact that Klugman married his second wife only after Somers had passed away. However, according to California court documents, the couple divorced in August of that year. It wasn’t until Somers was in his forties that he became a US citizen.
The Philco Television Playhouse, Kraft Television Theatre, Playhouse 90, and Robert Montgomery Presents were among Somers’ first television appearances when she joined the Actors Studio in 1952. Her Broadway debut was as Maybe Tuesday, in which she played the lead role. After just five performances, the show was a failure and had to be closed. It was in The Seven Year Itch and The Country Girl that she co-starred with Klugman as a co-star. A Rage to Live and Bus Riley’s Back in Town are two of her many cinematic roles.
Brett Somers’s Career
In 1952, Brett Somers became a member of the Actors Studio, which launched her career. Located in Manhattan, New York City, The Actors Studio offers experienced actors, directors, and even playwrights the opportunity to learn from one another. This organization was just 5 years old when Brett became a member and underwent acting training. She began her acting career by appearing in a few dramatic television shows. They include Robert Montgomery Presents and Playhouse 90 among others.
Brett Somers, like every actor’s fantasy, was a multiple-time Broadway performer. As an actor’s worst nightmare, her first show was a complete failure. There were just five performances of the play, which was titled “Maybe Tuesday,” before it was abruptly canceled. Somers was unfazed and continued to pursue her job. The Seven Year Itch and The Country Girl were among the films in which she finally appeared. When it premiered in 1954, The Country Girl was a tragic play that dealt with alcoholism.
The Odd Couple, ABC’s sitcom in which she played Blanche, was another television appearance for this gifted actress. Jack Klugman, who played Blanche Madison’s husband Oscar Madison in the film, was also the actor who played her husband in real life. Brett Somers played Siress Belloby in Battlestar Galactica, a science fiction program that aired in 1978. The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Defenders, Ben Casey, The Fugitive, and the Mary Tyler Moore Show are just a few of the television shows in which she has appeared in episodic roles.
She may be best recognized for her performance on the game program Match Game. Brett Somers was a regular panelist on the show, which was owned by CBS. She quickly became known for her oversized eyeglasses and bizarre wigs. For nine years, Brett was a part of the game show’s cast and crew. Is it known that Jack Klugman, her husband, came up with the idea of her being on the show? She did, and it was a success! On one occasion, on-air personality Robin Quivers took on her role of her during a spoof of the game show. An Evening With Brett Somers was her own show that ran from 2003 to 2004.
Brett Somers’s Relationship Status
In her lifetime, Brett Somers had two marriages. After moving to New York City, she married a man named Robert Klein. Leslie was born as a result of their marriage. The couple divorced after only a few years of marriage. She married fellow actor Jack Klugman in 1953, and the union resulted in the birth of two children, David and Adam. Even though they remained married until her death, it is said that they divorced in 1977. After Brett Somers’s death, Klugman remarried.
Brett Somers, ‘Match Game’ Wit, Dies at 83
When she appeared on “Match Game,” which was a popular quiz program in the 1970s and was hosted by Brett Somers, Brett Somers entertained viewers with her wit and wisdom. She was 83 years old at the time. Adam Klugman, her son, said his mother died of stomach and colon cancer.
Gene Rayburn hosted “Match Game,” a game show in which participants competed against a panel of celebrities who provided raunchy comments and putdowns in response to nonsense questions. GSN still airs shows from the show’s 1973-1979 run, including regulars like Somers, Dawson, and Reilly (formerly Game Show Network.) Mrs. Somers married future “Quincy” and “The Odd Couple” actor, Jack Klugman, in 1953. In 1974, they divorced, but they never divorced.
She played the character of Mr. Klugman’s ex-wife in multiple episodes of “The Odd Couple.” When Audrey Johnston was born, she was raised in Portland, Maine, but she moved to New Brunswick, Canada, as a child. Greenwich Village became her new home at the age of 17. As a nod to the title character in Ernest Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises,” she decided to go by Brett. Her maiden name was Somers, which she inherited from her mother. Ms. Somers is also survived by her other son, David, in addition to Adam Klugman.
In 2002, there were rumors that the Canadian-American actress was battling cancer. The rumors were false. She was finally diagnosed with stomach and colon cancer in 2004. Brett Somers battled valiantly despite her sickness. Brett died of cancer on September 15th, 2007, tragically. In Connecticut, she passed away at the age of 83.
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