Peggy Cass

Mary Margaret Cass was born May 21, 1924, in Boston, Massachusetts. After three years in the Cambridge Latin School drama club without one speaking part, she moved to New York, where she worked as a secretary, telephone operator, advertising solicitor and model. She joined a USO troupe that took her to Australia for seven months, but she did not appear in any shows (the U.S. troops had moved on). As understudy, she took Jan Sterling’s part in a national tour of “Born Yesterday,” finally being cast in her own right in the 1949 Broadway musical “Touch and Go.” The mid 1950s brought her the defining role of Agnes Gooch in Auntie Mame (1958), her stage and screen performances earning her a Tony and an Oscar nomination, respectively. From then on, she was best known for her regular television quiz show appearances: Keep Talking (1958), Match Game (1973), Password (1961), and To Tell the Truth (1956). She was very smart and very funny, but her signature was her unmistakably raspy voice. She died on March 8, 1999, at Manhattan’s Sloane-Kettering Hospital of heart failure.

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