Brett Somers
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Brett Somers, of blessed memory, is best remembered as one of the finest game show panelists that made waves during the ’70s. She did a decent job as a panelist on the 1970s game show Match Game, exceeding expectations of many folks. The American celebrity, who is of Canadian origin, also banked as an actress, comedian, and singer in her lifetime. Brett formally launched her career in the year 1955 and retired from the industry in 2006 after recording all-around success as an outstanding performer. Of all her on-screen roles, Somers is mostly recognized for playing Blanche Madison in the American sitcom, The Odd Couple, which aired from September 24, 1970, to March 7, 1975.

Biography of Brett Somers

The multihyphenate was born Audrey Dawn Johnston, on 11th July 11, 1924, in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Shortly after her birth, her family moved to Portland Maine, where she was raised. When she reached 18, Brett decided to move to New York City to pursue a career in acting. She eventually settled in Greenwich Village, a neighborhood in New York City, where she met her first husband.

According to records, she picked her first name “Brett” from the novel ‘The Sun Also Rises’, a 1926 fiction work written by American author Ernest Hemingway while the actress’s chosen last name “Somers” is said to be her mother’s maiden name. She started out as a theatrical performer after joining the Actors Studio in 1952.

Most of her earliest projects were majorly in television shows such as Robert Montgomery Presents, Kraft Television Theatre, Playhouse 90, and The Philco Television Playhouse.  Brett Somers eventually scored her first Broadway role in the play, Maybe Tuesday, which was later closed after five performances because it was a flop. Other plays she participated in include The Country Girl, The Seven Year Itch, and Happy Ending.

The actress, whose acting resume features more of TV stints, also had roles in episodic primetime series such as The Fugitive, American Style, Have Gun Will Travel, Love, Barney Miller, ChiPs, Ben Casey and many more. Some of her film credits are Bus Riley’s Back in Town, and A Rage to Live.

As mentioned earlier, Somers’ biggest project in television is the ABC situation comedy, The Odd Couple, where she starred alongside her real-life husband. She portrayed the fictional character Blanche, who was the former wife of Oscar Madison (played by Jack Klugman) in the early 1970s series.

Brett owes her appearance to Match Game to her husband, who suggested that the producers of the game should bring her aboard after he appeared at the show during its first week in 1973. The actress later joined other celebrity panelists such as Charles Nelson Reilly, Fannie Flagg, Scoey Mitchell, Betty White, and many others. While her nine year-stint on the game show lasted, she was known for wearing various wigs, enormous eyeglasses, and writing her answers with her left hand.

Brett Somers Net Worth 

Prior to her death, Brett Somers had a great time in the entertainment industry. From acting to other activities she invested her time in, she made a lot of money from them. However, her net worth was something the public didn’t get to know about from the time she was alive to date. In essence, the value of her assets is yet to be publicly disclosed.

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Family Life

Brett Somers, no doubt, had a flourishing career but the same cannot be said of her love life which was marred by two devastating divorces. The multihyphenate got married to her first husband after she moved to New York to launch her acting career. To date, it is not known when and where exactly she tied the knot with Robert Klein. However, their marital relationship produced a daughter named Leslie Klein (died 2006) before it finally crashed.

Brett Somers
Jack and Brett in The Odd Couple (image source)

After their divorce, Somers found love again in the arms of actor Jack Klugman. The two wedded in 1953 and had two sons named David Klugman and Adam Klugman. Reports have it that the couple separated in 1974 but remained legally married until the time the actress passed away. This belief was substantiated when Jack subsequently married another woman after Brett’s death. However, California records have it that the couple actually divorced in August 1977.

The actress’ youngest son, Adam Somers Klugman (born on July 11, 1963) has established himself as an award-winning media strategist and campaign consultant. He currently lives in West Linn, Oregon with his family.

Cause of Death

Brett Somers was diagnosed with cancer in 2004 and after a few years of battling with the illness, she died at her home in Westport, Connecticut on the 15th day of September 2007. The actress passed on at the age of 83 and was said to have died of stomach and colon cancer. Although Brett is no more, her legacy has continued to live in the hearts of her family and loved ones.

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