Peggy McCay, who starred as Caroline Brady on the NBC soap Days of Our Lives for 35 years, died Sunday of natural causes. She was 90. McCay’s co-star and close friend Deidre Hall confirmed the news on Facebook.
McCay appeared on scores of TV shows throughout her decades-long career. She originated the role of Vanessa Dale on the CBS soap opera Love of Life (1951–1955), but it was her portrayal of family matriarch Caroline Brady on Days for which she is best known. McCay joined the cast in 1983 and was nominated four times for a Daytime Emmy for the role, most recently in 2016. Her final episode on the show aired August 24, 2016.
McCay won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a drama series for The Trials of Rosie O’Neill, and earned a Primetime Emmy nomination for a guest role as Mrs. Carruthers on Cagney & Lacey. McCay’s other TV credits include Maverick, The Andy Griffith Show (in the 1963 episode “Class Reunion,” she played Sheriff Andy Taylor’s former high school sweetheart who’d moved to the big city), Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, L.A. Law, Cold Case and Lou Grant.
Following her graduation from college, she studied with Lee Strasberg in New York and later helped to set up his West Coast acting studio. Early in her career, she won an OBIE for best Off-Broadway Young Actress of the Year for Uncle Vanya.