|Jack Klugman||(1953 - 15 September 2007) (her death) 2 children|
|Robert Klein||(1946 - ?) (divorced) 1 child|
In 1957, she played a "wise-cracking broad" in the Broadway play "Maybe Tuesday," which ironically opened on a Wednesday and closed before Tuesday...a fact she joked about in her circa-2002 cabaret show. Other future TV stars in the cast of "Maybe Tuesday" were Alice Ghostley (later "Esmeralda" on "Bewitched" (1964)) and Louis Edmonds ("Roger" on "Dark Shadows" (1966) and "Langley" on "All My Children" (1970)). "Maybe Tuesday" is described extensively in Craig Hamrick's 2003 book "Big Lou", the biography of Louis Edmonds. The author, a longtime fan of Somers, presented her with a copy of the book at one of her cabaret shows in New York City.
Grew up in Portland, Maine. Ran away from home at age 17 and headed to New York City, where she settled in Greenwich Village. Changed first name to Brett after the female lead character in the Ernest Hemingway novel, "The Sun Also Rises". Somers was her mother's maiden name.
In 2005, Jack and Brett reunited on stage in "Danger, People at Large", three short comedies by Frederick J. Stroppel at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. The special evening marked the first time in about three decades that Klugman and Somers had performed together.
She was not originally on the celebrity panel of "Match Game 73" (1973). When her husband, Jack Klugman, appeared on the first week of the program in 1973, he suggested that producers bring her aboard. Her wit and dry humor proved extremely successful, and she would remain a regular panelist for the remainder of the show's nine year network and syndicated run.
Made her Broadway debut in the short-lived play "Maybe Tuesday" in 1958, which lasted only five performances. She also appeared in "Happy Ending" with Paul Winfield, "The Seven Year Itch" with Art Carney and Lee Remick, and in "The Country Girl" with husband Klugman.
"An Evening with Brett Somers" opened in New York to rave reviews in 2003. At the age of seventy-nine, Brett found herself back in the limelight and won Backstage's prestigious Bistro Award. She was diagnosed with cancer not long after. It went into remission for a time after surgery and chemotherapy, but returned inoperable in 2007.
Daughter Leslie Klein, who was a product of Brett's first marriage to Robert Klein, died in 2003 of lung cancer.
A self-described Bohemian, she was born Audrey Johnston and ran away from home at age 17. Moving to New York's Greenwich Village to pursue a career, she abruptly changed her first name to Brett after the lead female character in the Ernest Hemingway novel "The Sun Also Rises." Somers was her mother's maiden name.
She appeared on several episodes of "The Odd Couple" (1970) playing the ex-wife (Blanche) of Klugman's Oscar character. The estranged couple also made countless TV appearances together. For many years, they were sought after guests on the 1970's game and talk show circuit, including "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (1962), "The Mike Douglas Show" (1961), "He Said, She Said" (1969) and, of course, "Match Game 73" (1973).
Although she separated from Jack Klugman in 1974, neither ever filed for divorce.
(July 2003) In New York City doing a nightclub act.
(February 2005) Living in Westport, Connecticut
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