peggy mccay dead
Credit: Image: Jill Johnson/JPI

It’s never easy to say goodbye.

“Only in the agony of parting do we look into the depths of love.”
― George Eliot

Peggy McCay (Caroline Brady, Days of our Lives) has passed away in her sleep on October 7 at the age of 90 of natural causes. McCay has never married, nor had children of her own. She is survived by family and friends, including her dear friend Denise Kiel Smith, who broke the news on Twitter, stating, “To all of Peggy McCay’s dear friend and family I have some sad news…Peggy passed peacefully in her sleep of natural causes Sunday morning at 1:00 am. She always appreciated you, her loyal fans, for all of the love and support that you gave her throughout the years. Peggy enjoyed a lifelong career of acting in television and movies. She loved working at Days of Our Lives nearly to the end. Acting and animal rescue were her passions in life. If you would like to show your support please visit the Kitty Bungalow, Peggy’s favorite charity, at Kitty Bungalow.”

The NBC soap posted a statement on their official Twitter, “Our deepest sympathy to the friends and family of Peggy McCay, our dear Caroline Brady for more than three decades.” The show then went on to share a statement from executive producer Ken Corday, “This past Sunday we lost our dear Peggy McCay, known to her fans as DAYS OF OUR LIVES matriarch Caroline Brady. A strong woman and actor, Peggy fought tirelessly for the members of her community, and her spirit lives on in those causes. On a personal level, Peggy was like a grandmother to my children and a beloved member of our family. Her wonderful spirit will be deeply missed by all of us at DAYS OF OUR LIVES and her fans.”

Born November 2, 1927, Peggy McCay was educated at Columbia University and Barnard College before she started working in 1949 as an actress. McCay’s long spanning career included theatre, film, she worked on over 100 television series, including soap operas. Some of McCay’s television appearances that stand out are in shows such as Love of Life, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Perry Mason, The Greatest Show on Earth, The Andy Griffith Show, Gunsmoke, and Lou Grant. The actress played Iris Fairchild on the longest running American soap opera, General Hospital from 1967 – 1970 and years later, February 7, 1983, she originated the role of Caroline Brady, on Days of our Lives, since the Brady family was first created.

More: Throwback interview, Peggy McCay on Caroline’s memorable moments

McCay was beloved not just to the Brady clan but Days viewers. A talented actress, she was nominated for a Daytime Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actress for the role of Caroline Brady 4 times. Previous to that, she won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a drama series for the show, The Trials of Rosie O’Neill, playing the part of Irene Hayes, and an Obie Award in the category of Distinguished Performance by an Actress for her role as Sofia in Uncle Vanya. Missed by her fans, Peggy McCay hasn’t been seen on Days since August 24, 2016 in scenes where Caroline visited Maggie in the hospital after she went through surgery. There have also been scenes in February 2017 where Caroline was mentioned and a phone call was made to her from her daughter Kayla (Mary Beth Evans). sends our condolences out to McCay’s family and friends. It is with sadness that we report this news, especially on the heels of Days’ Frank Parker’s (Grandpa Shawn) recent passing.

Take a trip down memory lane by viewing the photo gallery below of Peggy McCay as Caroline throughout the years, as various Days co-workers remember the actress…

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Sweet Peggy you will be missed. Love is forever?

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To Peggy McCay. I had a very special relationship with Peggy both on and off screen. She was Theresa’s only champion, and like a grandmother (albeit a feisty one) behind the scenes. She was tough as nails, in the most hilarious spitfire way. Kind, but not a doormat. Peggy lived her life from a place of approval, not for approval. She excluded confidence, but she was always kind. Like Grandma Caroline, she just had that Irish fire. I’ll never forget my first day working with Peggy. I was nervous because, y’all, she’s a legend! After our scenes, Peggy and @patsypease came up to me in the hall, and Peggy looked at me, as if she was about to give me a proper dressing down, and quietly said, “so Pats and I have been talking about your work” I swallowed hard, like oh God, I knew it. I didn’t do it well enough. She continued, “You’re one of us. You have old school work ethic, and I like you a lot. It’s a pleasure working with you” and then she bear hugged me, like Grandma Caroline would do to Theresa. I’ll never forget that moment in my life. Since that day, Peggy was a mentor. A friend, and a great source of encouragement and wisdom. We will miss you every day Peggy. #RIPPeggyMcCay #Days #Dool

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#love #shewillbesomissed #mamabrady #days

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Oh Miss McCay There’s quite a bit I have to say. A word this morning came to me when I heard the news : hutzpah. When we first met, you weren’t so sure…but one press trip did it. We sat together & I listened as you practiced your rap. Yes a rap. I asked why rap? You said – “because I haven’t done it yet, have you?” I can still recall the way you fearlessly took that stage in your 80s, fearless & brave, to go beyond self comfort for the sake of growth & a good challenge. Every time I saw you in the makeup chair there was a giant ear to ear grin, a welcoming hug & then the same exact sentiment – “so hows the work?” Peggy, you had an endless & intense love affair with acting. It inspires me to this day. Like a kid in a sandbox, she truly couldn’t wait to roll up her sleeves & get to work. Watching Peggy portray her character’s Alzheimer’s while I felt I was losing my grandfather to it, brought me understanding, patience, and comfort. We talked often about how important that storyline was & the loneliness of being trapped in your own mind. You set the bar high. And up there, heaven just got a hell of a lot more fun.

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