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Beloved Actress on ‘Days of Our Lives,’ Dies at 90

Peggy McCay, the Emmy-winning actress who portrayed the matriarch Caroline Brady on the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives for more than three decades, has died. She was 90.

Deidre Hall, who plays Marlena Evans on the daytime drama, said her longtime co-star died Sunday from natural causes.

“Our dearest Peggy McCay has left us,” Hall wrote on Facebook. “She was a friend, an activist and a real scrapper! I remember meeting her at the bedside of a dear, very ill friend. I backed her up as she ferociously took on doctors and nurses to make sure he had the very best care. She fought that hard for all her causes. Passionate and tireless. And how she loved being Caroline!”

McCay also played Andy Taylor’s high school sweetheart Sharon DeSpain on the 1963 episode “Class Reunion” of The Andy Griffith Show and had a recurring role as the wife of managing editor Charlie Hume (Mason Adams) on Lou Grant.

A New York native and Barnard College graduate, McCay joined Days of Our Lives in February 1983 as Brady, an upstanding resident of Salem, and made her last appearance on the show in August 2016. In between, she was nominated for outstanding lead actress at the Daytime Emmys in 1986, 1987, 2013, 2015 and 2016.

McCay won her Primetime Emmy in 1991 for a guest-starring stint on The Trials of Rosie O’Neill, starring Sharon Gless.

McCay appeared on the CBS soap opera Love of Love in the early 1950s and then was a contract player at Warner Bros., guest-starring on the studio’s TV shows Maverick, The Roaring 20’s, 77 Sunset Strip, Surfside 6 and Room for One More. She then starred on the soaps The Young Marrieds and General Hospital at ABC.

McCay’s résumé also included Perry Mason, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Gunsmoke, Barnaby Jones, Archie Bunker’s Place, St. Elsewhere, Cagney & Lacey and Cold Case and the features Uncle Vanya (1957) and Promises in the Dark (1979).