DAYS GONE BY
Soaps In Depth remembers Frank Parker and Peggy McCay, the stars who brought to life DAYS OF OUR LIVES’ Shawn and Caroline
when Frank Parker and Peggy McCay passed away this fall less than three weeks apart, it was both hard to believe… and also kind of comforting. Beginning in 1983, the DAYS OF OUR LIVES stars had played the Brady family’s beloved patriarch and matriarch, Shawn and Caroline, but they’d been separated on screen since Parker left the show in 2008. So, in a way, it felt like they’d been reunited.
Born Margaret Ann McCay in New York City, Caroline’s portrayer took on the name Peggy professionally and began her acting career in 1949 in the world of theater. Having studied with the renowned Lee Strasberg, she took home her first award, the OBIE for Best Off-Broadway Young Actress Of The Year for h er performance as Son ya in Uncle Vanya.
Numerous movie and TV roles followed. However, daytime might have been her true home. She made her soap debut in 1951 as Vanessa Dale on LOVE OF LIFE, then lathered up again in 1964 to star as THE YOUNG MARRIEDS’ Susan Garret. From 1967-’70, she was GH’s Iris Fairchild.
Following another long stint in primetime, McCay was lured back to soaps to become the Brady sibs’ no-nonsense mom in 1983. She debuted, along with Parker, at Roman and Marlena’s nuptials, and in her final storyline in 2016, had the vision that led to the discovery of missing great-grandson Tate. Caroline was last said to be soaking up the sunshine in California with her daughter, Kimberly.
Over the years, McCay received five Daytime Emmy nominations, most recently in 2016 for her brave
portrayal of Caroline’s struggle with memory loss. She’d previously received three primetime nods and won in 1991 for her guest appearance on THE TRIALS OF ROSIE O’NEILL. The single actress, who was also an animal-welfare activist, was 90 when she was said to have died of natural causes on October 7.