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What Happened to ‘Match Game’ Panelist Brett Somers? 

In the early ‘70s, Brett Somers ruled the game show circuit as a celebrity panelist on Match Game. The Battlestar Galactica actress won the audience over with her hilarious commentary and banter with costar Charles Nelson Reilly. Following her success in the series, many wondered what happened to her. Keep scrolling to find out. 

Who Was Brett Somers?

Somers was born Audrey Dawn Johnston on July 11, 1924, in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. After moving to New York City as a teen to pursue acting, she decided to change her name. Some of her earliest TV appearances came in 1954’s The Mask, 1955’s Goodyear Playhouse, 1961’s Naked City and 1964’s The Fugitive

From 1971 to 1973, Somers starred in The Odd Couple with her then-husband, Jack Klugman. They welcomed two children during their relationship, sons Adam and David, before divorcing in 1977. She was also a mom to daughter Leslie, whom she welcomed during her marriage to her first husband, Robert H. Klein. 

What Happened to 'Match Game' Panelist Brett Somers? 
Courtesy of YouTube/CBS

Somers made her first few appearances on Match Game as a panelist in 1973. Known for wearing wigs and colorful glasses in each episode, the performer became synonymous with the Gene Rayburn-fronted show. 

“Charles Nelson Reilly and Brett Somers would have martinis and get a little loopidy-doopidy,” fellow panelist Fannie Flagg told Closer in April 2020. “Those are some of my favorite memories.”

It’s obvious Somers and Reilly never had a dull moment while sitting together on the panel. 

​​“Besides being hilarious, they were two of the smartest people I have ever known,” Fannie continued. “They got such a kick out of each other and razzed everybody else on the panel mercilessly, and they were particularly relentless on the people they liked. It was never mean or hurtful, and they loved it when you razzed them back.”

What Happened to Brett Somers After ‘Match Game’?

Somers made her last few Match Game appearances in the early ‘80s. Following her exit from the series, she performed in her own cabaret show, An Evening With Brett Somers. Other acting appearances included roles in The Love Boat, CHiPs and Getting There. Somers also brought her comedic skills to Hollywood Squares when she served as a celebrity panelist in 2002. 

The TV personality died on September 15, 2007, at age 83 from stomach and colon cancer. Her contributions to Match Game will never be forgotten. 

Match Game in a sense created its own celebrities. Brett actually had an extensive career in theater and television throughout the ‘50s and ’60s and was in fact a lifetime member of The Actors Studio in New York,” author A. Ashley Hoff previously told Closer. “But it was Match Game that made her literally a household name. And while Richard Dawson was the most cerebral panelist and the best at the game, people loved Brett’s audacity.”

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