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Kay Medford

Personal information
Birth nameMargaret Kathleen O'Regan
Birth dateSeptember 14, 1914
Place of birthNew York City, New York, U.S.
Date of deathApril 10, 1980(age 65)
Death placeNew York City, New York, U.S.
Spousenever married

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Kay Medford (September 14, 1914 - April 10, 1980), was an American character actress and comedienne.

She was born Margaret Kathleen O'Regan in New York City to James and Mary (née Kelly) O'Regan, first-generation Irish-American parents, both of whom had died by the time she was 15 years old. She later adopted the name Kay Medford professionally, and began her career after graduating from high school, also working as a nightclub waitress.

She was the original "Mama" in Bye Bye Birdie, starring opposite Dick Van Dyke on Broadway, garnering excellent reviews, but lost the film role to Maureen Stapleton. Medford appeared in the Warner Bros. rock and roll movie Jamboree (1957) in which she played the manager of singer Pete Porter, played by Paul Carr.

Medford made her Broadway debut in 1951. She appeared in musicals such as Paint Your Wagon and Carousel, before appearing onstage in Funny Girl as the mother of Fanny Brice (played by Barbra Streisand). For her performance as Mrs. Brice she was nominated for a 1964 Tony Award for Featured Actress (Musical), and when she repeated the role in the 1968 film adaptation, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. From 1969-70 she co-starred opposite John Forsythe in the CBS series To Rome With Love.

Medford "O Regan" also had a leading role in "The Dean Martin Show" for a number of years.

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