Actress. She is best remembered for her role as the scheming villainess 'Lee Dumonde' on the daytime serial "Days of our Lives," which she played from 1979 until her death in 1982. A classic example of a modern-day Hollywood tragedy, her acting career spanned just over 16 years with a wide range of guest appearances on television. Born Brenda Ann Nelson in Hollywood, California, she briefly attended college at the University of California, Los Angeles. She became interested in an acting career and her first roles were in 1964 on television's musical variety show "Shindig!" and the daytime soap opera "The Young Marrieds." During the 1960s and 1970s she made appearances on numerous television shows, including "I Dream of Jeannie," "Mannix," "My Three Sons," "It Takes a Thief," "Hogan's Heroes," "Love, American Style, "The Courtship of Eddie's Father," "The Love Boat," "Fantasy Island" Her movie credits include "Beach Ball" (1965), "Harum Scarum" (1965, with Elvis Presley), Track of Thunder" (1967), and "Walking Tall" (1973, with Joe Don Baker). Her last television appearance was in 1982, in an episode of "Father Murphy." She was first married to actor Paul Peterson (1967 to 1970) and then to actor Bill Bixby (1971 to 1979), with whom she had a son who died of a cardiac arrest in 1981 while hospitalized for a sudden respiratory illness. His death drove her into a severe depression from which she never recovered and she committed suicide from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in West Los Angeles, California at the age of 36.
Bio by: William Bjornstad