“New York Times” obituary from 2006:
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 7 (AP) — Frances Bergen, a model and actress who married the ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and was the mother of the actress Candice Bergen, died here on Monday. She was 84. Her death followed a prolonged illness, said Heidi Schaeffer, a publicist for Candice Bergen, said Tuesday. She declined to specify the illness.
Born Frances Westerman in Birmingham, Ala., she moved to Los Angeles with her mother after her father died of tuberculosis. When she was 19, she attended a recording of “The Edgar Bergen/Charlie McCarthy Show” and caught the attention of the star, then 39, who with his impish, top-hatted dummy Charlie, was host of radio’s highest-rated programs at the time. The two married after more than a year of courtship. She later started a successful modeling career and became the face of the Chesterfield Girl and Ipana Girl in advertisements. The birth of her first child, Candice, was headline news in 1946.
The Bergens had a son, Kris, born in 1962, who also survives, along with a granddaughter, Chloe Malle, Candice Bergen’s daughter with the filmmaker Louis Malle. Edgar Bergen died in 1978 at 75. Like her husband, Frances Bergen appeared in several movies, playing small roles in the 1953 rendition of “Titanic,” “American Gigolo” and “The Muppets Take Manhattan.” She also appeared on “Murphy Brown,” her daughter’s hit sitcom.