One of the big TV game shows of the 1970s was Match Game, hosted by Gene Rayburn, which featured six celebrity panelists who would try and match answers with contestants. The longer the series went on, the racier \u2014 and funnier \u2014 the answers would get, but what really drew the audience in was the interplay between the stars, with true standouts being Richard Dawson (before he went on to host Family Feud), Charles Nelson Reilly and Brett Somers. Interestingly, Brett wasn\u2019t really supposed to be a part of the show in the first place. At the time, she was married to actor Jack Klugman, who was playing Oscar Madison opposite Tony Randall\u2019s Felix Unger in The Odd Couple. In fact, she even had a recurring role on that series as Oscar\u2019s ex-wife, Blanche. Comments pop culture historian Geoffrey Mark, \u201cBrett Somers was so different from him, because Jack was Jewish from Philadelphia and she was from New England. Brett was sharp-witted, but she wasn\u2019t a beauty. She wasn\u2019t particularly a great actress, but whatever the attraction was, it was there. But by the time The Odd Couple began to be filmed, their marriage was already in trouble. They had two sons and Brett had had a daughter before she married Jack, and there was contention between them about how to raise their children.\u201d Related: 121 Classic (and Not-So-Classic) TV Sitcoms from the 1970s What is Brett Somers Famous for? (courtesy A. Ashley Hoff) Geoffrey points out that there were other problems between them in the form of Jack\u2019s \u201creally large personality quirks. He smoked cigars, he gambled \u2014 there was a lot of Oscar Madison in him. It\u2019s why he played the part so well; he wasn\u2019t stretching to play this part all that much.\u201d THE ODD COUPLE, (from left): Brett Somers, Jack Klugman, 'The Odd Holiday', (Season 4, aired Oct. 12, 1973), 1970-75. When The New Match Game premiered in 1973, Jack was actually ready to be a part of it. In fact, he was on the show\u2019s first and second weeks. \u201cBut then,\u201d says Geoffrey, \u201ccame a time when either the shooting schedule interfered with The Odd Couple or he wasn\u2019t feeling well and he told the producers, \u2018Hey, let my wife do this.\u2019 Brett was currently on The New Perry Mason playing Gertie the secretary. And she clicked on Match Game. After that, Jack was barely on the show.\u201d His loss was definitely Brett\u2019s gain. Although she had been kicking around Hollywood for about 20 years at that point, genuine stardom had eluded her \u2014 until Match Game. Brett Somers, Gene Rayburn and Charles Nelson Reilly on Match Game (courtesy A. Ashley Hoff) Born Audrey Dawn Johnson in 1924 in Canada, she moved to New York City once she turned 18 with the desire to become an actress. Inspired by a character from Ernest Hemingway\u2019s The Sun Also Rises, she changed her name to Brett, attaching her mother\u2019s maiden name, Somers. In New York she met and married Robert Klein, who was definitely not the comedian of the same name. After their divorce \u2014 some time after their daughter was born \u2014 she married Jack Klugman in 1953, giving birth to their sons Adam and David. THE ODD COUPLE, (from left): Jack Klugman, Brett Somers, 'Being Divorced Is Never Having To Say I Do', (Season 4, aired Dec. 10, 1971), 1970-75. Says Geoffrey, \u201cOnce Brett had Match Game and her own income, with her own career going and Jack didn\u2019t have to worry about her, they separated. They didn\u2019t divorce for years, but they stopped living together. They didn\u2019t dislike each other \u2014 which is why she appeared on so many episodes of The Odd Couple \u2014 but they just didn\u2019t want to live together anymore.\u201d The divorce went through in 1977. When did Brett Somers die? (courtesy A. Adam Hoff) As an actress, Brett got her start (as so many did) in different anthology television productions such as Robert Montgomery Presents, Playhouse 90 and Kraft Television Theatre. There were also stage shows like The Seven Year Itch, Maybe Tuesday and Happy Ending and a number of TV guest star appearances beyond The Odd Couple and The New Perry Mason. MATCH GAME, Allen Ludden, Brett Somers, Charles Nelson Reilly, Gene Rayburn, Dolly Read Martin, Richard Dawson, Betty White, 1973-82 \u201cThe show\u00a0in a sense created its own celebrities,\u201d observes A. Ashley Hoff, author of Match Game 101: A Backstage History of Match Game. \u201cBrett actually had an extensive career in theatre and television, but it was\u00a0Match Game\u00a0that made her literally a household name. And while Richard Dawson was the most cerebral panelist and the best at the game, people loved Brett\u2019s audacity. She said exactly what she thought, had a forceful personality, but also had a great sense of humor\u00a0and didn\u2019t mind being the butt of a joke. And in real life she was exactly what you saw onscreen, a funny, down-to-earth person.\u201d Brett passed away on September 15, 2007 at the age of 83 from a combination of stomach and colon cancer.