Emmy Award-winning actress Peggy McCay plays the unstoppable matriarch Caroline Brady on NBC’s Days of our Lives but she has enjoyed a lauded career on primetime (most recently a guest starring role on CBS’ Cold Case) as well as in feature films. McCay is the only performer in history to be nominated for both a primetime and daytime Emmy Award in the same year (she won the primetime trophy). Through it all, she has maintained a reputation for enduring talent, utmost professionalism, and timeless beauty.
What keeps this golden girl so golden? Among other revelations, McCay tells us what beauty products keep her looking so amazing and what animals can teach us about staying well balanced and healthy.
What is your definition of beauty?
I think beauty is God-given. That being said, it’s up to each of us to maintain and highlight it. The key is to have an accurate perspective on oneself and choose the right hairstyle and clothing that suits one’s particular figure and unique beauty.
Do you believe women can be beautiful at any age?
Yes, I do. I think one of the most beautiful women was [artist] Georgia O’Keefe. She was stunningly beautiful in her own way. I think women can be beautiful at any age if they care for themselves. Mature women possess an inner beauty learned through life.
Can you share some of your beauty secrets?
Vitamins are important and eating the right food, but exercise is the best way to change your attitude and your body. You can even exercise your eyes. I don’t wear glasses. I think exercise is the greatest tool for looking and feeling one’s best.
Can you recommend any special beauty products you swear by?
I use various products but favor Neutrogena because it is hypoallergenic. I also love Paul Mitchell products. They are not only pure, but as their slogan says, Paul Mitchell products are tested by hairdressers, never on animals.
It is no secret you love animals and love helping them. How do you think this has helped you maintain balance in your own life?
They are so essential to me. I have people who gave up having animals and they are miserable. I think I figured out why I think they are so essential to staying balanced. Animals are totally in tune with nature and we [humans] are the inventive ones. Animals have such purity, and innocence and love. They are wonderful. Most animals will become your friend, if they get to know you. And they bring that purity to a human being, which can lead to a healthier life. For example, studies have shown that stroking a dog will reduce high blood pressure.
You are in a profession that usually demands beauty of its leading women – were you always considered a great beauty or is this something you cultivated for your career?
(Laughs) Thank you. I’ve never thought of myself that way, but I think I’ve cultivated whatever I’ve achieved in that area. In New York where I started my career, physical beauty was not the main thing in actors – it was your performance. When I first got to Hollywood, my agents told me I would never do a movie unless I had a bathing suit picture – meaning how I looked in a bathing suit counted more than my training. I couldn’t believe it.
Knowing what you know now about health and wellness, would you have done things differently in your twenties? Why or why not?
I wouldn’t have sat in the sun so long!
What do you consider beautiful in other people?
I consider their expressiveness, sensibilities and heart most beautiful.