Peggy McCay was born on November 3, 1930 in New York City. As a child, she already showed potential for acting as she loved acting out scenarios with her playmates. In high school, she landed roles on several school productions, such as Omnibus and Playhouse 90.She graduated from Columbia University right before she was given a role as Vanessa Dale in the soap opera Love of Life. In the 1950s she played in four feature films before landing a part in the television sitcom Room for One More in 1962. Two years later she returned to soap operas, appearing in The Young Married’s. Later on she was cast for a role in General Hospital. Other appearances include Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years and How the West Was Won, both miniseries, and The Lazarus Syndrome movie and television series.
McCay is best known for her role in Days of Our Lives as Caroline Brady
. So far, she has five Emmy nominations under her name. She is also the only actress to be nominated for a Daytime and Nighttime Emmy in the same year, 1987. For the Daytime Emmy, she was nominated for Lead Actress for her work on Days of Our Lives and in primetime for Best Guest Actress for her work on Cagney and Lacey. She finally won her first and so far only Emmy in 1991 for her role as a homeless woman on The Trials of Rosie O'Neill. The same performance gave Peggy McCay a special citation from the John Henry Foundation for her “dignified and perceptive depiction of mental illness." She co-founded The New Image Committee, an organization which aims to improve the daytime Emmy Awards show and the nomination process.
McCay is also devoted to animal rights issues and is a member of various organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA. As part of her cause, she has requested that the actors on Days of our Lives refrain from wearing fur on the show.