US psychologist Joyce Brothers, who parlayed her 1955
victory on the TV game show "The $64,000 Question" into a nearly six-decade
career as a television personality and columnist, died on Monday, her publicist
said. She was 85.
Brothers died of natural causes in New York, said
Sanford Brokaw, her Los Angeles-based spokesman.
She began dispensing
advice on television in 1958 and penned columns on topics such as sex,
relationships and parenting until early this year.
At one point,
Brothers' syndicated column was published in more than 300 newspapers and she
authored a monthly column in the women's magazine Good
Brothers, a forerunner of media-savvy psychologists such as
Laura Schlessinger and Phil McGraw, was a fixture in American living rooms in
the 1960s, '70s and '80s with her own syndicated television programs on networks
NBC and CBS and cameo appearances in films and TV series.
poked fun at herself by analyzing the Fonz's dog on the ABC television series
"Happy Days." Brothers also appeared on "The Love Boat," animated comedy "The
Simpsons" and most recently on the Hollywood comedy series "Entourage." Brothers
was also a fixture on "The Tonight Show," appearing alongside host Johnny Carson
nearly 100 times.
Joyce Brothers appears on Conan O'Brien talk show in 1997.
Brothers vaulted to public recognition by winning "The
$64,000 Question," the most popular television game show of the era, and with
her prodigious knowledge of boxing. She followed up her win with another on the
spin-off game show "The $64,000 Challenge." She also successfully parried
questions from Congress during investigations into a game-show cheating scandal,
showing her original mastery of boxing information.
Brothers is thought
to be the sport's first female commentator and her first media contract was
interviewing boxers for radio broadcasts.
She also fought off criticism
from professionals in her field early in her career after colleagues sought to
have her American Psychological Association membership revoked for practicing
outside of a private setting.
Brothers published about 15 books,
including 1987's "What Every Woman Should Know About Men" and 1992's "Widowed,"
which was inspired by her husband's death in 1989.
Brothers was born on
Oct. 20, 1927, in New York City and married physician Milton Brothers in 1949.
She earned degrees in home economics and psychology at Cornell University and a
doctorate in psychology from Columbia University.
She is survived by her
sister, daughter, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.