Polly Buggs was the daughter of American actress and elocutionist Zara Cully and her husband James M. Brown Jr. Polly Buggs was born in 1917 and had three siblings James M. Brown III, Emerson T. Brown, and a sister who died when she was young.

Personal Life

Polly Buggs married John A. Buggs, a deputy director of the U.S Civil Rights Commission. She worked at the Fessenden Academy in Martin, Florida, when she met John A. Buggs. When John saw Polly, he said he would marry her someday. The two lovebirds got married on February 28, 1943.

Polly Buggs had two daughters, Diane Dorinda and Zara Gale, with her husband. She mentioned that while giving birth to her first child, she was in labor for three days, but it was a joy when she finally held her daughter in her arms. 

About Polly’s Mother

Polly Buggs’ mother was born into a musical family, and she went on to study Music and Speech. In the 1940s, she relocated to New York City, where she was an elocutionist. Years later, she started writing, acting, directing, and producing plays. Zara Cully established her studio where she taught drama.

Polly’s mother appeared in several movies and television shows; she was part of the cast of The Jeffersons when she died on February 28, 1978, due to lung cancer.

Education and Career

Polly Buggs studied up to the college level. After completing high school, she joined the Hampton Institute in Virginia, after which she joined Spellman College. She graduated in 1941 with an English, dance, and fine arts degree.

On completing her college education, Polly Buggs was offered a teaching job at Fessenden Academy, which she accepted. At the academy, she taught English, history, and dance. After working at Fessenden for a while, Polly Buggs moved to Los Angeles, California, where she started teaching at Washington Junior High School.

Polly Buggs taught at Washington high school until she retired in 1967. She then moved to Washington, D.C, where her husband was working and built a house

Life After Retirement

After relocating to Washington, Polly’s husband’s health started to take a toll on him. He suffered a stroke in 1978, and Polly Buggs was there to attend to his needs. After some time, Polly Buggs’ husband was admitted to the Los Angeles Alzheimer’s facility, and she was left alone at home.

Polly had started having health issues, so she moved to Laurel, Maryland, to live with her daughter Diane. When her husband died in 1995, Polly traveled to California to bury him, after which she decided to stay with her firstborn daughter Zara Gale. Polly Buggs lived with her daughter for two years.

Polly subsequently suffered a fall, resulting in her shoulder and hand injury. She was admitted to the hospital, after which she went to a rehab center and finally a nursing home, where she died surrounded by her family. Polly Buggs was 87 when she died; her body was interred beside her husband’s at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.