By Nick Romano
October 10, 2018 at 01:58 PM EDT
Credit: Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Peggy McCay, better known to Days of Our Lives fans as Caroline Brady on the NBC soap opera, died on Sunday, her costar and friend Deidre Hall confirmed in a message on Facebook. McCay was 90.

“Our dearest Peggy McCay has left us,” Hall wrote. “She was a friend, an activist and a real scrapper!! I remember meeting her at the bedside of a dear, very ill friend. I backed her up as she ferociously took on doctors and nurses to make sure he had the very best care. She fought that hard for all her causes. Passionate and tireless. And how she loved being ‘Caroline’!!”

McCay joined the cast of Days of Our Lives in 1983 and portrayed the role of Brady family matriarch Caroline for 35 years until 2016. She was nominated multiple times for Daytime Emmys for her work, though she won a Primetime Emmy for guest starring on The Trials of Rosie O’Neill. The actress also received Primetime Emmy nominations for Cagney & Lacey and Woman on the Run: The Lawrencia Bembenek Story.

McCay appeared across various television shows throughout her career, including as Vanessa Dale on Love of Life. Other credits were Maverick, L.A. Law, and Cold Case.

“Well Peggy, this is unexpected,” Stephen Nichols, who played Caroline’s son-in-law Patch on the soap, wrote in a tribute post on Instagram. “The last time I saw you, you talked about how eager you were to get back to work. You said it with such conviction and longing. Don’t worry, you gave the world plenty. Gave your audiences inspired performances and your fellow actors your strength and inspiration and absolute love of the work. I will miss you sweet, Peggy. I am so grateful for the time I had with you. Sending love to your loved ones. Rest In Peace.”

Other Days actors, including Greg Vaughan (Caroline’s grandson Eric), responded to the news of McCay’s passing, while the show’s official Twitter account shared a message of “sympathy.”

“We where truly blessed by your spirit, grace & passion!” Vaughan tweeted. “I am grateful for all our time together & to say my Daytime Grandmother was the GREAT Peggy McCay was a gift.”

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