PASSINGS: Kaye Stevens

Singer and actress Kaye Stevens, 79, who performed with the Rat Pack and frequently appeared on

Johnny Carson

's late-night

talk show

, died Wednesday at Villages Hospital north of Orlando, Fla. She had

breast cancer



clots, said her friend Gerry Schweitzer.

During the

Vietnam War

era, Stevens also performed for American soldiers in the war zone with

Bob Hope

's USO tour.

Rat Pack members she shared the stage with included

Frank Sinatra


Dean Martin


Sammy Davis Jr.

She also sang solo at such venues as Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and the Plaza Hotel in

New York City


She was born Catherine Louise Stephens in 1932 in Pittsburgh and eventually moved to Cleveland, where she got her start in her teens as a drummer and singer. She later married bandleader and trumpet player Tommy Amato and performed with him in the eastern U.S.

From 1974 to 1979, Stevens portrayed Jeri Clayton on "Days of Our Lives." She also was a regular on TV

game shows

and appeared in about a dozen television and movie projects, including "The New Interns" (1964) and "Jaws 3" (1983).

A longtime resident of


, Fla., Stevens had started her own ministry.

From Times wire reports