Terry Bagley, Interior Designer

Aug. 28, 1937 - May 6, 2015
Terry Bagley, Aug. 28, 1937 - May 6, 2015

Terry Bagley, known to many in Sag Harbor for Bagley Home, a Provence-inspired shop on Main Street, died on the morning of May 6 beneath a cherry tree in full bloom at her Bay Point home with her dog, Noah, by her side. She was 77. Friends said her lung cancer had returned.

An interior designer who also had appeared in several Hollywood films, Ms. Bagley was as passionate about the French linens and antique industrial lighting she sold as she was about Sag Harbor itself. She was a vocal member of the community intent that Sag Harbor maintain its American small-town character. 

Born Terry Woolslayer in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Aug. 28, 1937, her parents were Lois Thornley Head and Dick Woolslayer. She was raised in various parts of the West, including Los Angeles and Las Vegas. She moved to Los Angeles with her mother, who was well known in fashion merchandising in Salt Lake, after graduating from high school in 1955. She briefly attended the University of Utah and then went to New York to study design at Pratt Institute.

Working as a model, she appeared in  a national ad campaign for White Rain shampoo. She then had a long career in television, theater, and motion pictures on both coasts. After settling in California, she posed as a “Miss January” for Playboy magazine, and signed on as one of the last contract players at Warner Brothers. She was in “West Side Story,” “Beach Blanket Bingo,” and “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” She also appeared in Jerry Lewis films. A race car and motorcycle enthusiast, she appeared in a Life magazine feature on the Shelba Cobra.

Her career eventually shifted from acting to fashion design. In her mid-20s, she started a women’s fashion line, Adams and Bagley, with Suzanne Adams, whom she had met at Pratt. By 1980, she was in New York, where she worked as a designer for Bobby Brooks, and, later, Liz Claiborne. Throughout the ’80s, she traveled around the world, especially Asia, where she oversaw production of her designs.

She retired from fashion in the late 1990s, moving to Sag Harbor and opening Bagley Home in the basement of Allan M. Schneider Realty, and later on Main Street. The tiny shop was a favorite of interior designers and  was featured in Elle Decor and The New York Times. It closed in 2011, but Ms. Bagley continued to work as an interior and jewelry designer, as well as a teacher at a fashion institute in Hong Kong.

Ms. Bagley had many friends who remember her style and taste. “She was funny, sharp as a tack, and imbued with a natural love for the best of life’s simple pleasures. She was adored and will be missed,” her friend Jeremy Fitzgerald wrote.

Two marriages ended in divorce and she had no children. A brother, Christopher Robin Head, survives, as do three nieces and nephews. Another brother, John Michael Head, died before her.

Ms. Bagley was cremated and her ashes will be buried at Oakland Cemetery in Sag Harbor. A celebration of her life is being planned in Sag Harbor for September. Memorial contributions may be made to Southampton Animal Shelter, 102 Old Riverhead Road West, Hampton Bays 11946.