Peggy Rea
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Peggy Rea
Peggy Rea
Peggy Jane Rea

(1921-03-31)March 31, 1921
DiedFebruary 5, 2011(2011-02-05) (aged 89)
Years active1953–1998

Peggy Jane Rea (March 31, 1921 – February 5, 2011)[1] was a Los Angeles-born American actress known for her many roles in television, often playing matronly characters.[2]

Life and career

Before she became an actress, Rea left UCLA to attend business school. She landed a job as a production secretary at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in the 1940s. Later, she was an assistant to writer-musician Kay Thompson until Thompson dropped her in April 1948. Some of the points of discord apparently included Rea's insistence on staying at the Algonquin Hotel (rather than Essex House, where Thompson was staying), and disappearing, on at least one occasion, on the eve of their New York opening to see Born Yesterday on Broadway without telling Thompson. The time had come for Peggy to make her mark as the character actress she was born to be.

She quickly landed on her feet with a supporting role in the National Road Company production of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire (as Eunice Hubbell, 1948-1949) starring Anthony Quinn. Thompson severed ties with Rea, however the younger woman kept in touch with other members of Thompson's family, including Thompson's mother, brother and younger sister, with whom she enjoyed cordial relations.[3]

She appeared in such television shows as I Love Lucy, Hazel, Bonanza, Have Gun Will Travel, Gunsmoke, Sergeant Bilko, Ironside, Burke's Law, Marcus Welby, M.D., All In The Family, Hunter, The Odd Couple, Gidget, Busting Loose, MacGyver, The Dukes of Hazzard (as Lulu Coltrane Hogg) and The Golden Girls.

She appeared in feature films, including Cold Turkey and In Country. She joined the cast of The Waltons in 1979 as Rose Burton, a cousin of Olivia Walton, as sort of a surrogate parental figure replacing Ellen Corby (Grandma), Michael Learned (Olivia), and the following year, Ralph Waite (John). (She'd also previously appeared in a 1978 episode of The Waltons, playing a landlady.)

Rea remained with the series until the spring of 1981 when her character of Rose married her beau Stanley Perkins (played by William Schallert) shortly before the show's cancellation. Rea's character of Rose appeared in the Walton's Thanksgiving Reunion in 1993. Rea later appeared as a regular on the sitcom Grace Under Fire during the 1990s.


Her recurring roles included:


Rea died in Toluca Lake, California, aged 89, from complications of heart failure on February 5, 2011.[1]


Year Title Role Notes
1964 7 Faces of Dr. Lao Mrs. Peter Ramsey
Looking for Love Relative Uncredited
1965 Strange Bedfellows Mavis Masters
1966 Walk, Don't Run Ukrainian Shot Putter Uncredited
1967 Valley of the Dolls Neely O'Hara's Vocal Coach
1969 The Learning Tree Miss McClintock
1971 Cold Turkey Mrs. Proctor
What's the Matter with Helen? Mrs. Schultz
1974 Win, Place or Steal Josephine
1976 Lipstick Reporter
1986 Hamburger: The Motion Picture Mrs. Cratchmatter
1989 Curfew Mrs. Mary Cox
In Country Mamaw
1992 Love Field Mrs. Heisenbuttel
1993 Made in America Alberta
1995 Devil in a Blue Dress Carter's Secretary


  1. ^ a b "PASSINGS: Peggy Rea". Los Angeles Times. February 12, 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  2. ^ Peggy Rea, TV Actress With Matronly Aura, Dies at 89 New York Times, February 11, 2011; page B15.
  3. ^ Kay Thompson official website, May 5, 2013; accessed July 26, 2015.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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