Peg Phillips

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Peg Phillips
Peg Phillips.jpg
Peg Phillips in 1993
Margaret Linton

(1918-09-20)September 20, 1918
Everett, Washington, U.S.
DiedNovember 7, 2002(2002-11-07) (aged 84)
Other namesMargaret Peg Phillips
Margaret Phillips
Spouse(s)Daniel Greene
(m. 193?; div. 194?)
Chester Phillips
(m. 195?; div. 19??)

Peg Phillips (born Margaret Linton, September 20, 1918 – November 7, 2002) was an American actress best known for playing storekeeper Ruth-Anne Miller on the television series Northern Exposure.

Early life[edit]

Phillips was born Margaret Linton in Everett, Washington, to Charles and Myrtle Linton. She wanted to be an actress from the age of four[1] and performed in dinner theater as a hobby. She was the wife of Daniel Greene, a Navy man stationed in the Territory of Hawaii when the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred.[2] She was married to Chester Phillips in the 1950s, during which time she suffered a near-fatal bout of "polio and a serious abdominal infection".[1]

She lived with her children Kathy, Virginia and Arthur in Santa Cruz, California, in the early to mid-1960s. Her oldest daughter, Elisabeth, had left the household. She worked as an accountant at Sweet Service in Santa Cruz during that time. She was involved with local theatrical groups; her favorite play was Bell, Book and Candle. After retiring from accounting, Phillips moved back to Washington to enroll in drama school at the University of Washington, but never completed her degree "because I started getting so much work."[3]


She started acting professionally in her late 60s. Her first film performance was in the TV movie Chase in 1985. In 1990, she originated the role of Ruth-Anne Miller on Northern Exposure. The character had been intended to be intermittent, but gradually appeared more frequently until she became a regular.[1] She was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 1993. After the fifth season of the show was wrapped up in 1995, she was undergoing heart surgery when an aortic aneurysm ruptured. Had she not already been on the operating table, it probably would have been fatal.[1]

After Northern Exposure, Phillips played several guest roles, especially on 7th Heaven. She played the dude ranch-owning godmother of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's characters in How the West Was Fun. Her last role was a guest spot on ER in 2000. She also founded the Woodinville Repertory Theatre in 1998,[3]


She died in 2002 from pulmonary disease in Seattle, aged 84.[4][1] Like her Northern Exposure character, she was a smoker from an early age, having started at 13.[2]

Television credits and nominations[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1990–95 Northern Exposure Ruth-Anne Miller 105 episodes
1996 Suddenly Susan Judge Cameron Episode: "Golden Girl Friday"
1996 Boston Common Rose Episode: "A Triage Grows in Boston"
1996 Touched by an Angel Zelda Widdenberg Episode: "The Journalist"
1996–99 7th Heaven Mrs. Hinkle 4 episodes
2000 ER Mrs. Duffy Episode: "The Domino Heart"
Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1993 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Northern Exposure Nominated [5]
1994 Viewers for Quality Television Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Drama Series Nominated [citation needed]
1995 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated [6]


Year Title Role Notes
1985 Chase Auntie Jane Television movie
1990 Waiting for the Light Iris
1991 Dogfight Older Cafe Customer
1994 How the West Was Fun Natty Television movie
1996 Jerry Maguire Video tape at bachelor party Uncredited


  1. ^ a b c d e Levesque, John (November 12, 2002). "Actress realized her dream on 'Northern Exposure'". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved May 23, 2009.
  2. ^ a b Oliver, Myrna (2012-11-13). "Margaret 'Peg' Phillips -- actress appeared on 'Northern Exposure'". San Francisco Chronicle. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2019-07-25.
  3. ^ a b Berson, Misha (1999). "Not a Square Peg: Northern Exposure veteran carves a niche in the local theater scene, and keeps on laughing". Seattle Times. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  4. ^ OLIVER, MYRNA (13 November 2002). "Margaret 'Peg' Phillips, 84; TV Actress". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  5. ^ "Nominees/Winners - Television Academy - 1993 Primetime Emmy Awards". Primetime Emmy Awards. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  6. ^ "The Inaugural Screen Actors Guild Awards". Screen Actors Guild Awards. Retrieved December 19, 2014.

External links[edit]