Peggie Castle

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Peggie Castle
Peggie Castle in Invasion U.S.A. trailer.jpg
Peggie Castle from Invasion, U.S.A. trailer
Born
Peggy Thomas Blair

(1927-12-22)December 22, 1927
DiedAugust 11, 1973(1973-08-11) (aged 45)
Other namesPeggy Castle
Peggie Call
OccupationActress
Known forMiss Cheesecake
Spouse(s)
Revis T. Call
(m. 1945; div. 1950)

Robert H. Rains
(m. 1951; div. 1954)

William McGarry
(m. 1955; div. 1969)
(1 child)
Arthur Morganstern
(m. 1971⁠–⁠1973)
(his death)
Children1[1]

Peggie Castle (December 22, 1927 – August 11, 1973) was an American actress who specialized in playing the "other woman" in B-movies. Castle was Miss Cheesecake in 1949.

Early life[edit]

Castle was born as Peggy Thomas Blair in Appalachia, Wise County, Virginia.[2] She changed her last name "because there was another actress named Blair at the first studio in which she worked."[3] Her father, Doyle H. Blair,[3] was at one point "an industrial relations director for a large corporation"[4] and later business manager for Donald O'Connor[3] and studio manager for Goldwyn Studios.[5] Her mother was Elizabeth Blair.[5] She took lessons in drama when she was 8 years old.[3]

Castle graduated from Hollywood High School[5] and attended Mills College[6] for two years.[7]

Career[edit]

Radio[edit]

Castle's first work as an actress came in the soap opera Today's Children. Then a spot on Radio Theatre in 1947 brought her a screen test offer from 20th Century Fox.[7]

Film[edit]

Castle was discovered by a talent scout while eating in a restaurant in Beverly Hills. She was signed to a seven-year contract with Universal-International and made her film debut in the 1947 film When a Girl's Beautiful. In 1949, she was named "Miss Cheesecake" by the Southern California Restaurant Association. Later that year, the Junior Chamber of Commerce named Castle "Miss Three Alarm".[8][9] She later appeared in the films Mr. Belvedere Goes to College (1949),[5] Payment on Demand (1951), The Prince Who Was a Thief (1951) Invasion, U.S.A. (1952), 99 River Street (1953), Beginning of the End (1957) and Arrivederci Roma (1957). She often starred in Westerns, appearing in nearly a dozen between Wagons West (1952) and Hell's Crossroads (1957).

Television[edit]

In the 1950s, Castle moved into television. She appeared in multiple guest roles on Fireside Theater, Cheyenne, 77 Sunset Strip, and The Restless Gun. In 1957 she appeared as Amy Gordon on Cheyenne in the episode titled "The Spanish Grant." In 1957 she played defendant Sally Fenner in the Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Negligent Nymph." Also in 1957 she was a primary star on Gunsmoke, playing a forlorn “Nita Tucker” in the episode “Chester’s Murder” (S2E27).

From 1959 to 1962, she co-starred in the television western series Lawman — her first continuing series.[3] Her role as saloon owner Lily Merrill[10] brought out a new dimension of Castle's talent. She stated "For the first time in my life I'm a singer — that's the producer's opinion, not mine."[3]

Her final onscreen role was a guest appearance in a 1966 episode of The Virginian.

Stage[edit]

In 1958, Castle acted with Jesse White in a production of A Hole in the Head at the Civic Playhouse in Los Angeles.[2]: 14 

Personal appearances[edit]

In 1960, Castle and Peter Brown (who also was a regular in Lawman) traveled to rodeos, performing as a song-and-dance team. Castle stressed, "We're very careful not to sing any romantic songs," treating the act more like a brother-sister team.[11] The duo's stops included St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Albuquerque.[11]

Awards[edit]

6230 Hollywood Boulevard. Dedicated February 8, 1960.[9][12]

Personal life[edit]

Castle was married four times. She married Revis T. Call, a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army, on August 19, 1945, in Los Angeles.[2] Following that marriage, she began using Peggy Call as her professional name.[2]: 8  They divorced in 1950.[8] She married Universal publicist Robert H. Raines January 4, 1951. They divorced April 29, 1954.[13]

On July 24, 1955, Castle married William McGarry, producer and director. They had a daughter, Erin McGarry. Castle divorced McGarry in 1969.[14]

In 1971, Castle married Arthur Morganstern, her fourth husband. They remained married until Morganstern's death in April 1973.[15]

Death[edit]

Castle was an alcoholic.[16] On August 11, 1973, her third husband, William McGarry found her body on the couch of her Hollywood apartment. Her death was later determined to be caused by cirrhosis.[17]

Filmography[edit]

This is a partial list of films.

John Russell and Peggie Castle in ABC's Lawman (1959)
Russell and Castle in Lawman (1962)

Films[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1947 When a Girl's Beautiful "Koko" Glayde Credited as Peggy Call
1950 Buccaneer's Girl Cleo
1951 The Prince Who Was a Thief Princess Yasmin
1951 Payment on Demand Diana Ramsey
1951 Air Cadet Pat
1951 The Golden Horde Lailee
1952 Invasion, U.S.A. Carla Sanford
1952 Wagons West Ann Wilkins
1953 I, the Jury Charlotte Manning Shown in 3-D[4]
1953 99 River Street Pauline Driscoll
1953 Cow Country Melba Sykes
1954 The Yellow Tomahawk Katherine
1954 The White Orchid Kathryn Williams
1954 Overland Pacific Ann Dennison
1954 The Long Wait Venus
1954 Jesse James' Women Waco Gans
1955 Finger Man Gladys Baker
1955 Tall Man Riding Reva
1955 Target Zero Ann Galloway Korean War UN worker
1956 Miracle in the Rain Millie Kranz
1956 Quincannon, Frontier Scout Lesley Selander
1957 Beginning of the End Audrey Aimes
1957 The Counterfeit Plan Carole Bernard
1958 Arrivederci Roma Carol Ralston

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1952–1954 Fireside Theater Various roles 3 episodes
1956 The Millionaire Candy Caldwell Episode: "The Candy Caldwell Story"
1956 Four Star Playhouse Molly Barry Episode: "Success Story"
1956 Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater Jenny Episode: "A Quiet Sunday in San Ardo"
1956 Cheyenne Mississippi Episode: "Fury at Rio Hondo"
1957 Conflict Lila Prescott Episode: "The Money"
1957 Gunsmoke Nita Tucker Episode: "Chester's Murder"
1957 Perry Mason Sally Fenner Episode: "The Case of the Negligent Nymph"
1958 The Restless Gun Amity Hobbs Episode "Hornitas Town"
1958 The Texan Charlotta Rivera Episode: "The First Notch"
1958 77 Sunset Strip Valerie Stacey Episode: "The Well-Selected Frame"
1959 Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer Joan Barry Episode: "The Big Drop"
1959 The Restless Gun Episode: "Lady by Law"
1959 Markham Ann Jennings Episode: "Deadline Date"
1959–1962 Lawman Lily Merrill 105 episodes
1966 The Virginian Melissa Episode: "Morgan Starr"

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Peggie Castle - The Private Life and Times of Peggie Castle. Peggie Castle Pictures". www.glamourgirlsofthesilverscreen.com.
  2. ^ a b c d Wagner, Laura (July 2020). "Peggie Castle". Classic Images (541): 6, 8–15, 58–60.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Anderson, Robert (November 7, 1959). "Showdown in Laramie!". Chicago Tribune. p. 25. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Spillane Thriller On Lowe Screen". The Post-Standard. September 9, 1953. p. 14. Retrieved September 18, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  5. ^ a b c d Aaker, Everett (May 25, 2017). Television Western Players, 1960-1975: A Biographical Dictionary. McFarland. pp. 88–90. ISBN 978-1-4766-6250-3. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  6. ^ Yarbrough, Gloria (September 3, 1949). "Hollywood News". The Indiana Gazette. p. 14. Retrieved September 18, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  7. ^ a b "Lily of 'Lawman' Began on Radio". Express and News. June 24, 1961. p. 7. Retrieved September 18, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  8. ^ a b Zylstra, Freida (July 23, 1950). "Star of the Week". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. C7.
  9. ^ a b "Hollywood Star Walk". latimes.com. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
  10. ^ McNeil, Alex (1996). Total Television. Penguin Books USA, Inc. ISBN 0-14-02-4916-8. P. 472.
  11. ^ a b "Peter Brown, Peggy Castle on Rodeo Circuit". The Daily Register. June 20, 1960. p. 5. Retrieved September 18, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  12. ^ "Peggie Castle". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved September 18, 2015.(This source lists the address as 6266 Hollywood Boulevard.)
  13. ^ "Peggy Castle Granted Divorce From Raines". The Corpus Christi Caller-Times. April 30, 1954. p. 30. Retrieved September 18, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  14. ^ Burroughs Hannsberry, Karen (2009). Femme Noir: Bad Girls of Film. McFarland. pp. 44, 49. ISBN 978-0-786-44682-7.
  15. ^ "peggie castle (1925-1973)". hriansdriveintheater.com. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  16. ^ Brode, Douglas; Parker, Fess (October 19, 2009). Shooting Stars of the Small Screen: Encyclopedia of TV Western Actors (1946-present). University of Texas Press. p. 80. ISBN 978-0-292-71849-4.
  17. ^ "Actress Peggie Castle Dies at 45". The Milwaukee Journal. August 12, 1973. p. 1. Retrieved February 4, 2013.

External links[edit]