Actress Peggie Castle
December 22, 1927
Appalachia, Virginia, U.S.
|Died||August 11, 1973
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Cirrhosis|
|Other names||Peggy Castle
Castle was born Peggy Blair in Appalachia in Wise County in far southwestern Virginia. She changed her last name from Blair "because there was another actress named Blair at the first studio in which she worked."
Her father, Doyle H. Blair, was at one point "an industrial relations director for a large corporation" and later business manager for Donald O'Connor. She took lessons in drama when she was 8 years old. She attended Mills College for two years.
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". She later appeared in such films as Payment on Demand (1951), Invasion U.S.A. (1952), 99 River Street (1953), and Arrivederci Roma (1957).
In the 1950s, Castle moved into television. She appeared in multiple guest roles on Fireside Theater, Cheyenne, and The Restless Gun. In 1957 she played defendant Sally Fenner in the Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Negligent Nymph."
From 1959 to 1962, she co-starred in the television western series Lawman — her first continuing series. Her role as saloon owner Lily Merrill 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."
Her final onscreen role was a guest appearance in a 1966 episode of The Virginian.
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. The duo's stops included St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Albuquerque.
Castle was married four times. Her first marriage was to Revis Call. They married in 1945 and divorced in 1950. She married Universal publicist Robert H. Raines January 4, 1951. They divorced April 29, 1954. Her third marriage was to producer/director William McGarry in 1955. They had a daughter, Erin, before divorcing in 1969. Castle's fourth and final marriage was to Arthur Morganstern in 1971. They remained married until Morganstern's death in April 1973.
For her contribution to the television industry, Peggie Castle has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6230 Hollywood Boulevard. It was dedicated February 8, 1960. (This source lists the address as 6266 Hollywood Boulevard.)
In her later years, Castle developed alcoholism. 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.
|1947||When a Girl's Beautiful||"Koko" Glayde||Credited as Peggy Call|
|1949||Mr. Belvedere Goes to College||Jean Auchincloss||Uncredited|
|1951||Payment on Demand||Diana Ramsey|
|1951||The Golden Horde||Lailee|
|1952||Invasion U.S.A.||Carla Sanford|
|1952||Fireside Theater||Ann||Episode: "A Kiss for Aunt Sophie"|
|1953||I, the Jury||Charlotte Manning||Shown in 3-D|
|1953||99 River Street||Pauline Driscoll|
|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|
|1958||Arrivederci Roma||Carol Ralston|
|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 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||Markham||Ann Jennings||Episode: "Deadline Date"|
|1959–1962||Lawman||Lily Merrill||105 episodes|
|1966||The Virginian||Melissa||Episode: "Morgan Starr"|
- Anderson, Robert (November 7, 1959). "Showdown in Laramie!". Chicago Tribune. p. 25. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
- "Spillane Thriller On Lowe Screen". The Post-Standard. September 9, 1953. p. 14. Retrieved September 18, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Yarbrough, Gloria (September 3, 1949). "Hollywood News". The Indiana Gazette. p. 14. Retrieved September 18, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Lily of 'Lawman' Began on Radio". Express and News. June 24, 1961. p. 7. Retrieved September 18, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Zylstra, Freida (July 23, 1950). "Star of the Week". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. C7.
- "Hollywood Star Walk". latimes.com. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
- McNeil, Alex (1996). Total Television. Penguin Books USA, Inc. ISBN 0-14-02-4916-8. P. 472.
- "Peter Brown, Peggy Castle on Rodeo Circuit". The Daily Register. June 20, 1960. p. 5. Retrieved September 18, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Peggy Castle Granted Divorce From Raines". The Corpus Christi Caller-Times. April 30, 1954. p. 30. Retrieved September 18, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Burroughs Hannsberry, Karen (2009). Femme Noir: Bad Girls of Film. McFarland. pp. 44, 49. ISBN 0-786-44682-X.
- "Peggie Castle". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
- Brode, Douglas; Parker, Fess (2009-10-19). Shooting Stars of the Small Screen: Encyclopedia of TV Western Actors (1946-present). University of Texas Press. p. 80. ISBN 0-292-71849-7.
- "Actress Peggie Castle Dies at 45". The Milwaukee Journal. August 12, 1973. p. 1. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
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