Peggy King

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Peggy King
Peggy King on The Jack Benny Show
Peggy King on The Jack Benny Show
Background information
Born (1930-02-16) February 16, 1930 (age 90)
Greensburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.
GenresJazz, traditional pop
Years active1950s

Peggy King (born February 16, 1930) is a jazz and pop vocalist and former TV personality. She was a member of big bands led by Charlie Spivak, Ralph Flanagan, and Ray Anthony.


"Pretty perky Peggy King", as she was called, appeared on The George Gobel Show from 1954 through 1957 and guest-starred on many other TV shows, including Bob Hope's 1956 Chevy Show, American Bandstand, Maverick, Dragnet (series), The Steve Allen Show,[1] The Kraft Music Hall with Milton Berle,[2] What's My Line?,[3] The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Perry Como Show,[4] The Garry Moore Show, and The Jack Benny Show.[5]

In 1952, MGM signed her to a contract, which led to a singing cameo in Vincente Minnelli's The Bad and the Beautiful (recorded with Skip Martin for MGM Records) and a series of commercial jingles for Hunt's tomato sauce. These last brought her to the attention of Mitch Miller at Columbia Records. Miller signed her to a long-term contract, under which she made two best-selling albums, Wish Upon on a Star and Girl Meets Boy [6][7] and a string of hit singles, including "Make Yourself Comfortable" in 1954. She sang the Oscar-nominated song "Count Your Blessings" on the 1955 Academy Awards telecast,[8] and both Billboard and Down Beat magazine named her Best New Singer of 1955–56.[9]

She sang in the 1955 comedy Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy and was featured as chief co-star on the poster. She portrayed the stewardess Janet Turner in the suspense thriller Zero Hour! (1957), later the basis for the satirical comedy Airplane!. She starred opposite Tab Hunter in the television musical Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates (1958) and in a musical version of Jack and the Beanstalk co-starring Joel Grey, Celeste Holm, and Cyril Ritchard. Her albums include Lazy Afternoon (1959),[10] Oh What a Memory We Made Tonight, and Peggy King Sings Jerome Kern.[11] In 2008 Sepia Records reissued the original cast album of Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates, adding sixteen of King's Columbia recordings and four of Hunter's.[12] In 2016, Fresh Sound released her first new album in 36 years.[13]

The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia inducted King into their Hall of Fame in 2010.[14][15] The success of the movie led to her resuming her singing career in 2013 with the All-Star Jazz Trio,[16] and she received strong notices at 54 Below in New York[17] and the Metropolitan Room.[18] King continues to perform in nightclubs, theatres and at charitable and private events on a regular basis, with Music Director/Pianist Andrew Kahn and accompanied by The All-Star Jazz Trio.[19]

On February 8, 1960, King became one of the first stars to be honored on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her star is located on the north side of the 6500 block of Hollywood Boulevard.[20][21]


Peggy was born February 16, 1930, to Floyd Henry King (1902–1978) and Mary Margaret Finin (maiden; 1908–2001). She has been married three times. She first married trumpeter-trombonist Knobby Lee (né Norbert William Francis Lidrbauch; 1927–1999) on February 2, 1953, in Los Angeles County. She met Lee while singing with Ralph Flanagan. Lee had been a trumpeter with the band. Knobby and Peggy divorced October 19, 1956, in Los Angeles County. After ending a two-year engagement to Andre Previn in 1958, she married Bill Kirkpatrick (ne William Kirkpatrick) in 1959. At the time, Kirkpatrick was a publicist with Bill Doll (1910–1979). Then, in the early 1960s, she married Samuel Rudofker (1921–1994) of Philadelphia, with whom she has two children, Jonathan King Rudofker (1962–2000) and Suzanne Stick (born 1963). Tabloids and biographies report that she had once had a love interest with Sammy Davis, Jr.[22][23] She has a granddaughter named Haley Madison Rudofker (born 2000) who is an Instagram influencer currently attending Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.[24]


  1. ^ Peggy King & Steve Allen on her birthday 2/16/58 (Television production). February 16, 1958 – via YouTube.
  2. ^ Video on YouTube
  3. ^ Video on YouTube
  4. ^ Video on YouTube
  5. ^ Video on YouTube
  6. ^ "Peggy King › Girl Meets Boy / Wish Upon A Star (with Percy Faith & His Orchestra)". Archived from the original on November 12, 2015. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  7. ^ "Girl Meets Boy / Wish Upon A Star (with Percy Faith & His Orchestra)".
  8. ^ Video on YouTube
  9. ^ "Joining Academy Tribute to Kern : Peggy King Sets the Record Straight". Los Angeles Times. October 19, 1985.
  10. ^ "Peggy King: Lazy Afternoon". AllMusic. Archived from the original on January 17, 2016. Retrieved January 17, 2016. Release Date April 24, 2012
  11. ^ "Discography". Pretty Perky Peggy Lee. Archived from the original on February 18, 2015. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  12. ^ "Hans Brinker Or The Silver Skates". Sepia. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved January 17, 2016. ...we have added four songs performed by Hunter...and another sixteen songs by songbird Peggy King
  13. ^ "Peggy King - Songs à la King". Blue Sounds.
  14. ^ Video on YouTube
  15. ^ "Biography in Sight and Sound". Pretty Perky Peggy Lee. Archived from the original on February 18, 2015. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  16. ^ Amorosi, A. D. (November 30, 2013). "Peggy King returns with a big voice - and songbook". Archived from the original on February 19, 2014. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  17. ^ Joe Regan Jr., Joe Jr. (December 30, 2013). "Peggy King and the All-Star Jazz Trio". Theater Pizzazz. Archived from the original on February 14, 2014. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  18. ^ "Peggy King to Play Metropolitan Room, 2/23". Broadway World: Cabaret. February 6, 2014. Retrieved January 17, 2016. Vocalist Peggy King, one of the best-loved stars of TV's Golden Age, as well as stage, screen and nightclubs, continues her resurgence after nearly a 30-year absence, with a series of performances at the Metropolitan Room, starting Sunday, Feb. 23 at 4 PM, just a few days after celebrating her 84th birthday.
  19. ^ "Archives | The Philadelphia Inquirer". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  20. ^ "Peggy King". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Archived from the original on June 26, 2015. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  21. ^ Stanley, T. L. (July 1, 2010). "Peggy King". Los Angeles Times: Hollywood Star Walk. Archived from the original on September 28, 2015. Retrieved January 17, 2016. North side of the 6500 block of Hollywood Boulevard
  22. ^ In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis, Jr. by Wil Haygood, Alfred A. Knopf (2003), pg. 320; OCLC 879348919
  23. ^ "Cultural Policy in American Music History: Sammy Davis, Jr., vs. Juvenile Delinquency," Anna Nekola and Bill Kirkpatrick, Journal of the Society for American Music, Vol. 4, No. 1, February 2010, pp. 33-58; OCLC 615152288, 4669115669; ISSN 1752-1963 (abstract retrieved October 11, 2017, at
  24. ^ "The Rudofker Family Gather in Wilkes-Barre on June 19th".

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