Peggy Jane Rea
March 31, 1921
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Died||February 5, 2011 (aged 89)|
Toluca Lake, California, U.S.
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. Although Thompson severed ties with Rea, 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. Rea 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.
She appeared in such television shows as I Love Lucy, The Wild Wild West, Hazel, Bonanza, Have Gun Will Travel, Gunsmoke, Sergeant Bilko, Ironside, Burke's Law, Marcus Welby, M.D., All In The Family, Maude, Hunter, The Odd Couple, Gidget, Busting Loose, MacGyver, and The Golden Girls.
Rea is probably best known for her role as Lulu Coltrane Hogg in The Dukes of Hazzard (1979). Throughout the series' nine-year run Rea appeared in 19 episodes as the wife of Hazzard County Commissioner Jefferson Davis Hogg (played by Sorrell Booke), aka Boss Hogg.
After portraying a landlady in an earlier episode of The Waltons, Rea permanently joined the cast in 1979 in the role of Rose Burton, a cousin of Olivia Walton, a surrogate parental figure replacing Ellen Corby (Grandma), Michael Learned (Olivia), and the following year, Ralph Waite (John).
Rea remained with the series until the spring of 1981 when her character of Rose was proposed to by 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 first season of Step By Step from 1991 to 1992 and Grace Under Fire during the 1990s.
Her recurring roles included:
- Clubwoman I Love Lucy (recurring role)
- The Red Skelton Show 1966–1971
- Peggy on Have Gun Will Travel (8 episodes)
- Mrs. Roniger and other roles on Gunsmoke 1962–1971
- Cousin Bertha on All in the Family
- Martha Burkhorn on All in the Family
- Rose Burton on The Waltons
- Lulu Hogg on The Dukes of Hazzard 1979–1985
- Ivy Baker on Step by Step 1991–1992
- Jean Kelly on Grace Under Fire 1993–1998 (51 episodes)
|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|
|1979–1981||The Waltons||Cousin Rose Burton||seasons 8–9; 38 episodes|
|1979||The Dukes of Hazzard||Lulu Coltrane Hogg|
|1986||Hamburger: The Motion Picture||Mrs. Cratchmatter|
|1987||The Golden Girls||Mrs. Contini|
|1989||Curfew||Mrs. Mary Cox|
|1992||Love Field||Mrs. Heisenbuttel|
|1993||Made in America||Alberta|
|Grace Under Fire||Jean Kelly||51 episodes|
|A Waltons Thanksgiving Reunion||Rose Burton||TV movie|
|1995||Devil in a Blue Dress||Carter's Secretary|
- "PASSINGS: Peggy Rea". Los Angeles Times. February 12, 2011. Archived from the original on March 13, 2016. Retrieved February 13, 2011.
- "Peggy Rea, TV Actress With Matronly Aura, Dies at 89". The New York Times. February 11, 2011. Page B15.
- Kay Thompson official website Archived 2017-08-31 at the Wayback Machine. May 5, 2013. Retrieved July 26, 2015.