Peggy Rea

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Peggy Rea
Peggy Rea in I Love Lucy 1953.jpg
Peggy Rea in I Love Lucy 1953
Peggy Jane Rea

(1921-03-31)March 31, 1921
DiedFebruary 5, 2011(2011-02-05) (aged 89)
Years active1953–1998

Peggy Jane Rea (March 31, 1921 – February 5, 2011)[1] was an American actress known for her many roles in television, often playing matronly characters.[2]

Life and career[edit]

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.[3] 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.

She appeared in feature films, including Norman Lear's Cold Turkey and In Country.

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:


Rea died in Toluca Lake, California, aged 89, from complications of heart failure on February 5, 2011.[1]


Year Title Role Notes
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
1976 Lipstick Reporter
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
In Country Mamaw
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


  1. ^ a b "PASSINGS: Peggy Rea". Los Angeles Times. February 12, 2011. Archived from the original on March 13, 2016. Retrieved February 13, 2011.
  2. ^ "Peggy Rea, TV Actress With Matronly Aura, Dies at 89". The New York Times. February 11, 2011. Page B15.
  3. ^ Kay Thompson official website Archived 2017-08-31 at the Wayback Machine. May 5, 2013. Retrieved July 26, 2015.

External links[edit]