Peggy Stewart (actress)

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Peggy Stewart
Peggy Stewart.jpg
Peggy O'Rourke

(1923-06-05)June 5, 1923
DiedMay 29, 2019(2019-05-29) (aged 95)
Years active1937–2019
(m. 1940; div. 1944)

(m. 1953; died 2000)

Peggy Stewart (born Peggy O'Rourke; June 5, 1923 – May 29, 2019) was an American actress known for her roles in Western B movies and television series.[1]

Early life[edit]

Stewart was born in West Palm Beach, Florida, where she was raised, the daughter of John Francis O'Rourke and Frances Velma (McCampbell) Splane, who were from Bessemer, Alabama.[2][3] She distinguished herself as a swimming champion in high school;[2] in the 1930s, her family moved to California, where she met character actor Henry O'Neill. He recommended her to Paramount Pictures executives who were looking for a new actress for the part of Joel McCrea's teenage daughter in Wells Fargo (1937).[2] Her work in the film led to numerous other film roles.[2]


In April 1944, Stewart signed a contract with Republic Pictures and began starring in Western B movies opposite such actors as Allan Lane, Sunset Carson, and Wild Bill Elliott.[1] During that time she played in several episodes of Adventures of Red Ryder. She usually played the part of the tough heroine, rather than a passive girl needing to be saved.[1] From 1944 to 1951 she starred in 35 films, most of which were Westerns and film serials. She also starred with Gene Autry several times during that period. as well as appearing on several episodes of The Cisco Kid, including "Oil Land", which first aired on October 10, 1950.

In 1949, she played alongside Jim Bannon in Ride, Ryder, Ride. She again played the part of heroine to Bannon in 1949, starring in The Fighting Redhead. In 1952 she starred with Bill Elliott in Kansas Territory. In 1957, she had a minor role on CBS's Have Gun – Will Travel episode "The Outlaw". In 1958, she was cast as Etta Jackson, the romantic interest of the painter Hurley Abbott, played by Brad Johnson, in the episode "The Underdog" of the ABC/Desilu western series, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, with Hugh O'Brian in the title role.

Later years[edit]

Her career slowed in the 1960s, and by the 1970s she was residing in Studio City, California. Stewart won the Golden Boot Awards in 1984. Semi-retired, Stewart still continued to act on occasion. She played a minor part in a 1993 episode of Seinfeld titled "The Implant", in which she portrayed the aunt of George Costanza's girlfriend.

Stewart played Pam Beesly's grandmother, Mee-Maw, in a 2009 episode of The Office and reprised the role in a 2010 episode. In 2012, she played Grandma Delores in Adam Sandler's comedy film, That's My Boy.

Personal life[edit]

In her latter decades, Stewart appeared regularly as a guest speaker at Western film festivals.[2] From 1993 till her death, Stewart appeared as a special guest at the annual Lone Pine Film Festival.[4]

Stewart was married twice. In 1940 she married actor Don "Red" Barry; the marriage ended in divorce in 1944.[2] She was married to actor Buck Young from 1953 until his death on February 9, 2000.[5]

Her sister, Patricia Ann O'Rourke, was married to the actor Wayne Morris.[6]

She died in May 2019 at the age of 95.[7][8][9][10]

Partial filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Peggy Stewart". B-Westerns. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Erickson, Hal (2014). "Peggy Stewart". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Lone Pine Film Festival Celebrates 25 Years". Lone Pine Film Festival. August 4, 2014. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  5. ^ "Peggy Stewart: Companions". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  6. ^ Albuquerque Journal, Page 5, February 20, 1942
  7. ^ "Peggy Stewart". Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  8. ^ Alvarenga, Emily (June 5, 2019). "Western actress Peggy Stewart dies at 95". The Santa Clarita Valley Signal. California, Santa Clarita. Archived from the original on 6 June 2019. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  9. ^ "Peggy Stewart". Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  10. ^ Barnes, Mike (June 9, 2019). "Peggy Stewart, Leading Lady in Westerns at Republic Pictures, Dies at 95". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on November 8, 2020. Retrieved January 17, 2021.

External links[edit]