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Peggy Rea


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Very sad news.

 

One of the few remaining "I Love Lucy" actresses, Peggy Rea, has passed away. :(

 

Character actress, Peggy Rea, 89, known for her many roles in television series, and a number of films, died at her home in Toluca Lake on February 5th. She died of complications from congestive heart failure. Peggy was born in Los Angeles to her parents, Jack and Ruth Rea, on March 31, 1921. Peggy began her television acting career in the 1960's as a member of Red Skelton's TV stock company. Among her recurring roles in television were as Olivia Walton's cousin, Rose Burton, on "The Walton's", as man chasing, Lulu Hogg on "The Dukes of Hazzard", as Ivy Baker, the mother of Suzanne Sommers' character on "Step by Step", and as Brett Butler's mom, Jean Kelly on "Grace Under Fire". Peggy also appeared in such television programs as "I Love Lucy", "Sergeant Bilko", "Bonanza", "Gunsmoke" "Ironside", "Hunter", "Marcus Welby, M.D.", "Burke's Law", and "MacGyver". Among her many film credits are "Cold Turkey" (1971) "In Country" (1989), "Love Field" (1992), and "Made in America" (1993). Interment will take place at 11:00 a.m., on Monday, February 28, at Santa Barbara Cemetery, 901 Channel Drive. Santa Barbara, in the Mausoleum in the Pines Courtyard.

 

 

Here's Peggy at a "Waltons" reunion in 2007.

 

 

peggyrea2007.jpg

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My heart sank when I saw the banner today. I have seen many of Peggy's appearances on sitcoms including one of my favorite episodes of "Hazel" and one of my favorite episodes of "All in the Family" as Edith's friend, Martha Birkhorn. I also remember her from "Marcus Welby", "The Patty Duke Show", "The Doris Day Show" and her hysterical appearance in the Whoopi Goldberg movie "Made In America". I'm so glad she was able to participate in the dvd releases of "Here's Lucy". She will most-definitely be missed. She was a gem!

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Wonderful tribute, Brock.

 

A fun and poignant little story:

In 1998, when we saluted Mary Jane Croft at our Loving Lucy Convention, she was very excited, but a little nervous with all of the attention.

 

We had a special director's chair made with Mary Jane's name on it and at first she was taken aback, but loved it. Shortly thereafter, she proudly sat in the middle of the room greeting a lot of her friends and fans; ultimately relaxed and enjoyed the reception. At one point, she became a little worried as she saw someone approaching her from across the room and said to me, "Oh dear, my memory is awful and I simply cannot remember that woman's name. I know I know her and she's coming my way! This is terrible!" I felt bad for her and was just about to tell her the lady's name when the woman got closer and loudly blurted out "MARY JANE!!! OH DARLIN', HOW NICE TO SEE YOU!!" Somehow, by hearing that distinctive voice Mary Jane didn't miss a beat, pointed right at her and said "PEGGY!!" All she needed was that voice of Peggy Rea's and her memory snapped right back in place. The two embraced and had a wonderful visit. MJ gave me a quick, knowing wink and off I went to grab a drink. What an evening!

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Wonderful tribute, Brock.

 

A fun and poignant little story:

In 1998, when we saluted Mary Jane Croft at our Loving Lucy Convention, she was very excited, but a little nervous with all of the attention.

 

We had a special director's chair made with Mary Jane's name on it and at first she was taken aback, but loved it. Shortly thereafter, she proudly sat in the middle of the room greeting a lot of her friends and fans; ultimately relaxed and enjoyed the reception. At one point, she became a little worried as she saw someone approaching her from across the room and said to me, "Oh dear, my memory is awful and I simply cannot remember that woman's name. I know I know her and she's coming my way! This is terrible!" I felt bad for her and was just about to tell her the lady's name when the woman got closer and loudly blurted out "MARY JANE!!! OH DARLIN', HOW NICE TO SEE YOU!!" Somehow, by hearing that distinctive voice Mary Jane didn't miss a beat, pointed right at her and said "PEGGY!!" All she needed was that voice of Peggy Rea's and her memory snapped right back in place. The two embraced and had a wonderful visit. MJ gave me a quick, knowing wink and off I went to grab a drink. What an evening!

What a lovely tribute and a wonderful reminder what fun times those conventions were and oh how I wish we could do it one more time (and wouldn't this be the year to do it!!??). Sigh.

 

She seemed like a lovely lady and I know I enjoyed her of course not only on all her Lucy appearances but on Grace Under Fire and The Waltons, among many others. How nice we got to see her again most recently contributing an episode introduction to one of the stellar Here's Lucy DVD sets.

 

Sad.

 

 

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What a great story - watched Lucy and Eva Gabor last night.

 

 

Wonderful tribute, Brock.

 

A fun and poignant little story:

In 1998, when we saluted Mary Jane Croft at our Loving Lucy Convention, she was very excited, but a little nervous with all of the attention.

 

We had a special director's chair made with Mary Jane's name on it and at first she was taken aback, but loved it. Shortly thereafter, she proudly sat in the middle of the room greeting a lot of her friends and fans; ultimately relaxed and enjoyed the reception. At one point, she became a little worried as she saw someone approaching her from across the room and said to me, "Oh dear, my memory is awful and I simply cannot remember that woman's name. I know I know her and she's coming my way! This is terrible!" I felt bad for her and was just about to tell her the lady's name when the woman got closer and loudly blurted out "MARY JANE!!! OH DARLIN', HOW NICE TO SEE YOU!!" Somehow, by hearing that distinctive voice Mary Jane didn't miss a beat, pointed right at her and said "PEGGY!!" All she needed was that voice of Peggy Rea's and her memory snapped right back in place. The two embraced and had a wonderful visit. MJ gave me a quick, knowing wink and off I went to grab a drink. What an evening!

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The NY Daily News has posted an obituary for Peggy:

 

Peggy Rea, who cheerfully and memorably played dozens of TV "character roles" where she was called by endearing nicknames like "Angel Food Cake," died Saturday at her home in Toluca Lake, Calif., of congestive heart failure.

 

She was 89 and known to a wide range of television fans from her roles as Cousin Lulu on "The Dukes of Hazzard," Rose Burton on "The Waltons," Ivy Baker on "Step By Step," Jean Kelly in "Grace Under Fire" and Cousin Bertha on "All in the Family."

 

She also acted in several movies, including "Grumpy Old Men" and "In Country," and she played Eunice Hubbell for two and a half years in a touring production of "A Streetcar Named Desire" that starred Anthony Quinn.

 

While Rea's television career didn't really take off until she was in her 40s and she never graduated to lead roles, she had a talent for giving strong personality to supporting characters.

 

On "The Dukes of Hazzard," Cousin Lulu Hogg was the "good" member of the scurrilous Boss Hogg family.

 

She stood up to Boss, agitated for women's rights in Hazzard County and recognized that Bo and Luke Duke, Boss's perennial nemeses, were much better people than Boss was.

 

Still, Boss was family, so she and Boss cared for each other. They also shared a robust appetite, which is how he came to refer to her by warm endearments like "Angel Food Cake," "Marshmallow" and "Chick-a-Bit."

 

Born in Los Angeles, Rea started in show business as a secretary at CBS radio.

 

She got to know the writers for Lucille Ball's show and quit to try theatrical acting. She played in the Cole Porter musical "Out of This World" on Broadway before joining the "Streetcar" tour.

 

She returned to Hollywood in 1953 and played several different characters on "I Love Lucy," which was by now a TV show.

 

One of her roles, as a bridge partner for Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance, popped up again 45 years later when she played the bridge partner in the 1998 Lucy reunion" show.

 

Her early TV work also included roles on Phil Silvers's "Sergeant Bilko," and the rest of her resume reads like a history of the first 50 years of television, from "Gidget" through "The Golden Girls." She was a member of Red Skelton's troupe in the 1960s.

 

Jim Beaver, who appeared with Rea in "In Country," called her "a dear lady" and "a real sweetheart."

 

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/2011/02/10/2011-02-10_peggy_rea_dukes_of_hazzard_actress_dead_at_89_in_california_of_congestive_heart_.html#ixzz1Dc1aZvx3

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I knew she was in "Made in America" but I didn't know she was in "Grumpy Old Men". I'll have to re-watch that.

 

I must say her initial appearance on "All in the Family" was a memorable one as Cousin Bertha. She enters crying over the death of Oscar and hugging Archie who looks at her and belts out "Who the hell are you?" LOL!!! Her comic presence was always wonderful.

 

By the way, Brock, LOVE your avatar!!! "You know what Viv? I've always wanted a blue balloon." :lol:

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