Peggy Stewart (actress)

Peggy Stewart
Born Margaret O'Rourke
(1923-06-05) June 5, 1923
West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
Occupation Actress
Years active 1937–present

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


Peggy Stewart was born Margaret O'Rourke on June 5, 1923 in West Palm Beach, Florida, where she was raised.[2] She distinguished herself as a swimming champion in high school;[2] her sister, Patricia O'Rourke, was an Olympic swimmer.[1] 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.

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 bit role on one episode of Seinfeld in 1990 titled "The Implant"; in that episode she played the part of the aunt of George Costanza's temporary girlfriend.

In 2009 through 2010, Stewart played Pam Beesly's "old-fashioned" grandmother Mee-Maw on The Office episode "Niagara", and once more in the episode when they baptise Jim's and Pam's daughter Cece. In 2012, she played Grandma Delores in Adam Sandler's comedy film, That's My Boy.

In recent decades, Stewart has appeared regularly as a guest speaker at Western film festivals.[2] Since 1993, Stewart has appeared as a special guest at the annual Lone Pine Film Festival.[3]

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.[4]

Partial filmography


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Peggy Stewart". B-Westerns. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Erickson, Hal. "Peggy Stewart". The New York Times. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  3. "Lone Pine Film Festival Celebrates 25 Years". Lone Pine Film Festival. August 4, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  4. "Peggy Stewart: Companions". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
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