Peggie Castle

Peggie Castle


12/12/1927, Appalachia, VA



Birth Name

Peggie Thomas Blair



Also Known As

Peggie Blair, Peggy Call, Peggy Castle
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B-movie queen of the 1950's who starred as Lilly Merrill on Lawman from 1959-62. Retired from acting when Lawman was cancelled in order to pursue "other interests." Unfortunately for Peggie, these "other interests" included drinking large quantities of alcohol. She died alone from complications from alcoholism in a…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Parents' names were Doyle and Elizabeth Blair.

    • Peggie has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 6230 Hollywood Boulevard.

    • After her death, Peggie was cremated and her ashes were scattered.

    • Peggie's measurements were 36-24 1/2-36 according to Celebrity Sleuth magazine.

    • Peggie was 5 feet, 7 inches tall.

    • Peggie used to return to her hometown of Appalachia VA at least once a year to visit her favorite aunt to whom she was very close.

    • Reportedly walked out on second husband Robert Rains after an argument in which he said that her style of acting went out with Mary Pickford.

    • Once stated in a magazine interview that she preferred rough and tough men over Caspar Milquetoasts. "[the latter] get the Hollyood horse laugh from me," said Peggie.

    • Peggie's last appearance on-screen was a guest shot on The Virginian in 1966.

    • Peggie's mother died the same month (April 1973) as her fourth husband Arthur Morganstern.

    • Originally billed as Peggie Call after the last name of her first husband.

    • Born in the same hometown as former Detroit Tigers outfielder Willie Horton, New York Times reporter Don Whitehead who also wrote The FBI Story, and 1964 Olympic sprinter Olan Cassell.

    • The last movie Peggie Castle appeared in was Seven Hills of Rome in which she co-starred with famed tenor Mario Lanza.

    • Once named the Ideal Hollywood Secretary by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce after portraying a secretary in the film Laughter in the Rain in which Peggie co-starred with Van Johnson and Jane Wyman.

    • According to Hollywood lore, Peggie Castle was discovered by a talent agent while eating a shrimp cocktail in the seafood bar of the Farmer's Market in Los Angeles.

    • Gossip columnist Walter Winchell once referred to Peggie as the poor man's Lana Turner.

    • Played Bette Davis' daughter in the movie Payment on Demand. Betty Lynn, better known as Thelma Lou to fans of the Andy Griffith Show, played Peggie's sister in that film.

    • In 1949, Peggie was voted Miss Classy Chassis by members of the United Automobile Workers Union from seven Western states.

    • Peggie's first studio screen test was with future Lawman co-star John Russell.

    • Peggie sang in numerous episodes of Lawman although she'd never had singing lessons in her life and had only sung on-screen once before: in an episode of Cheyenne entitled Fury at Rio Hondo.

    • Had a daughter with third husband William McGarry named Erin. Erin McGarry was born in 1963.

    • Dated war hero/actor Audie Murphy in the early 1950's.

    • Peggie reportedly uttered one of the more infamous one-liners in Hollywood history when working on the set of a B-Western which had a terrible script, director, and working conditions. "Who do I have to sleep with to get out of this picture?" was Peggie's purported cry.

    • A resident of Peggie's hometown of Appalachia, VA has recently written a two act play based on her life. Much of the dialogue in the play is taken from actual letters Peggie wrote to her favorite Aunt back home in Appalachia.

    • Peggie Castle was married four times. She was married to Revis Call from 1945-50, to Robert Rains from 1951-54, to William McGarry from 1955-69, and to Arthur Morgenstern from 1971 until his death in early 1973. Third husband McGarry was the one who found her dead in her apartment.

  • Quotes

  • Poor Peggie Castle

    Peggie Castle was a 50's B-movie queen who appeared in such cult classics as Beginning of the End, Invasion USA, and Kiss Me Deadly. She also found time to make a few television appearances as well. Fans of Perry Mason might remember Peggie from TCOT Negligent Nymph. She played the attractive blonde swimmer fished out of the water by Perry Mason and Paul Drake. Perry would, naturally, clear Peggie's character of a murder charge later in the episode.

    Her most famous television role was that of saloon owner Lilly Merrill in Lawman where she co-starred with John Russell and Peter Brown. Peggie played the role from 1959-62 and though the role was a carbon copy of Amanda Blake's on Gunsmoke she was fondly remembered by fans of Lawman and got good reviews from the critics for her performance.

    Sadly, Peggie's career and personal life took a downward spiral after Lawman went off the air. She announced she was quitting acting in order to pursue "other projects" and she kept her word except for one guest appearance on The Virginian in 1966. Unfortunately for Peggie, one of these "other projects" happened to be consuming large quantities of alcohol. She died alone and broke on August 11, 1973 in a shabby Hollywood apartment. Cause of death was given as cirrhosis of the liver. Peggie had recently undergone alcohol rehab in Camarillo State Hospital so there were signs that she was attempting to get her personal life in order at the time of her death but she never got the opportunity to attempt any type of Hollywood comeback.

    RIP Peggie Castle.moreless