Monday, December 22, 2014

A Birthday Tribute to Peggie Castle

Actress Peggie Castle was born in Virginia on December 22, 1927.

Peggie Castle is a favorite here at Laura's Miscellaneous Musings. She had a relatively brief career, spanning the late '40s to the early '60s, but her strong screen presence brought a little something extra to many Westerns and crime films.

1953 was an especially good year in her filmography, with three very different roles: John Payne's faithless wife in 99 RIVER STREET; a gorgeous shrink who tries to seduce Mike Hammer in I, THE JURY; and a squatter's daughter who dreams of finer things in the Western COW COUNTRY. All three films are very entertaining, the more so because of her performances.

Castle also starred with John Russell and Peter Brown in one of my favorite TV Westerns, LAWMAN (1959-62).

Jake Hinkson wrote a detailed article on Castle's career and troubled private life for the Film Noir Foundation.

Peggie Castle died of cirrhosis in 1973, just 45 years old. A sad end at far too young an age, but her work continues to be appreciated by those who love film noir and Westerns.

Peggie Castle films which have been reviewed here at Laura's Miscellaneous Musings: BUCCANEER'S GIRL (1950) (also here), AIR CADET (1951), PAYMENT ON DEMAND (1951), WAGONS WEST (1952), I, THE JURY (1953), COW COUNTRY (1953) (also here), 99 RIVER STREET (1953), TWO-GUN LADY (1955), TALL MAN RIDING (1955), HELL'S CROSSROADS (1957), and THE COUNTERFEIT PLAN (1957).

Update: I've now posted reviews of WOMAN IN HIDING (1950), OUTSIDE THE WALL (1950), THE GOLDEN HORDE (1951), SON OF BELLE STARR (1953), and OVERLAND PACIFIC (1954).

Update: And here's a review of Season 2 of LAWMAN.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovely tribute. I always remember Peggie in Tall Man Riding. A fine actress.

11:04 PM  
Blogger john k said...

Dear Laura,
What a great subject for a much deserved birthday tribute!
I always need more Peggie Castle in my life and cannot wait for
Warner Archive to release LAWMAN.
Also they have promised us COW COUNTRY and the very engaging
SON OF BELLE STARR. I must admit in the latter film Peggie takes
a back seat to the mysterious and interesting Dona Drake.
Funnily enough I have a copy of I,THE JURY on the way although
I'm told that the p.q. ain't so hot.
I'm mega jealous that you managed to see the film in all it's
3D glory.
Also recently watched THE LONG WAIT which was pretty good,
strikingly shot by Franz Planer (99 RIVER STREET)
I hope you get to see FINGERMAN pretty soon;I'd love to see that
film get the "Laura Treatment"
The same goes for the engaging QUINCANNON FRONTIER SCOUT,Peggie
is wonderful in that film.
I've been going on an on,mostly over at Toby's how much I would
love to see THE YELLOW TOMAHAWK released in color and widescreen
and I DO hope that the cats at Kino-Lorber or Olive Films can come
up with that one!
It's kinda weird because at Toby's alter ego The Hannibal 8
only yesterday I posted how much I'd love to see Warners re-issue
TALL MAN RIDING in widescreen.
Thanks so much for the link to the great feature on Peggie,
so many films mentioned that I love so much.
Regarding the Tony Curtis thing in that piece didn't I read
somewhere Piper Laurie also had problems with Curtis.
BTW Laura,sort of off topic but not quiet,did you see my mention
over at Colin's that I thought Frank Lovejoy would make a
sensational Mike Hammer,that guy has really grown on me recently.

5:12 AM  
Blogger Jerry E said...

What a nice tribute, Laura.

I always feel a certain sadness when watching Peggie Castle in a film because in the back of my mind I am remembering what became of her.

She just lit up the screen whenever she appeared with her radiant beauty but she was also a darned fine actress and should have had greater success.

9:21 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I'm really delighted to hear from other fans of Peggie Castle! So glad this has been enjoyed. Isn't the Jake Hinkson article excellent? He did some great research.

Jerry, I know what you mean, I have that feeling of sadness when I watch people like Peggie, Gail Russell, or Carole Landis -- love them all and it's a shame they had difficult offscreen lives and passed on so young. I'm glad, though, that they left behind so much very enjoyable work which has brought pleasure to so many of us.

John, I am very anxious for LAWMAN, COW COUNTRY, and SON OF BELLE STARR. And I'm so looking forward to seeing FINGERMAN soon, it sounds terrific and you can bet that I'll be writing about it here when I watch it! Actually everything you write about sounds great. I have a B&W print of YELLOW TOMAHAWK which I haven't seen and like everyone else I would sure love to see it in widescreen color. I'm very glad you've been helping make people aware of how it was originally released.

Lovejoy as Hammer is a fascinating idea! My work is wrapping up today and I will be sure to pop over to Riding the High Country as well as The Hannibal 8 to catch up on some good reading and conversation!

Thanks to you all and Merry Christmas,

9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. I must admit I had not heard of Peggie Castle, but that's the beauty of the movies; there's always more to learn! More biography's to read, more movies to watch! :-)

9:44 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I couldn't agree more, Julie! The more movies I see, the more I realize there is out there still ahead to discover. It's one of the wonderful things about loving classic films!

So glad I could help spread the word on Peggie Castle.

Best wishes,

9:51 AM  
Blogger Terence Towles Canote said...

Peggie Castle was just utterly lovely and very talented. I remember her from Lawman and I do hope Warner Archive released the series soon!

10:26 AM  

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