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(From Old Corral image collection)
Peggy Stewart

Real name: Margaret O'Rourke



(Image courtesy of Ted Osborn)

Above is the gang facing Sunset Carson in ALIAS BILLY THE KID (Republic, 1946). From L-to-R in the above lobby card are Tom London, Peggy Stewart, Russ Whiteman and the bearded Tex Terry.


Born in Florida in 1923, Peggy Stewart and family moved to California in the 1930s, and she was lucky enough to play the teenage daughter of Joel McCrea in WELLS FARGO (1936).  By the 1940s, she was the resident heroine at Republic to cowboy stars Wild Bill Elliott, Sunset Carson, Allan Lane and others.  In the early 1940s, she was married to Republic western hero Don "Red" Barry.

Peggy was under a term players contract at Republic from April, 1944 through March, 1947 --- this simply meant that for security and a regular paycheck, Republic could utilize her as much as they wanted.  From 1944-1951, she appeared in about 35 films at Republic, most of which were serials and westerns.

When I was growing up in Georgia during the early 1950s, I recall that westerns were among the first films released to TV.  Republic Pictures had their Hollywood Television Service releasing arm, and among the movies on the little screen were the Bill Elliott/Red Ryder adventures ... and Peggy Stewart was in a lot of those.

When I saw her, I was amazed that she generally portrayed a savvy, smart and tough heroine who often was hot-tempered ... she was definitely NOT the passive heroine that was typical of the female roles in many other westerns.

Peggy's sister, Olympic swimmer Patricia O'Rourke, was married to World War II Navy flier/hero Wayne Morris, who did many films for Warners as well as a series of westerns in the 1950s at Monogram/Allied Artists.

Western and serial fan Mark Tourin spotted Peggy in a Seinfeld episode.  According to IMDB she appeared as 'Aunt May' in an episode titled 'The Implant', which was first aired in 1990.  Mark remembers her doing a great job 'playing it straight' as the aunt of the temporary girl friend of George Costanza at a wake, of all things.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on Peggy Stewart: http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0829726/

(From Old Corral image collection)
Peggy with Sunset Carson


(From Old Corral image collection)
Peggy with Gene Autry



(From Old Corral image collection)

From L-to-R are Tom London, Allan Lane with Peggy Stewart in his arms, whiskered Emmett Lynn, Pierce Lyden, and in the front is Bobby Blake as Little Beaver. Lobby card from RUSTLERS OF DEVIL'S CANYON (Republic, 1947), one of the Red Ryder adventures. Did I mention that Peggy wasn't the typical passive heroine?


(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

In the above lobby card from THE FIGHTING REDHEAD (Eagle Lion, 1950) are Jim Bannon (as Red Ryder) and Peggy Stewart, the heroine in many great Republic westerns. Peggy was the leading lady in two of the four Bannon/Red Ryder films. Does the guy on the left look familiar? Think the LONE RANGER TV show ... and John Hart who played the masked man for one season.


(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above are Jim Bannon (as Red Ryder) and Peggy Stewart in a lobby card from RIDE, RYDER, RIDE (Eagle Lion, 1949).


(From Old Corral image collection)

Above - Wild Bill Elliott is re-united with Republic leading lady Peggy Stewart in KANSAS TERRITORY (Monogram, 1952), one of Elliott's best from his post Republic days. He's back wearing a brace of stag-handled six shooters. Note the "Filmed in Glorious SEPIA TONE" blurb on this lobby card.


(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above, a 1970s photo of Peggy Stewart, great heroine and love interest in many Republic horse operas.  Minard Coons mentioned that Peggy resided in Studio City, California, a couple of blocks from where I. Stanford Jolley lived.


(Courtesy of Larry Blanks)

Above, Larry Blanks with Republic leading lady, Peggy Stewart, circa 1992? at one of the annual film/nostalgia conventions in Atlanta.


(Courtesy of Donn & Nancy Moyer)

Above, Republic heroine Peggy Stewart and Donn Moyer at the 2000 Lone Pine Festival.



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