Peggy Stewart (Peggy O'Rourke)

June 5, 1923 – May 29, 2019










Peggy Stewart an American actress known for her roles in Western B movies and television series has passed away at the age of 95 (she would have been 96 years old in June.) 

Ray Nielsen stated "I'm told an actress I was privileged to know has passed away. Many of you may not have heard of Peggy Stewart, but she was best-known to fans like me for appearing in many Western films and serials in the 1940's. She would have been 96 years old in June. 


Her leading men included the likes of Bill Elliott, Allan Lane, Sunset Carson, Roy Rogers, Charles Starrett, Gene Autry, Lash LaRue, and Jim Bannon. She was a guest of the Memphis Film Festival more than a dozen times over the years which is surely a record. She was loved by all and will live on in our memories. She's seen here in a colorized photo with Gene Autry from the film "Trail to San Antone"(1947)."


Stewart was born in West Palm Beach, Florida, where she was raised. She distinguished herself as a swimming champion in high school.  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).  Her work in the film led to numerous other film roles.

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. During that time she played in several episodes of "Adventures of Red Ryder"


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",  "Ride, Ryder, Ride", "Kansas Territory", "Have Gun – Will Travel" and"The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp".

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 minor part in a 1990 episode of "Seinfeld" titled "The Implant", in which she portrayed the aunt of George Costanza's girlfriend.

Stewart played Pam Beesly's grandmother, Mee-Maw, in a 2009 episode of "The Office" and reprised the role in a 2010 episode. In 2012, she played Grandma Delores in Adam Sandler's comedy film, "That's My Boy".


In 2010 she stared in a movie short written by a very dear friend actress Marlyn  Mason, It was called "The Bag" which was a story a women who has discovered her mother is hoarding pills in order to commit suicide.  Which has won numerous awards at several film festivals.   

In her latter decades, Stewart appeared regularly as a guest speaker at Western film festivals.  From 1993 til her death, Stewart appeared as a special guest at the annual Lone Pine Film Festival.

Stewart was married twice. In 1940 she married actor Don "Red" Barry; the marriage ended in divorce in 1944.[3] She was married to actor Buck Young from 1953 until his death on February 9, 2000.[

2019

This page is to honor the passings of our favorite stars of stage, screen and television.  Some of the stars we have had the honor of their presence at our festival.  


Some of these stars were behind the scenes as well as in front of the camera.   They will be missed.


(Please note:  Passings are changed month to month.)

Robert Leroy Diamond “Bobby Diamond”
August 23, 1943 – May 15, 2019





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Bobby Diamond, child actor who was well-known for playing Joey Clark Newton on "Fury", has passed away at the age of 75 years of age.  Mr. Diamond was a guest of the Memphis Film Festival in 2011.

On the show "Fury", Diamond's character, Joey, had run afoul of the law, befriended a handsome wild black stallion, and lived on the Broken Wheel Ranch in California with his widowed and adopted father, Jim Newton, portrayed by Peter Graves. Newton's wife and son had been killed by a drunk driver.


Joey called Jim by his first name but in time looked upon him as a father. Character actor William Fawcett played the housekeeper and top ranch hand, Pete Wilkey.

Cast as friends of Joey are Roger Mobley (see above with Bobby in picture above) as Homer "Packy" Lambert, who appeared in forty-one episodes from 1958 to 1960, and Jimmy Baird (he is also in picture above with Bobby) as Rodney "Pee Wee" Jenkins from 1957 to 1958. 

Diamond played the recurring role of "Buddy" in the NBC sitcom, "The Nanette Fabray Show". He was strongly considered for the role of Robbie on "My Three Sons" but was cast in 1962–1963 as Dobie Gillis's cousin, Duncan "Dunky" Gillis, for seven episodes of the final season of CBS's "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis".  He also appeared in "The Twilight Zone", "The Andy Griffith Show" and "The Rebel".

In an attempt to graduate to more mature and serious roles, as well as break onto the silver screen, Diamond starred in the film "Airborne" as Eddie Slocom, a naive country boy who wants to join the US 82nd Airborne Division. Airborne was his only lead role in a film; his only other film appearances were in supporting roles in the Patty Duke vehicle "Billie" and the 1981 slasher film "Scream".

Over the years, Diamond appeared in dozens of television series, including "The Fugitive", "The Loretta Young Show",  "Angel" and "Father Knows Best". He also appeared in episodes of "Wagon Train", "Mister Ed" and "Mr. Novak".


Between 1965 and 1967, Diamond guest starred with Robert Bray, in the lead role of Forest Ranger Corey Stuart, in three episodes of "Lassie". Diamond's last role was in 1990 in Gary Cole's "Midnight Caller".

On October 21, 2000, Diamond was among the honorees at Iverson's Movie Ranch near Chatsworth in the San Fernando Valley, where he left his signature, handprints, and bootprints in the courtyard. Iverson's is dedicated to preserving the history of film and television westerns.