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Virginia Lee Gregg (March 6, 1916 – September 15, 1986) was an American actress known for her many roles in radio dramas and television series.

Virginia Gregg
Virginia Gregg.jpg
Born(1916-03-06)March 6, 1916
DiedSeptember 15, 1986(1986-09-15) (aged 70)
Years active1937–1986
Spouse(s)Jaime del Valle (1948–1959; divorced)

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Born in the Illinois city of Harrisburg, she was the daughter of musician Dewey Alphaleta (née Todd) and businessman Edward William Gregg.[1][2] She had a stepsister, Mary.[3]

When Gregg was 5,[4] she and her family moved to Pasadena.[5] She attended Jefferson High School,[3] Pasadena Junior College and Pacific Academy of Dramatic Art.[4]

CareerEdit

MusicEdit

Before going into radio, Gregg played the double bass with the Pasadena Symphony and Pops. She was a member of the Singing Strings group heard initially on KHJ in Los Angeles in 1937[3] and later on CBS and Mutual.[6]

RadioEdit

Gregg was a prolific radio actress, heard on such programs as The Adventures of Sam Spade, Dragnet, Dr. Kildare, Gunsmoke, The Jack Benny Program, Let George Do It, Lux Radio Theatre, One Man's Family, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, The Screen Guild Theater, The CBS Radio Mystery Theatre, The Zero Hour and Mutual Radio Theater.

On the radio series Have Gun–Will Travel (starring John Dehner as Paladin), Gregg portrayed Miss Wong (the girlfriend of Hey Boy), and also appeared in very different roles in the concurrent television series with Richard Boone. She had the role of Betty Barbour on One Man's Family and played Richard Diamond's girlfriend, the wealthy Helen Asher, on the radio series Richard Diamond, Private Detective[6] (starring Dick Powell as Diamond). She later guest-starred in an episode of the television version of Richard Diamond, starring David Janssen.

Feature filmsEdit

Beginning with Body and Soul (1947), Gregg made more than 45 films, including I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955), Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955), Portland Exposé (1957), Operation Petticoat (1959), All the Fine Young Cannibals (1960), Man-Trap (1961), House of Women (1962), Spencer's Mountain (1963), Two on a Guillotine (1965), A Big Hand for the Little Lady (1966), The Bubble (1966), Madigan (1968), Heaven with a Gun (1969), Quarantined (1970), A Walk in the Spring Rain (1970), No Way Back (1976), and S.O.B. (1981)[7]

TelevisionEdit

Gregg once said of her work as a character actress on television: "I work steadily, but I have no identity."[8] She added, "When casting people have a call for a woman who looks like the wrath of God, I'm notified."[8] On television, Gregg appeared in nearly every narrative television series in the late '50s through the early 1970s, including Bourbon Street Beat, Hawaiian Eye, 77 Sunset Strip, The Rockford Files, Maverick, The Virginian, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Wagon Train, Trackdown, Make Room for Daddy, Philip Marlowe, My Favorite Martian, Twilight Zone, Hazel, Kung Fu, Gunsmoke and Bewitched,Bonanza. She portrayed Jessie Copperton, a domineering cattle ranch matriarch, on Season 14; Episode 15 of Gunsmoke, entitled "The Twisted Heritage", in which her character has designs on welcoming Miss Kitty (Amanda Blake) into the family as a replacement for her former daughter-in-law. Gregg may be best remembered for her many appearances in Dragnet. Jack Webb used her in dozens of roles on both the radio and TV versions of the show, as well as in the 1954 film version of Dragnet. In later years, she appeared on other shows produced by Webb's production company, Mark VII Limited (e.g., Adam-12, Emergency!). Gregg also played non-recurring character roles in four episodes of the long-running CBS series Perry Mason, including the 1958 episode, "The Case of the Cautious Coquette," and "The Case of the Pathetic Patient" from 1961.

Voice actingEdit

Gregg supplied the voice of "Mrs. Bates" in Psycho as did Jeanette Nolan and Paul Jasmin, all uncredited. Only Gregg did the voice in the sequels Psycho II and Psycho III. She voiced "Tarra" on the 1967 animated TV series The Herculoids. She reprised that role when the series was revived in 1981 as part of the Space Stars animated series.

Personal lifeEdit

Gregg married producer Jaime del Valle in 1948, (Another source says October 15, 1947, in Las Vegas, Nevada.)[4] and they had three children, Gregg, Jaime, and Ricardo.[4] They were divorced December 22, 1959.[9]

She was active with the Recording for the Blind Inc., making recordings as a volunteer and serving on the group's board of directors.[5]

DeathEdit

Gregg died from lung cancer in Encino, California, September 15, 1986,[6] aged 70.

Partial filmographyEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Virginia Gregg profile, FilmReference.com; accessed May 18, 2015.
  2. ^ "Virginia Gregg Praised By Tribune Review Of Film 'Dragnet'". The Daily Register. Harrisburg, Illinois. August 24, 1954. p. 3. Retrieved January 8, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  
  3. ^ a b c Danson, Tom E. (January 16, 1949). "Yours Truly, Virginia Gregg". Press-Telegram. Long Beach, California. p. 58. Retrieved January 8, 2016 – via Newspaperarchive.com.  
  4. ^ a b c d "Virginia Gregg del Valle, Niece of T.D. Gregg, Stars in Radio, TV Shows". The Daily Register. Harrisburg, Illinois. July 28, 1954. p. 3. Retrieved January 8, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  
  5. ^ a b "Versatile Character Actress Virginia Gregg Dies at 70". Los Angeles Times. September 17, 1986. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  6. ^ a b c DeLong, Thomas A. (1996). Radio Stars: An Illustrated Biographical Dictionary of 953 Performers, 1920 through 1960. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 115. ISBN 978-0-7864-2834-2.
  7. ^ "Virginia Gregg Is Dead at 70; Off-Screen Voice in Psycho". The New York Times. Associated Press. 19 September 1986.
  8. ^ a b Witbeck, Charles (October 11, 1959). "Versatile Virginia Gregg Has Steady Work, But No Identity". Herald & Review. Decatur, Illinois. p. 51.
  9. ^ "Virginia Gregg Is Granted Divorce". Corpus Christi Times. December 23, 1959. p. 28. Retrieved January 7, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  

External linksEdit