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Peggy Dow

Occupation  Film actress
Years active  1949-1951

Name  Peggy Dow
Role  Actress
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Full Name  Peggy Josephine Varnadow
Born  March 18, 1928 (age 87) (1928-03-18) Columbia, Mississippi, U.S.
Spouse(s)  Walter Helmerich III (1951-2012; his death)
Children  Mat Helmerich, Zak Helmerich, Rik Helmerich, Jon Helmerich, Hans Helmerich
Education  Louisiana State University, Northwestern State University
Movies  Harvey, Bright Victory, Undertow, You Never Can Tell, I Want You
Similar People  Henry Koster, Mark Robson, Lou Breslow, William Castle, Joseph Pevney

Peggy dow and arthur kennedy sign autographs for people at the premiere of movie hd stock footage

Peggy V. Helmerich (born March 18, 1928, Columbia, Mississippi), born Peggy Josephine Varnadow and known professionally as Peggy Dow, is an American philanthropist and retired actress.


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Miss kelly peggy dow appears in harvey 1950


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Born in Columbia, Mississippi, at age 4 she moved with her family to Covington, Louisiana. She attended high school and junior college at Gulf Park College in Gulfport, Mississippi (now the Gulf Park campus of the University of Southern Mississippi), then finished college at Northwestern University in Illinois, appearing in college plays and receiving her degree from Northwestern's School of Speech in 1948.

Peggy Dow Picture of Peggy Dow

After brief modeling and radio experience, Dow was spotted by a talent agent and cast in a television show in February 1949. Shortly after that exposure, Universal offered her a seven-year contract. Dow made nine films, most notably as Nurse Kelly in Harvey (1950), starring James Stewart, and co-starring with Best Actor Oscar nominee Arthur Kennedy in Bright Victory (1951). After being featured in several crime dramas, Dow had starring roles in two 1951 family films, Reunion in Reno and You Never Can Tell.

Peggy Dow Peggy Dow 1928 film actress Entertainers Past and Present

She retired after three years in the business to marry Walter Helmerich III, an oil driller from Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1951. He became president of his family's business, Helmerich & Payne. They were married for 60 years, until his death in 2012. The couple had five sons. She became an active supporter of libraries and other charitable activities.

The Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award, an award given annually since 1985 to a distinguished author by the Tulsa Library Trust, is named in her honor, as is the drama school at the University of Oklahoma and the auditorium at Northwestern's Annie May Swift Hall.


  • Undertow (1949)
  • Woman in Hiding (1950)
  • Shakedown (1950)
  • The Sleeping City (1950)
  • Harvey (1950)
  • Bright Victory (1951)
  • You Never Can Tell (1951)
  • Reunion in Reno (1951)
  • I Want You (1951)
  • References

    Peggy Dow Wikipedia

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    Joseph Pevney
    Lou Breslow