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April 19, 2022

30 Portrait Photos of Peggy Dow During Her Short Career

Born 1928 in Columbia, Mississippi, American philanthropist and retired actress Peggy Dow was spotted by a talent agent and cast in a television show in February 1949 after brief modeling and radio experience. 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, she had starring roles in two 1951 family films, Reunion in Reno and You Never Can Tell.

Dow 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 charities.

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.

Take a look at these vintage photos to see the beauty of young Peggy Dow during her short career.


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