Search the Western Clippings Site

An Interview With…
        - Joan Barclay
        - Phyllis Coates
        - Virginia Mayo
        - Kay Hughes
        - Ursula Thiess
        - Lois January
        - Nell O'Day
        - Reno Browne
        - Edith Fellows
        - Pauline Moore
        - Beverly Garland
        - Maureen O'Hara
        - Ann Rutherford
        - Noel Neill
        - Jane Greer
        - Lisa Gaye
        - Virginia Carroll
        - Frances Dee
        - Margaret O'Brien
        - Jean Porter
        - Kay Linaker
        - Coleen Gray
        - Ann Doran
        - Debra Paget
        - Myrna Dell
        - Irene Hervey
        - Elyse Knox
        - Marsha Hunt
        - Lois Collier
        - June Vincent
        - Evelyn Keyes
        - Betty Jane Rhodes
        - Carroll Baker
        - Ann Gillis
        - Argentina Brunetti
        - Dorothy Green
        - Laurie Mitchell
        - Barbara Kent
        - Marjorie Lord
        - Shirley Jean Rickert
        - Irene Manning
        - Virginia Grey
        - Gloria Jean
        - Rebel Randall
        - Nancy Saunders
        - Connie Stevens
        - Barbara Weeks
        - Jane Wyatt
        - Judy Clark
        - Sugar Dawn
        - Vera Hruba Ralston
        - Fay McKenzie
        - Ruth Hall
        - Roberta Gale
        - Victoria Horne
        - Margia Dean
        - Ethel Kenyon
        - Ann Savage
        - Barbara Hale
        - Jacqueline Wells/Julie Bishop
        - Lupita Tovar
        - Miriam Seegar
        - Mae Madison
        - Olive Sturgess
        - Frances Morris
        - Elizabeth Fraser
        - Gigi Perreau
        - Kathryn Adams
        - Noreen Nash
        - Mala Powers
        - Jane Randolph
        - Marie Windsor
        - Lyn Wilde
        - Marjorie Stapp
        - Beverly Washburn
        - Jane Withers
        - Colleen Miller
        - Ruth Terry
        - Kristine Miller
        - Joan Leslie
        - Suzanne Kaaren
        - Anna Lee
        - Judy Nugent
        - Teala Loring
        - Paula Raymond
        - Louise Currie
        - Donna Martell
        - Jacqueline White
        - Beatrice Gray
        - Mara Corday
        - Eilene Janssen
        - Peggy Moran
        - Jane Adams
        - Lori Nelson
        - Lucille Lund
        - Faith Domergue
        - Vivian Austin
        - Anne Gwynne

Will "Sugarfoot" Hutchins
    - Archives

Do You Remember?
    - Archives

Comic Book Cowboys
    - Archives

Westerns of...
    - Archives

Heavies and Characters
    - Archives

The Stuntmen - Neil Summers
    - Archives

Western Treasures
    - Archives

Western Artifacts
    - Archives

Film Festival Fotos
    - Archives

Silent Western Reviews
    - Archives

Serial Report
    - Archives

Research & Consulting

Subscribe to Western Clippings

Other Western Links

COLLECTIBLES FOR SALE:

Western Clippings Back Issues

Serial Report Back Issues

Daily Comic Strips

Sunday Comic Strips

Books

Miscellaneous Collectibles

Lobby Cards

Laser Copies of Lobby Cards

Movie Posters

Home

 

PEGGY MORAN

A vivacious and beautiful brunette, Peggy Moran began her career with a stock contract at Warner Brothers in the late ‘30s. “I was so naive in those days, I thought you got a contract and they made you a star—unless you couldn’t act. I went up to them, told them I wanted to be under contract; of course they were startled—but it worked! However, after six months, I was released.”

“Then my agent took me around. I went to an interview for Gene Autry’s ‘Rhythm of the Saddle’. The agent told me, ‘Whatever they ask you, tell them yes—you can do it.’ Naturally they asked if I could ride and I told them ‘yes’ although I really couldn’t. So, I practiced for about a week. When we started the picture, I could hardly sit down. My whole fanny was sore and blistered! I have home movies showing later I did learn to ride properly. Now I can gallop and not let my fanny leave the saddle! But this was the first lead I had in a picture. I was still so pure, so innocent and so idealistic.”

Peggy Moran, character player Robert Homans and Johnny Mack Brown in Universal's "West of Carson City" ('40).Peggy’s next western was “West Of Carson City” with Johnny Mack Brown. “I don’t remember doing it. I must have, because I have some of the stills. I do remember Johnny Mack Brown, because he was a star. I turned out pictures so fast, at one time I was the most acting actress. Every two weeks I’d complete a film. Some years it totaled 11 pictures a year!”

Peggy remembers “Trail Of The Vigilantes” (‘40) with Franchot Tone, “It was a spoof and of course a big picture—much bigger than the Bs I usually did. A few years ago, I went to Knoxville to a film festival. The late Robert Shayne had told me about stills—getting my best shots reproduced and all. I took some from each of the westerns. The scenes with Gene Autry and Roy Rogers were big sellers. But when it came to the shots of me with Franchot Tone, the fans would ask ‘Who’s that!?’ At first I was so taken aback, because he was a big star, much more so than Gene or Roy, at least at the time. But these fans know who they like—it’s Gene and Roy, not Franchot! But in its day, ‘Vigilantes’ did very well, especially in New York and the sophisticated areas. It was funny, with jokes. A real farce. Franchot would fall off a horse every time he tried to get on it. The dialogue was cute and the metropolitan areas ate it up. But at the festival, I could see what the other westerns meant in that part of the country. Franchot Tone and I dated for a while, but that was before I started going with my future husband.”

While still in her freelance days, Peggy recalls, “I had become disillusioned. A Hungarian friend told me to go meet Joe Pasternak, there was a nice little part for me in the new Deanna Durbin picture, ‘First Love’. I’d heard all those casting couch stories and was afraid if I met Joe he’d be too friendly with me, and I’d get blacklisted at Universal when I rebuffed his advances. But I finally went and got the part. My fears were groundless—Joe was a true gentleman. The second day, I went by his office to speak to his secretary—and she talked me into saying ‘Hello’ to Pasternak. I did it hesitantly, but inside his office was director Henry Koster—and that’s how I met my husband! This led to a Universal contract, and all those movies. Those films were just two weeks out of my life. I don’t remember them when I see them—although sometimes the dialogue will rattle my memory.”

“The horror films I remember best as they played on television so often, particularly ‘The Mummy’s Hand’ but also ‘Horror Island’. I like to tell people my horror films come back to haunt me! (Laughs)

Peggy Moran and Roy Rogers in Republic's "King of the Cowboys" ('43).After her marriage to director Koster, Peggy retired from films. “I have no regrets. I wanted a man who had control over me. He said that before we wed, I must give up my career. I was offered ‘King Of The Cowboys’ and he said ‘If you feel like doing one more movie, go on and do it.’ A few weeks later, I discovered I was pregnant—this was a long time after we were married, incidentally. I’m not the type of actress you hear about these days! This caused me some concern over the riding sequences, but everything went well. They had to loosen some of the clothing, otherwise it all went fine. Roy wasn’t married at the time. He is a very sweet guy.”

“As I said, Bobby—that’s what I called Henry Koster—told me I had to give up my career if we were to stay married. But, he would put me in every one of his pictures. He had a bust made of my head, and that bust is in every single Henry Koster directed motion picture from then on. It’s on Gladys Cooper’s desk in ‘Bishop’s Wife’ and on Jimmy Stewart’s messy desk in ‘No Highway In The Sky’. Bobby and I were very close. Faith Domergue recently told me, ‘I never thought of you and Henry as two people, only as one.’ That about sums it up. I was with him constantly, went on the set practically every day. He’d ask my advice about the script. I was a great influence in his life.”

“Movies are like shipboard romances. You can become entangled with someone you have to play a romantic scene with. Those theater marriages often become a mixed up thing. Your life can become a mess later, like Lana Turner and Susan Hayward. But Bobby and I had the same sense of values and there was never any jealousy. Only a few years before he died, he told me he was ‘always afraid I’d lose you.’ I was taken aback, but he thought some younger, handsome man would win me away. That, I couldn’t believe, because love is nicer as it grows. After the initial sex thing is over, people today realize they don’t even like one another. That wasn’t the way with me. We were great friends, partners, lovers. I only regret he was so much older than I, because I would have had him with me for a much longer period of time.”

Peggy’s Western Filmography


Movies: Rhythm of the Saddle (‘38 Republic)—Gene Autry; Trail of the Vigilantes (‘40 Universal)—Franchot Tone; West of Carson City (‘40 Universal)—Johnny Mack Brown; King of the Cowboys (‘43 Republic)—Roy Rogers.