bgcolour = silver
name = Peggy Wood
imagesize = 250px
caption = Peggy Wood circa 1918.
birthname = Mary Margaret Wood
February 9, 1892
Brooklyn, New York
March 18, 1978(aged age|1892|2|9|1978|3|18)
yearsactive = 1919–1968
spouse = John V.A. Weaver (1924-1938)
Will Walling (1941-1973)
Brooklyn, New York, Wood spent nearly fifty years on the stage, beginning in the chorus and becoming known as a Broadway singer and star. She made her stage debut in 1910 in the chorus of "Naughty Marietta." In 1917, in "Maytime", she introduced the song ‘Will You Remember’. She starred in several other musicals before playing Portia in a 1928 production of " The Merchant of Venice." In the late 1920s and 1930s, she played lead roles in musicals staged in Londonand New York. In 1941, in the New York premiere of Noel Coward's " Blithe Spirit", she portrayed Ruth Condomine - whose husband's deceased first wife returns as an irritating ghost. Coward had originally written the part for Wood in the London based production in 1929.
Because of her stage career, Peggy did not make many films. She co-starred opposite
Will Rogersin " Handy Andy" and was seen in the film " Jalna". She also had a cameo in the 1937 film "A Star is Born" playing a receptionist at a movie studio who advises Janet Gaynorto go back home.
From 1949 to 1957, she played matriarch Marta Hansen, "Mama", in the popular
CBStelevision series "Mama", based on the popular film " I Remember Mama" When General Foodscancelled the program there was so much protest CBS brought it back on Sunday afternoon, this time as a filmed series. But since they did not have that many clearances it was decided to put the show into syndication where it was a huge success. 26 episodes were filmed. By then Robin Morgan who played Dagmar left the series and she was replaced by Toni Campbell. Following "Mama", Wood was also seen in episodes of " Zane Grey Theater" and an episode of " The Nurses" which co-starred Ruth Gates, who played her sister Jenny on "Mama".
She then co-starred with
Imogene Cocain the Broadway play, "The Girls in 509" which had a moderate run.
In October of 1963 she and Ruth Gates appeared in a one-act play, OPENING NIGHT, which played in an off-Broadway theater. Wood portrayed Fanny Ellis, a once famous star who prepares for aperformance in her dressing room. It was suggested that Fanny Ellis was really Laurette Taylor. The play lasted 47 performances.
Her final screen appearance was as the gentle Mother Abbess in the 1965 film "The Sound Of Music", for which she received an Academy Award nomination. Wood did not do her own singing in the film. It was dubbed by
Margery McKay. Peggy also speaks the final line of the movie--"What is this sin, my children?"
Peggy Wood also starred in the adaptation of the Biblical book of Ruth, "The Story of Ruth". In 1969 she joined the cast of the ABC-TV soap, "
One Life to Live" as Dr. Kate Nolan and had a recurring role until the end of the year.
Her first autobiography, "How Young You Look", was published by Farrar and Rinehart in 1941. An update, "Arts and Flowers", appeared in 1963. She also wrote a biography of John Drew, was co-author of a play called "Miss Quis" and a novel called "The Star Wagon".
Wood received numerous awards for her theatrical work and for a while was president of
American National Theatre and Academy(ANTA).
Wood died on
March 18, 1978from stroke.
Wood married and was widowed twice. Her first husband, poet/writer
John V.A. Weaver, died age 44 and her second, William Walling, an executive in the printing business, died in 1973 after 32 years. Wood herself died in Stamford, Connecticut
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