Peggy Pope Dies: ‘9 To 5’, ‘Soap’ & Broadway Actress Was 91

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Peggy Pope, who played a secretary in the 1980 movie 9 to 5, appeared in dozens of TV series and acted on Broadway, has died. She was 91. Her family said Pope died May 27 in Fort Collins, CO, but did not give a cause of death.

Born Florence Pope on May 15, 1929, in Montclair, NJ, she began her long career on Broadway in the late 1950s, appearing in small roles in a handful of short-lived plays. She ultimately would appear in seven Main Stem shows through 1975, including the 1970 revival of Harvey, for which James Stewart reprised his Oscar-nominated lead role as Elwood P. Dowd from the 1950 film.

By 1966, she was working in TV and made a couple of big-screen appearances in the early ’70s. In 1973, she landed a series-regular role in Calucci’s Department, a CBS sitcom starring James Coco that lasted only a couple of months. Six years later, Pope scored another regular TV role in Billy, a CBS sitcom in which she was the mother of the title character played by Steve Guttenberg. It too lasted only a few months.

Pope also appeared on such popular TV series as Rhoda, Barnaby Jones, Mork & Mindy, Eight Is Enough, Barney Miller, Hill Street Blues, Knots Landing. St. Elsewhere, Night Court, Too Close for Comfort, The Golden Girls, ER and multiple Law & Order series. She also recurred on Soap. 

But she probably is best known for her role in 9 to 5, the popular 1980 comedy starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton and Dabney Coleman. She played Margaret, one of the secretaries alongside Parton’s Doralee who was known to tip the bottle and exclaim “Attagirl!” She also guested as a different character on the 1982 ABC spinoff series.

Her film credits include All Night Long, The Last Starfighter, Once Bitten and The Substitute.


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