Veteran character actress Peggy Pope passed away on May 27th in Colorado at the age of 91, according to Variety. The cause of death has not been revealed.
Pope was best known for her role in the 1980 film 9 to 5 as the comedic Margaret, but has an extensive career spanning almost six full decades in film, theater and television. Her career first began on Broadway with Wally Cox (Mister Peepers) in the 1959 production of Moonbirds. She continued on Broadway, starring alongside Jimmy Stewart (Vertigo) in the 1970 revival of Harvey.
She later appeared on shows such as Law & Order, Mork & Mindy and The Golden Girls. She was well-known for her performance on the 1970s ABC sitcom Soap as Mrs. David, a maternal figure in the character’s lives. Her other television credits include Bewitched, ER, Hill Street Blues, CBS sitcoms Calucci’s Department and Billy, among many more. Her movie credits include All Night Long, The Last Starfighter, Once Bitten, The Substitute and Choke.
In 2011, Pope published her autobiography entitled Atta Girl: Tales From a Life in the Trenches of Show Business, “attagirl!” being her signature line in 9 to 5. Her presence and catchphrase was meant to encourage other main characters in the film played by Dolly Parton (Steel Magnolias), Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie), and Jane Fonda (Grace and Frankie).
As Entertainment Weekly reports, she recalls her acting experience: “I went to the interview with a kind of exhausted indifference. It was just another couple of lines to me. It was a good movie and a good part. At the end, my character comes back from rehab, hair combed, looking spiffy and ready for the sequel. Underdogs climbing to the top is a fine formula, and it’s always good to be in at the end of a film so people remember you were in it.”
A celebration of life is set for June 27th at 2 PM. You may leave your condolences or send flowers on the family’s memorial page.