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Virginia Gregg Burket (March 6, 1916 – September 15, 1986) was an American actress best known for her many roles in radio dramas.

Gregg was born in Harrisburg, Illinoismarker, the daughter of musician Dewey Alphaleta (née Todd) and businessman Edward William Gregg. Gregg was a prolific radio actor, in addition to her work in film and television. Gregg portrayed Mary Surratt, the woman hanged for conspiracy in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, in the 1956 episode "The Mary Surratt Case" of NBC anthology series, The Joseph Cotten Show.

She made three appearances on the television series Alfred Hitchcock Presents and the syndicated Rod Cameron series, State Trooper. She appeared as Judge Banks in the 1958 episode "We, the Jury" of the CBS sitcom, Mr. Adams and Eve, starring Howard Duff and Ida Lupino. She appeared as well in the 1958 episode "Postmarked for Death" in the western series Tombstone Territory starring Pat Conway and Richard Eastham. In 1959, Gregg appeared as Zina in the episode "The Meeting" of Bruce Gordon's short-lived docudrama of the Cold War, Behind Closed Doors.

In the 1961-1962 television season, Gregg provided the voice of Maggie Bell in the ABC cartoon series Calvin and the Colonel. In 1961, she guest starred on NBC's anthology program, The Barbara Stanwyck Show. Thereafter, she portrayed a character named Emily in the 1964 The Twilight Zone episode "The Masks". In 1963, she appeared on the NBC medical drama, The Eleventh Hour, in two episodes entitled "Medicine Man in This Day and Age, A?" as Aunt Tabitha and "Which Man Will Die?" as Arlene Montebello. She appeared too in the 1965 episode "Three Men from Now" of the ABC western The Legend of Jesse James starring Christopher Jones. She also appeared in 1967 in the episode "The Agreement" of Barry Sullivan's NBC wesrtern series The Road West.

In 1959, 1963, and 1964, she guest starred on CBS's Rawhide western series in the episodes entitled "Incident of the Misplaced Indians", "Incident of the Comancheros", and "Incident of the Banker". In 1964, she guest starred as Mrs. Bronson in the episode "Confounding Her Astronomers" of the ABC medical series Breaking Point.

She supplied the voice of Norman Bates' mother in the movie Psycho as did Jeanette Nolan and Paul Jasmin, all uncredited. Only Gregg did the voice in the sequels Psycho II and Psycho III.

Gregg was probably best known to American television viewers as one of the core of a dozen actors and actresses in the Dragnet company. Jack Webb utilized her in dozens of roles on both radio and TV versions of the show as well as the Dragnet 1954 movie where she played the role of Evelyn Starkie, wife of the murder victim in one of her most emotional and convincing roles. In later years, she appeared on other shows produced by Webb's Mark VII Limited (e.g., Adam-12, Emergency!).

Gregg is also widely recognized at the voice of Tara in the animated series, The Herculoids. She reprised that role when the series was revived in 1981 as part of the Space Stars animated series.

She starred as Miss Wong on radio's Have Gun, Will Travel.

Gregg died from lung cancer in Encinomarker, California.

References

  1. Virginia Gregg Biography (1916-)
  2. Alex McNeil, Total Television, New York: Penguin Books, 1997, pp. 61-62


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