Peggy Pope has died at the age of 91. The actress passed away on May 27 in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Born Florence Margaret Pope in Montclair, New Jersey. She studied theatre at college and appeared on Broadway in Moonbirds and Harvey, opposite Jimmy Stewart. Yes, that Jimmy Stewart.
Peggy Pope in 9 To 5
In the 1980 film, Pope played secretary Margaret. The character was a scene-stealing, boozy office secretary in the comedy.
Margaret memorably used the phrase “atta girl” to encourage her three co-workers and later appeared on a TV spin-off. The character will always be remembered as a great part of the movie and Pope as an impressive member of the cast.
The 9 To 5 cast was led by Jane Fonda as Judy Bernly, Lily Tomlin as Violet Newstead, and Dolly Parton as Doralee Rhodes. It also co-starred Dabney Coleman, Sterling Hayden, Elizabeth Wilson, and Richard Stahl.
The movie itself featured the three leading ladies as employees of a sexist and egotistical boss. The plot involved the women figuring out a way to turn the tables on him and give him a taste of his own medicine.
Below is the original theatrical trailer for the film. It did a pretty good job of hiding the main plot points of the film while also addressing some of the situations that many secretaries have gone through at their jobs.
Peggy Pope’s acting career
Over the years, Pope also appeared in many shows and films with roles of varying sizes. She was a good character actor, which is how she was able to land parts on Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
She also made stops on ER, Sisters, Nurses, Soap, Empty Nest, Highway to Heaven, The Twilight Zone, Bewitched The Golden Girls, and many other hit television shows.
Pope even appeared on six different episodes of Barney Miller over the years.
In 1968, she won an Obie Award for playing a sex worker in the John Guare play, Muzeeka.
Film credits for Pope include All Night Long, The Last Starfighter, The Substitute, and Choke.
And in 2011, Pope published her autobiography, titled Atta Girl: Tales From a Life in the Trenches of Show Business. The name referenced her saying from 9 To 5.
Peggy Pope tributes
A number of friends and fans have been posting tributes to the late actress on Twitter.
Sad cast news to report…Peggy Pope, 91, passed away last Wed from causes unrelated to COVID-19. She played Gretchen Milhowser in S.4’s "Playmates."
She guest starred on many TV shows had some luck in movies, particularly 1980's "9 to 5.”
— BewitchedHistoryBook (@BewitchedBook) June 3, 2020
Actress Peggy Pope had a long career onstage and onscreen but she may be best remembered as the secretary in 9 to 5. She has died at the age of 91. RIP. pic.twitter.com/9Kv7BmeAAg
— TonyWendice (@tonywendice1954) June 3, 2020
A post was also made by her nephew on Twitter sharing the sad news:
Atta girl Peggy Pope!
Friends ~ ugh. 😔
It is with a heavy heart and great sadness to announce the news of our friend, a great American actress has passed as per her nephew Ross. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
An obituary will be posted soon. pic.twitter.com/jqYSNE1eZo
— Sharon Price Hyland (@bshyland) May 28, 2020
Peggy Pope will be missed.