Virginia Gregg (Virginia Lee Gregg)

Virginia Gregg

Born in Harrisburg, Illinois, Virginia Gregg was the daughter of musician Dewey Alphaleta (née Todd) and businessman Edward William Gregg. She had a stepsister, Mary. When Virginia Gregg was 5, she and her family moved to Pasadena, California. She attended Jefferson High School, Pasadena Junior College and Pacific Academy of Dramatic Art. Before going into radio, Gregg played bass viola with the Pasadena Symphony and Pops. She was a member of the Singing Strings group heard initially on KHJ in Los Angeles, California, in 1937 and later on CBS and Mutual. Virginia Gregg was a prolific radio actress, heard on such programs as The Adventures of Sam Spade, Dragnet, Dr. Kildare, Gunsmoke, The Jack Benny Program, Let George Do It, Lux Radio Theatre, One Man’s Family, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar and The Screen Guild Theater. On the radio series Have Gun–Will Travel (starring John Dehner as Paladin), Gregg portrayed Miss Wong (the girlfriend of Hey Boy), and also appeared in very different roles in the concurrent television series with Richard Boone. She had the role of Betty Barbour on One Man’s Family and played Richard Diamond’s girlfriend, the wealthy Helen Asher, on the radio series Richard Diamond, Private Detective (starring Dick Powell as Diamond). She later guest starred in an episode of the television version of Richard Diamond, starring David Janssen.

Beginning with Body and Soul (1947), Gregg made more than 45 films, including I’ll Cry Tomorrow (1955), Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955), Operation Petticoat (1959), All the Fine Young Cannibals (1960), Man-Trap (1961), House of Women (1962), Spencer’s Mountain (1963), Two on a Guillotine (1965), Big Deal at Dodge City (1966), The Bubble (1966), Madigan (1968), Heaven with a Gun (1969), A Walk in the Spring Rain (1970), No Way Back (1976), and S.O.B. (1981). Virginia Gregg once said of her work as a character actress on television: “I work steadily, but I have no identity.” She added, “When casting people have a call for a woman who looks like the wrath of God, I’m notified.”[9] On television, Gregg appeared in nearly every narrative television series in the late ’50s through the early 1970s, including Bourbon Street Beat, Hawaiian Eye, 77 Sunset Strip, The Rockford Files, The Virginian, Wagon Train, Make Room for Daddy, Philip Marlowe, My Favorite Martian, Hazel, and Bonanza. Gregg may be best remembered for her many appearances in Dragnet. Jack Webb utilized her in dozens of roles on both radio and TV versions of the show as well as the 1954 film version of Dragnet. In later years, she appeared on other shows produced by Webb’s production company, Mark VII Limited (e.g., Adam-12, Emergency!). Gregg also played non-recurring character roles in four episodes of the long-running CBS series Perry Mason, including the 1958 episode, “The Case of the Cautious Coquette,” and “The Case of the Pathetic Patient” from 1961.

Virginia Gregg supplied the voice of “Mrs. Bates” in Psycho as did Jeanette Nolan and Paul Jasmin, all uncredited. Only Gregg did the voice in the sequels Psycho II and Psycho III. She voiced “Tarra” on the 1967 animated TV series, The Herculoids. She reprised that role when the series was revived in 1981 as part of the Space Stars animated series. Gregg married producer Jaime del Valle in 1948, (Another source says October 15, 1947, in Las Vegas, Nevada.) and they had three children, Gregg, Jaime, and Ricardo. They were divorced December 22, 1959. She was active with the Recording for the Blind Inc. organization, making recordings as a volunteer and serving on the group’s board of directors. Virginia Gregg died from lung cancer in Encino, California, September 15, 1986, aged 70. She was survived by her three sons: Gregg, Jaime and Ricardo del Valle.

More Images

  • MBDPSYC EC051 -


  • March, 06, 1916
  • USA
  • Harrisburg, Illinois


  • September, 15, 1986
  • USA
  • Encino, California

Cause of Death

  • lung cancer


  • Cremated

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