PEGGY HUNT February 8, 1920 – April 1, 2020
This month, BAT is mourning the loss of longtime participant Peggy Hunt. A popular and talented local actress, Peggy and her family lived in Burien for more than 40 years and inspired BAT’s playwrights festival. She died (not of COVID-19) on April 1st at her daughter’s home in Bellingham, just a few weeks past her 100th birthday.
Peggy was born in Quebec on February 8, 1920, moving with her family to Vancouver, B.C. when she was 12. After completing nursing school as a young woman, she met and married a young Boeing engineer, Bill Hunt. He was transferred to the Seattle area. The couple settled in Burien, where they raised their four children.
In 1960, Peggy auditioned and got a leading role in the Burien Workshop Theatre production of the comedy “Harvey,” which was a huge success. Over the next few years, her acting skills, along with her wit and charm, won her many more roles. Peggy was especially adept at playing “dotty old ladies” while only in her 40s, and she thoroughly enjoyed those comedy roles. When not acting, she worked with costumes, props, and other theater-related activities.
Husband Bill soon followed, joining the theater group with technical work, but also helped out by taking small roles no one else wanted. He also designed and helped build sets and other equipment for the theater, before successfully directing plays, as well as being elected President of the Board.
Peggy continued acting and also was a Board Member as the group changed its name to Burien Little Theatre and moved to its permanent “home” in the King County Community Center, the location it has been using for more than 40 years (now under the name Burien Actors Theatre). Peggy was much in demand at theaters in the region, performing in Seattle theaters, in Federal Way, Renton and Issaquah’s Village Theatre, as well as some TV and print commercials. She had a small role in the 1986 television movie “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” which starred Loretta Swit and Peggy’s granddaughter, Megan. Her final performance, at age 93, was a professional production in Bellingham of “The Producers,” which starred popular Seattle actor Richard Gray. Peggy stole the show!
Peggy had enjoyed the theater festivals and play competitions in Canada and encouraged BLT to consider participating locally. BLT joined the Washington State Community Theater Association and sent one-act plays to the competition every two years. These festivals were held in different cities each time, with Burien hosting play competitions in 1981 at the Annex theater and in 1993 at the Highline Performing Arts Center. Playwright Competitions also became part of Burien Little Theatre’s repertoire as the group expanded its activities. Due to the extra time and staff necessary to produce the competition, it is held every two years.
Peggy and Bill retired to Bellingham where their daughter’s family lives. Bill died in 2003. Their son David and wife Frances live in Des Moines and frequently attend BAT’s productions. Son Robb Hunt followed his mom’s theater footsteps many years ago and is currently Executive Producer at Village Theatre in Issaquah. Daughter Kathleen’s family, living in Bellingham, has been taking Peggy to see the Village productions at the Everett Theatre for many years.
Peggy has been a much-respected actress as well as a dear friend to so very many people in Burien and will be greatly missed.