Marguerite “Peggy” Bolton-Burrowes, the last surviving child of librettist Guy Bolton and opera star Marguerite Namara, and who championed her father’s works later on, died Aug. 29 in Malaga, Spain, of natural causes. She was 86 and had been a resident of Estepona, Spain, for the past 12 years.
She spent much of her formative years in Remsenburg, Long Island, where her father lived and worked near his friend and colleague, P.G. Wodehouse; Bolton, Wodehouse and Jerome Kern are the ones most often credited with jointly revolutionizing American musical comedy, starting in 1915, by making musical numbers logically flow from developed storylines.
Peggy’s mother sang at the Met with Enrico Caruso and starred in the pic “Stolen Moments” with Rudolph Valentino; Franz Lehar wrote the operetta “Alone at Last” for her, and Claude Debussy composed an unfinished opera for her as well.
When not on Long Island, young Peggy was in Hollywood or Europe among her parents’ theatrical and operatic contemporaries. After the parents’ marriage ended, she and her mother toured Europe, socializing on the French Riviera with Picasso; Hemingway; Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald; Charlie Chaplin; and her mother’s closest friend, Isadora Duncan.
She was educated in Switzerland and Hollywood, where her father worked as a screenwriter for Fox, Paramount and MGM. There, she was screen-tested and accepted by Par, but shyness kept her from performing.
While in Hollywood, she met and wed Jimmy Stack, brother of actor Robert Stack, but the marriage lasted less than a year. Back in Switzerland, she met and married Jimmy Burrowes, an executive with the Nestle Co. The couple drove through occupied France during World War II to collect her father and his then-wife, escaping just ahead of the German invasion that captured Wodehouse and his wife, Ethel (who were later released).
After the war, Bolton-Burrowes spent most of the 1950s in Remsenburg, then moved to Chateau d’Oex, a small village above Montreux, in Switzerland, where she remained until the 1980s, though she continued to travel extensively.
Services were held Monday Sept.1, and she was buried next to her mother in Marbella.