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Peg Entwistle Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (2)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (11)  | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (4)

Born in Port Talbot, Wales, UK
Died in Hollywood, California, USA  (suicide)
Birth NameMillicent Lilian Entwistle
Nickname The Hollywood Sign Girl

Mini Bio (2)

Peg Entwistle's name as her birth occurred, was Lillian Millicent Entwistle, on Wednesday, July 1st, 1908 in Port Talbot, Wales, United Kingdom. Growing up, she was interested in the stage and when she became older she worked primarily as a stage actress. Peg wanted to have a shot at Hollywood. She was enthralled with the lifestyle and wanted, so much, to make her mark on the silver screen. Peg tended to party with some of the Hollywood elite hoping to score a part, but nothing seemed to come of it. Although she had the stage to fall back on, she didn't want it. The films were her goal because it would help her to gain fame. In 1932, she achieved her dream at last. She played the character role of "Hazel Clay Cousins" in her only theatrical film, Thirteen Women (1932). Peg Entwistle must have still felt extremely bitter and sad, after her only theatrical film silver screen feature film, being a failure. On Sunday evening, September 18th, 1932, after a night of drinking and extremely deep depression, she climbed the 50 foot "capital H" of the HOLLYWOODLAND sign (that was re-named Hollywood, by real estate developments) and dove head first onto the ground killing herself immediately. Peg was only 24 years old and today is more remembered for her suicidal fate, rather than her acting skills.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Denny Jackson

Peg Entwistle's birth certificate states she was born as Millicent Lilian Entwistle on (Wednesday) February 5th, 1908, in Port Talbot, Wales, United Kingdom. Her parents, Robert and Emily Entwistle, were English and actually lived in West Kensington, just outside of London (they had been visiting Emily's family in Port Talbot at the time of her birth). Her mother, Emily died in 1910. In 1912, Robert was hired by Broadway producer, Charles Frohman to manage stages in New York. This was when Peg left Britain and came to North America.

In 1914, Robert married Lauretta Ross. Lauretta was the sister of actress Jane Ross, who was married to Robert's brother, Charles Harold Entwistle. A few years later, Robert and Lauretta had two sons, Milton and Robert Bleaks Entwistle. In 1921 Lauretta died from meningitis, and just a year later, on Thursday, November 2nd, 1922, Peg's father, Robert was struck down on Park Avenue, in New York City by a hit and run limousine driver, while leaving his upscale Madison Avenue specialty shop where he made elaborate gift boxes for wealthy clients. He survived the massive injury hit, to die forty-seven days later (6 weeks and 5 days) on Tuesday, December 18th, 1922, (was just one week before Christmas and one more week from Tuesday, January 1st, 1923). Then, Peg's uncle Charles and aunt Jane adopted Peg and her brothers.

In 1924 Peg was enrolled into Henry Jewett's Repertory school in Boston. Peg was taught to act by famed director & actress, Blanche Yurka. Peg performed every play by Henrik Ibsen while under Yurka. Peg was one of the pioneers of the famous Henry Jewett Players at "sweet 16" years young. In 1925, her uncle's friend and employer, actor Walter Hampden, gave Peg her very first Broadway role. It was an un-credited walk-on, but Peg had attracted the attention of scouts from the prestigious New York Theatre Guild. She was the youngest actress ever to be recruited. She graduated from their program and went on to play major supporting roles with Dorothy Gish, Laurette Taylor, Henry Travers, William Gillette, Robert Cummings, Romney Brent, and numerous other famous names of directors, producers, actors and actresses. George M. Cohan is one of his original Broadway comedies, that personally directed her.

Peg also traveled around the country as a representative of the Guild during a special tour celebrating the Theatre Guild's ten-year birthday. The tour was orchestrated by the great Bernard Shaw. Peg received rave reviews in every play she ever performed, including plays the critics did not like. In 1932, after popular James Barrie revival of "Alice Sit-By-The-Fire" was pulled because of problems with the star actress, Laurette Taylor, she was brought out to Los Angeles by producers Edward DeBlasio and Homer Curran especially to co-star opposite Billie Burke and Humphrey Bogart in a tryout production of Romney Brent's "The Mad Hopes." The show was a huge smash and Peg was again given tremendous notice. Three days after the production had ended, she was in her room at her uncle and aunt's house at 2428 Beachwood Drive, packing to return back to New York, when RKO Pictures called. They asked if she would like to do a screen test. She did and was soon signed to a small role in David O. Selznick's Thirteen Women (1932), with Irene Dunne and Myrna Loy. The film was a flop despite the combined talents of Dunne, Loy, and Entwistle. Peg's contract was not optioned. The worst year of The Great Depression was in progress. Money was tight for everyone -- including Peg's famous friends and former co-stars. She was broke and had no way to return to New York. There were no stage roles to be had in Los Angeles. In her mind, it all seemed hopeless. On Friday evening, September 16th, 1932, just hours after the theatrical release of Thirteen Women (1932), Peg left a note for her uncle and aunt, she wrote she was going to visit friends and buy some books. Peg's family and fans never saw her smile again. Committed suicide on Sunday, September 18th, 1932, an anonymous hiker found Peg's coat, one of her shoes and Peg's purse containing the suicide note. When the hiker saw the body one hundred feet below the 50-foot tall "H" of the Hollywoodland sign and after leaving Peg's things on the steps of the Los Angeles Police Department's Hollywood Station, the hiker then called the Central Station to report what she'd seen and done. Police investigators found her body and pieced-together what had occurred. Peg had climbed a workman's ladder that had been left upright against the back of the "H" and dove head-first to her death. The note found in Peg's purse read: "I'm afraid I'm a coward. I am sorry for everything. If I had done this thing a long time ago it would have saved a lot of pain. P.E." (P.E. are/were the initials of her name). An autopsy was quickly performed. There was no indication of her having been drinking. The cause of death was internal bleeding cause by "multiple fractures of the pelvis." The nickname, "The Hollywoodland Sign Girl" was not given by the Los Angeles Times headlines' editor, but rather a Los Angeles Herald Examiner Newspaper editor -- a now defunct tabloid newspaper. Numerous rumors, myths and lies continue to circulate this beautiful and tragic woman. Her outstanding body of stage for the most part has become just a footnote to a puzzling, heart-breaking end.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: James Zeruk Jr

Spouse (1)

Robert Keith (18 April 1927 - ?) ( divorced)

Trade Mark (1)

Gardenia-scented perfume

Trivia (11)

Stage actress.
Peg was cremated and her ashes interred in her father's grave. Oak Hill Cemetery, Glendale, Ohio - Section 12, Lot 27, Grave 10.
She and her brothers were adopted by their Uncle Charles and Aunt Jane. Jane gave up her career as an actress in order to provide a "mother" for the children. Charles Entwistle soon retired from managing actors and theaters around the world in order to remain close to home so Peg, Milton and Robert could have a "father" figure. Charles and his friend Walter Hampden had Peg enrolled in the Jewett Repertory after she developed an interest in the stage.
An urban legend says that, in a cruel twist of irony, her uncle received a letter from the Beverly Hills Playhouse, two days after her death. She was offered the lead role in a play about a woman driven to suicide. However, despite being a popular story, no actual evidence of such an event exists.
It is often told that the Los Angeles Times dubbed Peg as "The Hollywood Sign Girl," when they published the suicide note a day before Peg's body was identified, but this is not true. The Los Angeles Herald Examiner came up with the nickname.
In January, 1925, while at Jewett, she was performing under the direction of Blanch Yurka in Ibsen's "The Wild Duck." Peg played Hedvig. In Hedvig's suicide scene, there was a young girl in the audience with her mother, Ruthie. When this girl, who was the same age as Peg, saw Peg's remarkable performance, she determined to pursue acting with all her heart. She told her mother as they left the theater, "I want to be exactly like Peg Entwistle!" This young girl would for many years mention in interviews and her biography that this play and Peg Entwistle as the driving force to her becoming an actress. Two years later, while Peg was headed for stardom on Broadway, this girl was hired by Blanch Yurka to play Hedvig. Her name was Bette Davis.
Committed suicide 2 days after the release of her only film, Thirteen Women (1932).
Daughter of actor Robert Entwistle and niece of actor Harold Entwistle.
Ex-stepmother of Brian Keith.
Allan Mowbray, Sidney Toler, Hardie Albright, Walter Byron, Frances Goodrich and Grayce Hampton attended the Episcopal funeral ceremony for Peg in Hollywood on September 20th, 1932.
Her ghost is supposed to haunt the "H" of the "Hollywood" sign. Cries have been heard by many witness who visit the sign.

Personal Quotes (1)

(suicide note) "I am afraid I am a coward. I am sorry for everything. If I had done this a long time ago, it would have saved a lot of pain. P.E."

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