The girl who jumped to her death from the Hollywoodland sign

January 08, 2014


The Golden age of Hollywood counts many tragic deaths from silver screen stars; we are all well known with the sad faith that came to Jean Harlow, Marilyn Monroe and Carole Landis. But a lesser known story, is that of the blonde, blue eyed actress Peg Entwistle, the symbol of failure and tragedy.

Peg was born Lillian Millicent Entwistle in Port Talbot, Wales in 1908 to English parents. It is reported that Peg's mother died when she was very young but there has never been found evidence that supported this. In 1922 however, Peg's father, Robert Entwistle, died after a hit and run accident in New York City. Peg and her two younger half-brothers from then on were taken in by their uncle who had moved with them to New York and who was also the manager of Broadway actor Walter Hampden.

In 1925, Peg was living in Boston and was one of the Henry Jewett Players who gained national attention. It was Walter Hampden who gave Peg an un-credited part in the Broadway production Hamlet. Later on, Peg played the role of Hedvig in the play 'The Wild Duck' written by the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. When Bette Davis saw the play, she said to her mother that she wanted to be exactly like Peg Entwistle. Throughout the years, Bette Davis said that Peg was her inspiration to take up acting.

In 1926, Peg was recruited for her first credited Broadway performance as Martha in 'The Man from Toronto'. Peg performed in ten Broadway plays between 1926 and 1932. Peg was always cast as a comedienne, the good-hearted and attractive ingénue. It was in 1932 that Peg made her last Broadway appearance in J.M Barries 'Alice Sit By the Fire'.

In 1932, Peg was heading to Hollywood with a role in the play 'The Mad Hopes'. When this play closed, Peg found her first, last and only credited film role for RKO pictures in 'Thirteen women' that also starred Myrna Loy and Irene Dunne. Peg played a small supporting role as Hazel Cousins. The sad faith was, that the movie premiered on 14 October in 1932 - which was a month after her death.


Peg Entwistle dies in Hollywood leap ...
On the18th of september 1932, an anonymous woman called the police saying that she had found a body below the Hollywoodland (now known as just Hollywood) sign whilst hiking. A detective and two radio car officers found a well-dressed blonde woman in a ravine below the sign. Peg remained unidentified until her uncle connected the description of the unidentified woman with the two day absence and the initials P.E on the suicide note to his niece Peg Entwistle. On 16 september, Peg told her uncle that she was going for a walk to the drugstore and to see some friends. But instead, Peg hiked to the Hollywoodland sign, took off her coat and neatly folded it, put down her purse and climbed up a workman's ladder to the top of the 'H' of the Hollywoodland sign - losing one of her new shoes along the way - and standing atop of it for a moment, looking over the lights of the glamorous city below her that once represented her hopes and dreams and jumped to her death. She died by the cause of multiple fractures of the pelvis. Peg probably died instantly and was only 24 years old.

Her suicide note read:
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.

Peg was a promising actress but tired to be entitled to very small roles only. She was battling bouts of depression and was sorely dissapointed when she saw how much of her screen time in 'Thirteen women' ended up on the editing floor. On top of that, RKO dropped the options on her contract.  A day after her death a telegram arrived; Peg was offered a lead role in a play about a young woman who wants to commit suicide.

Peg Entwistle ... the Hollywood ghost.
It appears that multiple people made a mention of a ghost roaming at the Hollywood sign. Park rangers claim to have seen a woman in 1930s clothes and when you come closer, she just dissapears and all that is left, is the intense scent of Gardenia's (her favorite perfume).




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3 Comments

  1. How how that suicide note tugs at my heart. The poor, sweet dear. It's a heartbreaking shame that in such a well populated industry (and town/state), she didn't feel like she had anyone to turn to for help.

    ♥ Jessica

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  2. Each time I read these tragic stories from beautiful ladies, my heart goes silent with complexity of feelings and emotions. It's very hard for me to comment clearly and I often choose not to. I'm so sorry for these dear darlings. But I think 's wonderful that they are being paid homage here. That's a comfort to many hearts including mine.

    Miss Beta

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  3. Anonymous22 June, 2016

    I feel for these beautiful women who felt so lost and alone. I'm like you in a sense that I find the odd occur ancestors and deaths of the old Hollywood star truly fascinating and saddening.
    Love theseeing posts x vicitoria

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