Actress. She committed suicide by jumping off the "H" in the "Hollywoodland" sign that overlooked Hollywood, California. In 1945, the "land" portion of the sign was removed, leaving only the now famous "Hollywood." Born Lillian Millicent Entwistle in Port Talbot, Wales, United Kingdom, her birth date is given as either July 1, 1908 or as February 6, 1908, depending upon the document. Nicknamed Peg, she became interested in the stage as a child. Her mother died when she was very young, and her father moved the family to New York, where he remarried and had two sons. When her father was struck and killed by an automobile while walking on New York's Park Avenue, the family moved to Ohio to live with an uncle, while Peg remained in New York to pursue her career as a stage actress. Wanting a shot at Hollywood, she moved there in 1930, hoping to become noticed as an actress in the movies. To pay bills, she worked on the stage, but attended parties of the Hollywood royalty, hoping they would notice her and offer her a part. She finally achieved her goal, winning the role of Hazel Cousins in "Thirteen Women" (1932), her only film. When no further roles were offered her, she became depressed and began drinking heavily. On the night of September 16, 1932, after a night of heavy drinking, she climbed the 50-foot "H" on the Hollywoodland sign (named for a real estate development) and jumped to her death. Her body was discovered by a hiker two days later, 100 feet below the sign. Today she is remembered for being an example of the lost aspirations of many who go to Hollywood to become actors or actresses. Ironically, the day after her death, a letter arrived at her home, offering her the lead role in a stage play about a woman driven to suicide. Initially, her body could not be identified, and she left behind the following 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." The note was published in several newspapers in the hope that someone would recognize her; her uncle recognized the initials and traveled to Hollywood, where he identified her body in the morgue. Her body was cremated and the ashes interred in her father's grave in Oak Hill Cemetery in Glendale, Ohio.
Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson
1898–1966 (m. 1927)