Diana Serra Cary - Baby Peggy

Description:
Born Diana Serra Cary but known in silent films as "Baby Peggy", she was the first big child screen star, earning over a million dollars a year in the early 1920s! From 1921 through 1924, she starred in over 150 short films and some popular features. Then her career (at the ripe old age of 6) crashed and she became a "has been."

Her father, Jack Montgomery, moved his family from San Diego to Los Angeles so that he could be a horse-riding stuntman in movies. While visiting her father's set, she was "discovered" by a director (at 19 months old) and put in a short film with Brownie the Wonder Dog. Her father negotiated the same pay for her that he got as a stunt double - $7.50/day - and her career began. She became such a huge star that Gimbel's Dept Store created a doll of her and she appeared onstage with FDR in the 1924 Presidential convention. Unfortunately, while she earned over 1 million dollars a year (and, according to her, was worth $4 million by age 10), her parents didn't save any of her earnings. And, her father wasn't easy to get along with - so she was blackballed from movies. Then a relative absconded with all of her money, leaving the family destitute.

She never really returned to Hollywood (silent film stars were considered "has beens") and she eventually became a writer in the 1970s, writing about the old days of Hollywood as well as an autobiography, Whatever Happened to Baby Peggy? .

Diana, or Baby Peggy, died on the 24th of February, 2020, at the age of 101. One son and a granddaughter survive her. Her 2nd husband, to whom she was married for 48 years, died in 2003.
Date & Place: at Hollywood, in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California United States
People:
Oct 29, 1918 - Feb 24, 2020
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Comments

Ancient Faces
218 favorites
One of the last silent movie stars died yesterday at age 101. Diana Serra Cary, known as "Baby Peggy", was the 1st big child screen star earning over a million dollars a year in the early 1920s.
Feb 25 · Reply
Paul Sample Sr
RI
Sukhpreet Singh
Great life. RIP Diana.
Sally Roffey Ivison
Such a cutie x
Bob Gaines
Sad! The silent stars are almost all gone now. Jane Withers (born 1926) is still with us, but I don't think she was ever in a silent picture. She had good parts in many Shirley Temple movies.
Phyllis Setterberg-Tobias
Ahhhh s legend of her time!!❤️❤️❤️
Milena Enright
I was afraid if I clicked on the article it would tell me her family squandered all her money....I was not wrong. How sad😢
Debbie Arnold
Milena Enright Me too! That happened with soooo many of the child stars until they came out with that law that protected them from their greedy parents.
Margaret MacArthur
I have heard of her before. My Mother's sister sermingly looked like Baby Peggy as a small girl.
Milena Enright
AncientFaces true but wow, worth that much in the 1920s! She and her family could have been set for life. To live to 101 is amazing though.
AncientFaces
Before laws about child actors. But she seemed to have landed on her feet! Talented lady.
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