"Baby Peggy" dies at 101
March 1, 2020 7:03 PM   Subscribe

RIP Diana Serra Cary, aka "Baby Peggy," the first child film star, at 101. TCM remembers Baby Peggy. Her intense film career over by age 7, she worked in vaudeville and then sporadically as an extra and bit player. Long before the Coogan Law, her fortune was squandered by her parents. From the Wikipedia page: "As an adult, she worked on numerous books about the early film industry, Hollywood cowboys and harsh working conditions for child stars in Hollywood. At the end of her own autobiography Whatever Happened to Baby Peggy?, she recounts the fates of numerous child stars, including Judy Garland and Shirley Temple. She also advocated for reforms in child performer protection laws as a member of the organization 'A Minor Consideration'. She appeared in numerous television documentaries and interviews about her work, and made guest appearances at silent film festivals. At the age of 99, Cary self-published her first novel, The Drowning of the Moon." 1999 interview. LA Times interview in 2011. Washington Post obit. RogerEbert.com's movie review of "Baby Peggy: The Elephant in the Room", a 2013 documentary (three stars). Baby Peggy on Metafilter previously.
posted by Melismata (11 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
What a life. A well-earned rest.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:40 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


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posted by Halloween Jack at 7:43 PM on March 1


I always hoped that current movies would put her in as cameos. Alas, that will not be.
Goodbye, Ms. Cary.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:57 PM on March 1


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posted by Jilder at 4:33 AM on March 2


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posted by filtergik at 4:51 AM on March 2


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posted by PHINC at 5:26 AM on March 2


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posted by GoblinHoney at 7:55 AM on March 2


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posted by JoeXIII007 at 9:23 AM on March 2


From the Washington Post obituary:

For the film’s climax, the set was doused with kerosene and set ablaze, including (by accident) a door that was to serve as Baby Peggy’s escape route. She improvised by breaking the window and clawing her way out across a burning windowsill. The scene is all that remains of the film today.

Holy shit!

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posted by cheapskatebay at 9:29 AM on March 2 [5 favorites]


A passing mention in a metafilter thread a few weeks ago led me to read up on her, and I was surprised she was still around. What an interesting life!

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posted by tavella at 9:58 AM on March 2


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posted by ZeusHumms at 10:08 AM on March 2


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