Peg Entwistle (5 February 1908 – body found 18 September 1932)
The world at large may not recognize the name Peg Entwistle, but she holds her own unique place in Hollywood’s history. Peg Entwistle will forever be remembered as the Hollywoodland Sign Girl. On the evening of September 18th, 1932 the distraught 24 year old actress climbed up a workers ladder to the top of the 40 foot letter “H” on the legendary Hollywood sign, during the era when it still read “Hollywoodland,” and dove off to her death. When her body was found the next day by a hiker, officials had no idea who the young woman was, and only had the initials P.E., which were written on a suicide note that Peg had left in her handbag at the foot of the sign, as a clue to her identity. In an effort to identify the body, the LA Times ran the story alongside the note, naming the unidentified suicide victim as The Hollywoodland Sign Girl, thus giving her that title for eternity. However, despite her suicide, Peg Entwistle was not a failure. Far from it. In fact, although she never made it in Hollywood. Peg Entwistle had an illustrious career on the stage and even inspired actress Bette Davis to be an actress! However, due to one unfortunate setback in 1932, Peg Entwistle would end her life, thus ending a career that would hardly be preserved for future generations to experience.
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.”