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Peggy Montgomery

Peggy Montgomery

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: October 26, 1918 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Rock Island, Illinois Profession:

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

In the days of silent films, there were several child stars who became popular stars including a precocious little girl who was billed as 'Baby Peggy'. The daughter of a stuntman and sometime actor, Peggy Montgomery proved to be a natural. By the age of three, she was headlining numerous shorts and had her own production unit devoted to churning out her films, becoming the top child star of the decade. At the height of career, there were Baby Peggy dolls and other memorabilia, much like that devoted to another moppet star, Shirley Temple, in the 1930s. Many of Baby Peggy's films were takeoffs on popular screen characters of the day and the child star reportedly earned a salary equal to that of Charlie Chaplin. At age six, her career was interrupted when she lost her two front teeth. Four years later, she was all but washed up as silents gave way to talkies and she committed the cardinal sin of child performers, she grew up. Although she attempted a career in talkies, Baby Peggy gave up after a couple of films and retired.In the 1970s, Baby Peggy reemerged as author and film historian Diana Serra Cary, publishing two well-received accounts of life in the silent age, "The Hollywood Posse" (1975) and...

In the days of silent films, there were several child stars who became popular stars including a precocious little girl who was billed as 'Baby Peggy'. The daughter of a stuntman and sometime actor, Peggy Montgomery proved to be a natural. By the age of three, she was headlining numerous shorts and had her own production unit devoted to churning out her films, becoming the top child star of the decade. At the height of career, there were Baby Peggy dolls and other memorabilia, much like that devoted to another moppet star, Shirley Temple, in the 1930s. Many of Baby Peggy's films were takeoffs on popular screen characters of the day and the child star reportedly earned a salary equal to that of Charlie Chaplin. At age six, her career was interrupted when she lost her two front teeth. Four years later, she was all but washed up as silents gave way to talkies and she committed the cardinal sin of child performers, she grew up. Although she attempted a career in talkies, Baby Peggy gave up after a couple of films and retired.

In the 1970s, Baby Peggy reemerged as author and film historian Diana Serra Cary, publishing two well-received accounts of life in the silent age, "The Hollywood Posse" (1975) and "Hollywood's Children" (1979). She also regularly contributed to journals documenting that era and made appearances at gatherings of film collectors. In 1996, her memoir "Whatever Happened to Baby Peggy?" was published. A candid look at the effects, both good and bad, of working as a child actor, it proved that some things hadn't much changed in nearly seventy years. Baby Peggy had been the breadwinner of her family and had suffered for it in much the same way that a contemporary figure like Macauley Culkin had.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Man from Texas (1948)
2.
 True Confession (1937) Autograph hunter
3.
 Souls at Sea (1937)
4.
 Eight Girls in a Boat (1934) Hortense
5.
 The Return of Chandu (1934) Judy
6.
 Fighters of the Saddle (1929) Nesta Wayne
7.
 Bad Men's Money (1929)
8.
 Saddle Mates (1928) Betty Shelby, Morgan's sister
9.
 Arizona Days (1928) Dolly Martin
10.
 West of Santa Fe (1928) Helen
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Notes

On changing her name: "I just got tired of being Baby Peggy. She was haunting me. She was stalking me. A child three feet tall was more important than I was." --From Los Angeles Times, December 6, 1996.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Gordon Ayers. Actor. Appeared in "Our Gang" comedies.
husband:
Robert Cary. Businessman. Former member of a religious order.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Jack Montgomery. Stuntman. Worked in Tom Mix films; former cowboy; married to Baby Peggy's mother in June 1915; died c. 1962 at age 70.
mother:
Marian Montgomery. Married to Baby Peggy's father in June 1915.
sister:
Jack-Louise Montgomery. Born in June 1916.
son:
Mark Cary. Born in 1961; father, Robert Cary.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"The Hollywood Posse: The Story of a Gallant Band of Man Who Made Movie History" Houghton Mifflin
"Hollywood's Children: An Inside Account of the Child Star Era" Houghton Mifflin
"Whatever Happened to Baby Peggy?: The Autobiography of Hollywood's Pioneer Child Star" St. Martin's Press

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