The Tragic Death Of Peg Entwistle

The Hollywood sign is one of the most recognizable monuments in Los Angeles, California. Located on Mount Lee, the sign was erected in 1923 but it did not initially read Hollywood. Instead, it spelled out "Hollywoodland" to advertise a housing development nearby. The sign is also famous for supposedly being a haunted site. As one jogger said to Vanity Fair, she saw a "woman with blond hair and she seemed to be, like ... walking on air."

Those who believe in ghosts say that a young woman who died on Mount Lee still haunts the area where she died. Perhaps, that's who the jogger saw. There is no proof of the Hollywood sign being haunted, but it is certain that a woman — Peg Entwistle — died there.

Peg was born Millicent Lilian Entwistle in Wales in 1908. She emigrated to the United States together with her father, a theater stage manager, when she was only 4 years old. Because of her father's line of work, little Peg was exposed to the theater at a young age. Per Town & Country, Peg's father died when she was 14 years old, and she was left in the care of an uncle.

Peg pursued a career in theater at 17 years old, and she was eventually accepted into the New York Theatre Guild, a prestigious company that was difficult to get into. She was then able to perform in a number of theater productions and was quite successful.

Peg Entwistle's struggles

Peg Entwistle married a fellow theater actor, Robert Keith, when she was 19 years old. However, the marriage didn't last long. Keith was said to be a drunk and violent toward Peg, which resulted in their divorce just two years after their marriage, according to Bustle. With both Peg and Robert being in the limelight, the demise of their relationship provided real-life drama, which resulted in Peg being blacklisted from theater work in New York. It didn't help that the Great Depression caused theaters to close.

Peg decided to go back to Los Angeles where her family was and to try her hand at acting for film. She signed with RKO Pictures and was able to get a role in the film "Thirteen Women," but due to censorship, her scenes on screen only amounted to four minutes, per Den of Geek. To add to that, RKO Pictures decided not to renew her contract. Her divorce, loss of work in theater, and her failed attempt to join the movie industry left Peg devastated.

Peg Entwistle death at the Hollywood sign

On the night of September 16, 1932, just a few weeks after learning of her fate at RKO Pictures, Peg Entwistle told her uncle that she was leaving to go to the drugstore. However, that wasn't where she was truly headed. She went to the location of the Hollywoodland sign, climbed up the ladder of the letter "H" and jumped to her death (via Oprah Daily.) She was only 24 years old.

Peg's body was found days after her death. A hiker came across the woman's body and immediately called the authorities. Peg wrote a suicide note, which 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." What's more tragic is that RKO Pictures has picked her for a role and sent a letter, which she had yet to receive before her death, according to Den of Geek.

Now, Peg Entwistle is more known for being the woman who jumped off the Hollywood sign rather than the exceptional theater actress that she was.