The Tragedy of Peg Entwistle, the Hollywood Sign Girl

On this week in L.A. history, the aspiring starlet leaped to her death from the ”Hollywoodland” sign

September 18, 1932

Actress Peg Entwistle ensured her most dramatic moment would be her last by jumping to her death off the Hollywood sign.

A Broadway star, 24-year-old Entwistle dreamed of being a Hollywood film actress and moved to Los Angeles in May of 1932. She earned a small role in the film Thirteen Women but failed to achieve the success she desired. On September 16, she told relatives she was going to meet up with friends but instead walked up Beachwood Drive toward what was then the “Hollywoodland” sign. Leaving behind her purse, which contained a suicide note, Entwistle climbed a workman’s ladder to the top of the 45-foot-tall “H.” Her body was discovered two days later in the ravine below the sign.

Her suicide note, published in the Los Angeles Times, 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.”

Since she hadn’t carried any identification, Entwistle was dubbed “the Hollywood Sign Girl” in the media. Her uncle identified her body in the morgue after connecting her absence with the initials published in the suicide note. She was cremated and her funeral was held in Hollywood.