Virtual Screening Room: Baby Peggy: A Tribute

Streaming Online
Thursday, Aug 26, 2021 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Black and white photograph of child actress Baby Peggy

Presented by UCLA Film & Television Archive
Program made possible by the John H. Mitchell Television Programming Endowment 

The UCLA Film & Television Archive is proud to present a special Virtual Screening Room tribute to Diana Serra Cary, better known to cinema fans around the world as famed child actress Baby Peggy.

Over a decade before the emergence of Shirley Temple, Baby Peggy began her career as a diminutive dynamo in short silent comedies before she was two years old. At the dawning of what would become the turbulent 1920s, the precocious Baby Peggy—initially paired with a canine co-star, Brownie the Wonder Dog—provided audiences a much-needed antidote to the horrors of the recently concluded first World War. Guided from shorts to features by her father (a stuntman who had doubled for Tom Mix), she quickly became one of Hollywood’s highest paid stars—and one of its most reliable, earning the nickname “one-take Peggy.” Her captivating on-screen presence and iconic bob haircut sparked a sensation for Baby Peggy dolls and other related novelties.

A bitter financial dispute between her father and producer Sol Lesser, however, brought an abrupt end to her movie career in 1925 when she was essentially blacklisted in Hollywood at age six. Later in life she changed her name and, as Diana Serra Cary, became a noteworthy author of several successful books on the subject of child actors, including her autobiography, What Ever Happened to Baby Peggy?

Please join us in celebrating Cary’s remarkable life and legacy with a fascinating selection of Baby Peggy’s surviving films, with an introduction and post-screening conversation with writer-producer and film historian David Stenn, moderated by Associate Motion Picture Archivist Steven K. Hill.

Program notes by Steven K. Hill.

Musical accompaniment provided by Cliff Retallick!

Preservation funded by David Stenn and The Packard Humanities Institute

Free Registration


Other Events on Thursday, August 26th