Peggy Shannon Profile

Peggy Shannon
Peggy Shannon
Photo of Peggy Shannon
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(Winona Sammon)
10 January 07 is born in the upstairs living quarters over her father's store on Barraque Street in downtown Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Her parents are Edward and Nannie Sammon. She is of Irish descent and has a younger sister named Carol.
is inspired to pursue an acting career by child actress Madge Evans
attends Annunciation Academy Catholic School and Pine Bluff High School
6 June 23 the caption to a newspaper photo reads: “From Arkansas to Broadway. Here is Miss Winona Shannon, aged 17 years, of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. She was picked by Ned Wrayburn recently as the latest addition to the Ziegfeld Follies. She will be known on the stage as Peggy Shannon.”
24 accompanies her mother to New York City to visit her aunt. In the same building as her aunt lives showman Florenz Ziegfeld’s secretary, "Goldie" Glough, and Peggy’s invited for some publicity pictures with Ziegfeld. The next day newspapers carry the story that Ziegfeld has signed an Arkansas newcomer. She rehearses with the other chorines for six weeks, that comprising her only preparation for a stage career.
10 May 24 King Kennedy from Kokomo strolls down Broadway with her. King, from a wealthy (“old money”) family turns 20 on December 1 of this year and becomes of age. He promised his folks back home that he would entertain serious aspirations for the stage only until his 21st birthday. If success has not come by then, he will return home, and his dabbling in the theater will henceforth assume the form of a hobby.
24 is a chorus girl in the Ziegfeld Follies
24-26 appears on the stage as a dancer for two seasons
1925 is "Miss Coney Island"
25 is in Earl Carroll’s production
26-29 has a desire to do dramatics. Over a three-year period, she appears in 15 shows; not one of them has an extended run.
26 marries actor Alan Davis
27 is the lead in Carroll’s Broadway production, What Anne Brought Home
producer William A. Brady plans to make her a star as a light comedienne
11 August 29 two attractive youngsters, she and Irene Blair, helped raise the curtain on the 1929 season. They appear in Now-a-Days, first of the year’s offerings, a play of campus gin and sin
27-30 she changes her name to Peggy Shannon and appears in six successive stage plays
31 is spotted on Broadway by B. P. Schulberg, production head of Paramount Pictures, and is offered a contract
May 31 goes to Hollywood, where she is hailed as another "It Girl"
May 31 when Clara Bow suffers a second nervous breakdown, Peggy’s rushed in to complete the production of The Secret Call only two days after her arrival in Hollywood. It is a whirlwind experience. She must have makeup tests, have gowns made, and learn dialog. She works some days from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. the next day. Before the film is completed, she's rushed into a second movie. She works for a while on one set in the mornings, changes costumes at noon, and goes to another set, with a new cast and director, in the afternoon.
14-15 July 31 when the world premier of The Secret Call is held in Pine Bluff, the mayor declares July 14th “Peggy Shannon Day”
23 August 31 film lines are learned in novel ways, and concentration is the keynote of her memory work. With her copy of the script, she sits quietly studying like a student cramming for an examination. With the words and intonations down perfectly in her mind, she rehearses them aloud on the set for the first time.
31 August 31 is photographed for newspapers across the country displaying one of the new 1932 Ohio license plates
August 31 is 5’4” tall, has blue-grey eyes, and long red hair
20 October 31 styles worn by her, Lilyan Tashman, Wynne Gibson, Judith Wood, and others in The Road to Reno will set the pace for the woman who would be well dressed. The modes these actresses wear in the film are anywhere three months to a year ahead of the popularity peak of the new vogue.
1 November 31 arrives in Chicago on a fortnight’s vacation
1 November 31 seven new contracts were presented this week by Paramount. They seven lucky ones are Peggy Shannon, Frances Dee, Vivienne Osborne, John Breeden, Frances Moffett, Adrienne Ames, and Kent Taylor.
24 November 31 in an article about what the stars will eat on Thanksgiving, she says she would rather eat turkey any day
26 March 32 since coming to Hollywood, she has been referred to as Clara Bow’s successor. She makes a new start at Fox Studios, where they have no Clara to hold her up to.
becomes known as difficult and temperamental on the set and is rumored to be drinking heavily
8 June 32 is photographed clad principally in a beach scarf; the broad stripes are especially smart this year
2 August 32 Broadway producer Frank C. Reilly, who also comes to life on occasion, particularly with announcements, lets it be known that he will do Cash and Carrie, a drama of gold diggers, if he can get Peggy Shannon of the movies
5 August 32 she and Warner Baxter are not very enthusiastic over being assigned to the talkie version of Fazil. When made as a silent film, the picture was so bad it was dubbed Fizzle around here.
29 August 32 Elsie Pierce, famous beauty lecturer, visits Hollywood and is impressed with the way Peggy wears her clothes. “That knack, that knowing air. Hang them on her, and she pours in. Makes a good gown look better, and no gown can look bad on her.”
9 December 32 you’re going to hear a lot about Pine Bluff, Arkansas, one of these days if two young girls in Hollywood have anything to say about it. Peggy Shannon and Janet Chandler are those girls, and each proudly claims Pine Bluff as her home. Red-headed Peggy already has made a pretty good mark in the film world, and blonde Janet is closing in on her rapidly.
10 September 33 declares Hollywood is “a sort of Looking-Glass Town. They do everything backward. If you try desperately to get somewhere, you find yourself farther away from your goal; but if you decide it’s impossible and stop hoping, there you are at the winning line.”
10 September 33 tells reporters how hard it was for her husband to get into pictures: “They brought me to Hollywood to take Clara Bow’s place. Imagine that! I am as much like Clara Bow as onion soup is like a fine day. Both have their points, but… Anyway, when they bought me West, I had to leave Alan Davis, my husband, who was on the stage in New York. After I got here, Alan was taken ill, and the doctor thought a milder climate imperative. He’s a good actor, so I suggested that he come to Hollywood and get into pictures. He tried to get in, and I tried to get him in, but no—he was Peggy Shannon’s husband and nobody would give him a test. He went into business, but he’s an actor, not a businessman, and he wasn’t terribly successful. Then he managed to get a part in a stage play here. A director saw him and went backstage to offer him a test. Two days later, if you can believe it, I walked onto the set where I was playing lead in a picture, and there was Alan, all made up to work in the same film. They had forgotten my husband’s name is Davis, and so he’s an actor!”
24 October 33 Chester B. Bahn, the candid cinema columnist, reveals that Peggy joined the Ziegfeld Follies at the age of 16—and was billed as the farmer’s daughter who came to New York to make her fortune
5 November 33 Mr. and Mrs. Grant W. Corby of North Santa Anita Drive entertained a group of friends with a buffet luncheon and tennis during the afternoon. From Los Angeles were Mr. and Mrs. C. P. Watson and Mrs. and Mrs. Burton Fitts; Miss Peggy Shannon and Allen Davis, both of Hollywood; Dr. and Mrs. Charles Sebastian; and Mrs. and Mrs. John Ainsworth of Monrovia.
18 November 33 a beautiful friendship that blossomed on Columbia’s Fury of the Jungle location was nipped in the bud last week when the male half of the romance displayed a bit too much jungle passion. The friendship that developed between Peggy Shannon, leading lady in the production, and Pepi was going along nicely when Pepi bit Peggy. Then Peggy called a halt to the whole affair. She now swears off the tribe forever. Pepi is a monkey, a part of the local color of the jungle picture. Peggy became very fond of the tiny simian, and the affair was progressing swimmingly when Pepi took a nip at Peggy’s hand. Next day, the monk apologized in his best fashion, kissing Peggy’s hand and showing every sign of a contrite heart. But Peggy’s still adamant and has sworn off monkeys for life.
23 December 33 she and actress Wynne Gibson are photographed visiting a Hollywood store to pick out their idea of what the well-dressed man should wear on Christmas
31 December 33 travels to Agua Caliente for the horse races to ring in the New Year. Mae West, Lupe Velez and Johnny Weissmuller, George Raft, the Clark Gables, and the Preston Fosters will also be there.
27 October 34 homesick for the stage, she is on her way to New York to appear in a new play. She says she expects to return to film work in about six months.
27 November 34 opens on Broadway in Page Miss Glory as the girlfriend of currently unknown actor Jimmy Stewart
35 stars in The Light Behind the Shadow but is replaced when the tour reaches Newark. The press release tells about a tooth infection, but there are rumors she’s a confirmed drinker.
18 August 35 Mr. and Mrs. Grant Corby of Santa Anita Avenue entertain Mr. and Mrs. Percy Morgan, Jr., Miss Peggy Shannon and Allen Davis, all of Beverly Hills over the weekend. Saturday evening is a dinner-dance at the Trocadero.
36 returns to Hollywood for Youth on Parole
18 February 37 actress Madeleine Carroll is one of the loveliest guests at a recent Los Angles “surprise” party given by Peggy Shannon
? has more and more difficulty concealing her drinking
13 July 38 she and her sister, Carol Beckman, were painfully injured early today when their car crashed head-on into another
12 August 38 Columnist Charles G. Sampas reminisces about figures that were front pages...Peggy Shannon window shopping at Saks, with some bundles from a delicatessen store under her arm...
23 September 38 Charles G. Sampas writes in his Sampascoopies column: “Thanks…for the Memories…of Nights (and Days) of Long Ago…of Peggy Shannon in Manhattan…and Peggy Shannon in Hollywood…of Nights (and Days) of Long Ago….of girls who were delightful…delicious deliriums…of “You say that you would never doubt me (You’ll be better off without me!”)…
19 March 39 here's an extra chuckle to be cashed in when you see Lee Tracy and Peggy Shannon walk into the lion's cage in Fixer Dugan and start shepherding the big cats through their act. In spite of the precautions taken when that scene was shot, neither Peggy nor Lee seemed enthusiastic about it. Louis Roth, the sixty-four-year-old trainer, tried to restore their confidence. "No lion will ever hurt you unless you show your fear" he argued. "Just think of them as little kittens—believe you could knock them out with one blow if they get tough!" I don't think I've ever seen a funnier expression on a human face than Lee Tracy wore as he looked from Roth to the snarling lion.
October 40 marries cameraman and sometimes actor Albert G. Roberts in Mexico; he is 8 years her senior
there are fewer movie offers; her abuse of alcohol worsens
11 May 41 her husband and his friend, another studio worker, return from a fishing trip to find her dead at the kitchen table of their shabby North Hollywood apartment. She is slumped across the table, her head on her arms, a cigarette in her mouth, and an empty glass beside her. It is estimated that she has been dead for approximately 12 hours. Detective Lieutenant Chet Burris suspects she died of natural causes but will ask for an autopsy.
the coroner rules her death was due to a heart attack brought on by a liver ailment and a run-down condition; she was only 34 years old
May 41 is interred in Hollywood Forever Cemetery. She rests just outside of the Abbey of the Psalms. Her tombstone is inscribed "That Red Headed Girl, Peggy Shannon."
30 May 41 on Memorial Day, three weeks after Peggy‘s death, Albert Roberts visits his wife’s grave for the last time. He returns home and makes a phone call to his sister, Mrs. Phoebe Genereaux of Glendale. “I’m going to kill myself,” he tells her. “Don’t do it—don’t do it!” she replies. She then hears a gunshot, and Roberts’ dog begins to howl. He had killed himself with a .22 rifle, sitting in the same chair in which Peggy had died a few weeks earlier. His suicide note reads, "I am very much in love with my wife, Peggy Shannon. In this spot she passed away, so in reverence to her, you will find me in the same spot."
5 June 41 her mother is demanding a full investigation of the death of her daughter and the subsequent suicide of Peggy's husband
14 June 41 her mother engages private detectives and attorneys to investigate deeper into her daughter's death
Albert Roberts is buried in Wee Kirk Churchyard, Forest Lawn Cemetery, Glendale
17 February 42 Charles G. Sampas, the syndicated columnist, asks: “Wonder what was in the mind of that aged gentleman in a Merrimack Street when a juke machine poured out that immemorial ditty “A Pretty Girls is Like a Melody,” and tears came to his eyes? Perhaps, perhaps he was thinking of his youth-days…That chanson always reminds me of Marilyn Miller and Peggy Shannon. I remember meeting Miss Shannon six-seven years ago in a delicatessen shop off Broadway, and I felt like rushing to my little hotel room and writing “An Ode to the Memory of Meeting Peggy Shannon in a delicatessen Shoppe.”
26 January 45 Columnist Charles G. Sampas takes a trip down memory lane and remembers “Peggy Shannon coming out of a delicatessen store and bumping right into this bewildered pedestrian—and then meeting her, formally, that evening at the St. Peris…it was such fun...
25 November 47 idol chatter by Jimmie Fidler: Judging from the number of angels who have come to earth in recent movies, heaven must be getting a bit depopulated…Peas in-a-pod, Rita Hayworth and the late Peggy Shannon.
4 November 65 twenty-four years after her death, columnist Charles G. Sampas recalls her in his syndicated column: "...Peggy Shannon was the epitome of loveliness. I first met her once in a delicatessen..."
02 Michael Wojczuk paints a mural on the side of a building in downtown Pine Bluff, on the east side of Main between 2nd and 3rd Streets, as part of a program to express the history and culture of the surrounding area. The mural, titled "Two Who Shaped Movies," honors two locals who worked together: the first cowboy star, actor Broncho Billy Anderson, and Freeman Owens. Owens, a Pine Bluff native, developed the method of recording sound directly onto photographic film and advanced cinematography by the design and development of cameras and lenses. Also gracing the mural are two actors who worked with Anderson and Owens: Charlie Chaplin and Wallace Beery, and local girl actress Peggy Shannon.
"The Not-Quite-It Girl" by Randy Norwood in The Arkansas Times magazine, Kirk Crivello, Cheryl Messina, Appleton Post-Crescent, The Arcadia Tribune, The Bee, The Charleston Daily Mail, The Edwardsville Intelligencer, The Frederick Post, The Helene Independent, Joplin Globe, The Lincoln Gazette, The Lincoln Star, The Lowell Times, The Lowell Sun, Nevada State Journal, Nebraska State Journal, The Newark Advocate, The Oakland Tribune, Reno Evening Gazette, The Syracuse Herald, Stevens Point Daily Journal, The Times Recorder,,,,
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