Baby Peggy satirizes a
famous Pola Negri scene
in "Peg O' the Movies"
On the Democratic National
Convention platform with
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Seldom can one hear a first hand version
of Hollywood's earliest beginnings, especially as recounted by an
observant child actor who began her film career as infant when the
movie industry itself was in its infancy.
Diana Serra Cary, billed as "Baby Peggy," was nineteen months old
when she made her first two-reel comedy, becoming Hollywood's pioneer
child star, the youngest in film history. After starring in 150
slapstick comedies and half a dozen silent feature films, seven-year
old "Baby Peggy" was a headliner during American vaudeville's final
glory years. At twenty-one, following an unsuccessful film comeback,
she left Hollywood to become a historian and freelance writer. She
is the author of two non-fiction books dealing with little-known
aspects of early Hollywood and a recently published autobiography,
"What Ever Happened to Baby Peggy?"
Her book Hollywood's Children served as a basis for
an acclaimed 1982 PBS documentary of that same name, which Roddy
McDowall narrated and in which Diana appeared. She has been featured
in TV documentaries by the BBC, CBC, Australia's 60 Minutes,
and in a 1989 PBS special on child stars, When We Were Young.
Diana recently was featured speaker on an A&E Special: Child
Stars, produced by Melissa Gilbert and Tony Dow.
Diana's inside account of the child star era contains a wealth of
information and many humorous anecdotes about early Hollywood. With
an insight born of first-hand experience, she recounts the poignant
life and times of child stars from Lotta Crabtree in the California
Gold Rush to the television moppets of today.
In her presentation, Hollywood's Children, Diana shares
her unique experiences with enormous perception, humor and knowledge.