Baby Peggy’s Filmography

In 1921 a 20 month old Baby Peggy was paired off with Century Studios big star, “Brownie the Wonder Dog”. Peggy was afraid of the first Brownie, so he was quickly replaced. After making 42 successful short films (similar to TV shows of our time) Peggy graduated to her own starring features at Universal in 1923 at the age of 5. Though her features were successful, her father’s constant arguments with the studio heads left her essentially blacklisted. She made one final film, “April Fools” in 1926 at the age of 8. As her teenage years approached and silent films were facing the new fangled ‘talkies’, Baby Peggy’s stunning career essentially ended at 8 years old.

Forced by the Depression, loss of her childhood earnings and her family’s inability to make a living in such a rough economy, Peggy was pushed back into film in 1932 at the age of 14. Despite a ton of publicity and vague promises by studio bosses, she never amounted to more than an extra in most of these films, essentially acting so her family could eek out money to live and eat. Her final extra role came in 1936 when she put her foot down, determined that by the age of 18 she would be out of Hollywood forever.

Many people unfamiliar with silent film don’t understand just what we as a culture have lost. Silent films were thought of as useless as yesterday’s newspaper, more fit for salvaging the silver content than preserving for feature generations. To make matters worse, nitrate film stock is one of the most explosive and volatile formats ever used for any artistic endeavor (it has the ability to explode into fire even under water.) So when studios did try to preserve films, archives were known to blow up at a moments notice, costing thousands if not millions in damage and usually taking a few lives with them. While contemporary audiences didn’t value old films, the flammability of nitrate is a big reason we have lost as many films as we have.

Estimates vary, but essentially 70% to 90% of all silent films are lost. While Peggy’s films were subject to being melted down, the biggest loss came when Century Studio’s archives burned to the ground in 1926. As a result only 4 Baby Peggy features exist, only one short fully exist and 12 shorts exist in varying condition (mostly thanks to the extreme and wonderful efforts of UCLA and David Stenn).

 

Key: Lost, Partially Exists, Complete

1921

Shorts

*Her Circus Man

*On With the Show

*The Kid’s Pal (First teaming of Brownie and Baby Peggy)

*Playmates Click here to watch a clip!

*On Account

*Pals

*Third Class Male

*The Clean Up

*Golfing

*Brownie’s Little Venus (22 minutes exist, Preserved by UCLA and Cinémathèque Suisse)

*A Week Off

*Brownie’s Baby Doll

*Sea Shore Shapes (First pairing of Teddy the Dog and Baby Peggy)

*A Muddy Bride

*Teddy’s Goat

*Get-Rich-Quick Peg (19 minutes exist, Preserved by Nederlands Filmmuseum and UCLA)

*Chums

1922

Shorts:

*The Straphanger

*Circus Clowns (Preserved by MOMA, Last Appearance with Brownie, released on The Family Secret DVD)

*Little Miss Mischief

*Peggy Behave!

*The Little Rascal

*Tips (Filmed at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles)

*Little Red Riding Hood (11 minutes exist, Preserved by UCLA and Filmarchiv Austria)

Features

*Penrod (Directed by Marshall Neilan)

*Fools First (With Richard Dix, Claire Windsor and Raymond Griffith)

 

1923

Shorts:

*Peg O’ the Movies

*Sweetie (21 minutes exist. Preserved by UCLA, Filmarchiv Austria, Lobster Films and MOMA)

*The Kid Reporter (Preserved by National Film Archives London)

*Taking Orders

*Carmen Jr (Clip exists) Click here to watch (on the Elephant in the room DVD)

*Nobody’s Darling

*Little Miss Hollywood (A spliced together studio tour short that featured cameos by Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Charles Ray)

*Miles of Smiles (Preserved by Nederlands Filmmuseum Amsterdam, released on Family Secret DVD)

*Hansel and Gretel

Features

*Hollywood (This was a feature with a lose plot (ala Souls for Sale) that featured over 70 celebrity cameos. Baby Peggy was one of the 70.)

*The Darling of New York (Baby Peggy’s first feature tailored for her. 11 minutes survive preserved by UCLA. It was featured in the documentary Fragments)

1924

Shorts

*Such is Life (on the Elephant DVD)

*Peg O’ The Mounted (clip exists) CLICK HERE TO WATCH (also on the Elephant DVD)

*The Law Forbids (19 minutes exist, preserved by UCLA and Nederlands Filmmuseum)

*Our Pet (in 2016 a Japanese collector rediscovered about 20 minutes worth of the film)

*The Flower Girl

*Stepping Some

*Poor Kid

*Jack and the Beanstalk (This is the last released Baby Peggy short)

Features

*The Law Forbids

*Captain January (The first fully restored Baby Peggy feature soon to be released by Milestone. Preserved by Archives du Film du CNC France as well as LOC)  Click here to purchase a copy!

*The Family Secret  Click here to purchase a copy!

*Helen’s Babies (Featuring Clara Bow in an early role)

1926

*April Fool *Click here to watch a clip! Click here to purchase a copy!*

 

Extra Work (1932 to 1936)

All Films Exist unless noted otherwise

*Off His Base

*Eight Girls in a Boat (Peggy played Hortense)

*The Return of Chandu (Peggy played Judy Allen, Party Guest)

*Hollywood on Parade (This was a promotional short with the Our Gang kids)

*Eight Girls in a Boat (Peggy’s role was that of one of the Swiss Boarding School Girls)

*Ah Wilderness! (Peggy appears as a schoolgirl in the graduation scene)

*Girls Dormitory (Peggy appears as a School Girl)

*Souls at Sea

*True Confession (Peggy played an autograph hunter)

*Having a Wonderful Time (Peggy’s last role)

Documentary:

Baby Peggy: The Elephant in the Room (2012).  Click here to purchase.

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