Actress takes life with fatal plunge

Sept. 18, 1932: The body of a young woman was found in the Hollywood Hills, The Times reported.

She had “made a spectacular leap to her death from the top of the 50-foot letter H in the flaming electric sign ‘Hollywoodland,’ which for years has flashed its message nightly over the city,” the newspaper said.

The young woman had climbed up the ladder that electricians used to change the sign’s lightbulbs. Her name was Lillian Millicent “Peg” Entwistle, her uncle told police. She was 24 and had achieved early success as an actress on East Coast stages but had come to Los Angeles after a string of failed productions.

“Then the films beckoned and, with hope born anew, she followed the goblin finger to one of the studios,” The Times said.

Entwistle got a studio contract but soon lost it, her promised role nothing but a bit part. Her film career was, the newspaper said, “a house of cards that came tumbling down and revealed to her the futility of fleeting fame.”