Peggy Shannon ~ That Sad Red-Headed Girl


Peggy Shannon

Peggy Shannon was the Ziegfeld Follies showgirl who had a promising film career until her untimely death.

She was born Winona Sammon on January 10, 1907, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Peggy attended Catholic school where she became friends with child actress Madge Evans. While visiting New York City in 1923 sixteen year old Peggy was discovered by producer Florenz Ziegfeld. He immediately hired her as a chorus girl in The Ziegfeld Follies. During this time posed nude and appeared on the cover of several "art" magazines. She married actor Alan Davis in 1926. The following year she starred in Earl Carrol's production of What Anne Brought Home. She made her film debut in the 1930 short The Gob. In 1931 she was offered a contract at Paramount studios. When Clara Bow suffered a nervous breakdown Peggy was given her part in The Secret Call.

Peggy ShannonPeggy Shannon

Peggy Shannon Magazine

With her beautiful face and long red hair she was promoted as "the new Clara Bow". She hated the comparisons saying "I am as much like Clara Bow as onion soup is like a fine day." Peggy made four more films at Paramount including The Road To Reno and This Reckless Age. She was often forced to work sixteen hours a day and she had a reputation for being difficult on the set.  Peggy signed a contract with Fox in 1932 and costarred with Spencer Tracy in The Painted Woman. By this time she had developed a serous drinking problem. She returned to Broadway in 1934 to star in Page Miss Glory. In 1935 she was fired from the play The Light Behind The Shadow. She continued to get small parts in low budget movies like Youth On Parole and Cafe Hostess.

Peggy Shannon NudePeggy Shannon Nude
Peggy posed nude when she was a Ziegfeld Girl

Peggy Shannon

Peggy was involved in a serious car accident in 1938 and it was rumored alcohol was to blame. She divorced Alan in 1940 and married camera man Albert G. Roberts. On May 11, 1941 Albert returned home from a trip and found Peggy slumped over the kitchen table. She had died from a heart attack at the young age of thirty-four. Her autopsy revealed that she had a serious liver ailment caused by her alcoholism. Three weeks after her death her husband committed suicide. Peggy is buried at Hollywood Forever cemetery in Hollywood, California. The epitaph on her tombstone says "That Red Headed Girl, Peggy Shannon".


Peggy ShannonPeggy Shannon Dead

Peggy Shannon Article