Last silent film star "Baby Peggy" turns 101

(Click to see the whole photo montage)

Diana Serra Cary (known in the 1920's as child star Baby Peggy) turns an amazing 101 at the end of October.  As happens with nonagenarians, she has some medical issues and overall her health is good but unfortunately her finances are not. 

One important and positive thing to share is that she did recently get hearing aids which has improved her outlook and connection with the world in a very positive way. Her mind is still sharp but it was tough when she felt disconnected and had a hard time communicating but that has changed for now. Your financial help last year was a true god-send and eased her worries quite a bit but the same situation still applies so helping in whatever way you can is really a kind thing to do. If you'd rather help a different way, you are welcome to email Rena Kiehn at pr@nilesfilmmuseum.org and discuss.

There is expected to be a little party in her honor at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum in the afternoon on Sunday, November 10th, 2019 if she is up to it. It gets to be her choice on how things are going that day - she never wants to disappoint fans. She so appreciates being remembered. 

If you have read her autobiography Whatever Happened to Baby Peggy?, you know the story of her rise as a movie star as a child and financial downfall due to issues within her family.  She made her family a second fortune being on the vaudeville stage doing 8 shows a day before she was 10 only to have that lost by the family in the stock market crash of 1929. She had a few bit parts as a teenager that helped put food on the table but her time on the screen was over.

Here is a list of her body of film work. www.imdb.com/name/nm0045133/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

As an adult, she managed a CA mission bookstore and married an artist and had a child. Then after the age of fifty, she became a first time author. Since 1975, she has written several movie-related books and at the age of 99 has released her first novel.  She has been very kind to fledgling authors and young people in the movie industry seeking advice for decades and decades. She has advocated for child actors to be treated with respect and care taken to guard their earnings. She became a mainstay at film festivals for many years talking about the early days of the film industry (she has an amazingly strong memory for details of bygone days) but has not been able to venture out much in the past couple of years due to various issues discussed here.

Her son stayed at home for several years fulltime taking care of her using up savings and for a time friends and fans sent some donations to pay the PG & E bills or some groceries but that diminished when the do-good ringleader passed away suddenly and the campaign ended. Her son has tried to return to paying jobs the best he can but even with that possibility, a part time caregiver is all that could be afforded, otherwise he is her lifeline. He is also trying to support a college-age daughter.

It would greatly help Diana to have more assistance so she is able to have the best quality of life she can in her twilight years. A few hours of a healthcare provider is $50, any amount will help. The more funds raised, the more hours that she can be provided for.

Assistance will also go towards PG & E bills and other necessities (medical needs). She could also benefit from giftcards to WinnCo and Nob Hill grocery stores - part of her longevity is a very special diet so there are specific healthy items that are selected for her easy digestion.

This Go Fund Me is to provide healthcare provider assistance, medical needs and groceries.

Won't you help?

Donations ()

  • Patrick Larson 
    • $10 
    • 22 d
  • Amanda Hicksbarnhardt 
    • $10 
    • 29 d
  • Mikel Ezcurra 
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • Amy Wagner 
    • $25 
    • 2 mos
  • Tracey Goessel 
    • $1,000 
    • 2 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Rena Azevedo Kiehn 
Organizer
Gustine, CA
Diana Cary 
Beneficiary
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