EXCLUSIVE: Arthur Sarkissian and writer-director Tony Kaye are teaming to bring the story of Peg Entwistle to light as a movie. She is the blond-haired, blue-eyed actress who committed suicide by jumping off the ‘H’ of the Hollywood sign in 1932 after she was cut out of the David O. Selznick film Thirteen Women. She was only 24.
Sarkissian (Rush Hour) will produce the picture, and Kaye will write and plans to direct.
The Wales-born Entwistle started her career on Broadway in several plays from 1925-32 including The Wild Duck and The Uninvited Guest and in J.M. Barrie’s Alice Sit By The Fire before marrying Robert Keith. They divorced after she discovered that Keith had been married before and had a 6-year-old son she was not told about. Oddly enough, that son was Brian Keith, who later became an actor best known for the popular TV series Family Affair.
The beautiful actress was found on the morning of September 18, 1932 — 82 years ago yesterday — at the base of the Hollywood sign by a hiker who alerted police. They found a suicide note in Entwistle’s purse that read: “I am afraid, I am a coward. I am sorry for everything. If I had done this a long time ago, it would have saved a lot of pain. P.E.” Her death made headlines across the nation.
Sarkissian said the film is in the vein of the Alfred Hitchcock classic Vertigo and David Fincher’s Seven. Kaye directed one of my favorite films, 1998’s American History X, which really made the industry sit up and take notice of Edward Norton, who transformed himself for the role.