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Peggy Shannon

Peggy Shannon
Peggy Shannon (by John de Mirjian).jpg
Portrait of Shannon by John de Mirjian
Winona Sammon

(1907-01-10)January 10, 1907
DiedMay 11, 1941(1941-05-11) (aged 34)
Resting placeHollywood Forever Cemetery
Years active1923–1940
Alan Davis
(m. 1926; div. 1940)
Albert G. Roberts
(m. 1940)

Peggy Shannon (born Winona Sammon; January 10, 1907[1] [2] – May 11, 1941) was an American actress. She appeared on the stage and screen of the 1920s and 1930s.

Shannon began her career as a Ziegfeld girl in 1923 before moving on to Broadway productions. She was signed to Paramount Pictures and groomed to replace Clara Bow as the newest "It girl", whom she replaced in the 1931 film, The Secret Call. Her growing dependency on alcohol eventually derailed her career. She appeared in her final film Triple Justice in 1940. In May 1941, Shannon died at the age of 34 from a heart attack, brought on by alcoholism. Her husband Albert G. Roberts shot himself three weeks after her death.


Shannon in 1930s
Shannon in 1930s

Shannon was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas in 1907[1][3] (some sources erroneously cite 1909[4] or 1910[5]) to Edward and Nannie Sammon. She had a younger sister, Carol. She attended Annunciation Academy Catholic School and Pine Bluff High School and then was hired as a chorus girl by Florenz Ziegfeld while visiting her aunt in New York in 1923.[2] The following year, she was cast in the Ziegfeld Follies followed by a role in Earl Carroll's Vanities. While on Broadway in 1927, she was spotted by B.P. Schulberg, production head of Paramount Pictures, and was offered a contract. When she arrived in Hollywood, she was hailed as the next "It girl", replacing Clara Bow.[6] Before the shooting of The Secret Call, Bow had suffered a nervous breakdown, and Shannon was hired to replace her only two days after her arrival in Hollywood.[2][7]

Shannon sometimes worked 16-hour days (from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. the next day) while shooting a film, and when shooting wrapped, rushed to begin another film. She occasionally worked on two separate films in one day. Through films and publicity, Shannon became known as a fashion plate, wearing styles three months before they became popular. In 1932, she signed a new contract at Fox and became known as difficult and temperamental on the set and was rumored to have had a drinking problem. In 1934, Shannon returned to New York City to do the Broadway show, Page Miss Glory.[2]

In 1935, she continued on Broadway with The Light Behind the Shadow, but was soon replaced, with a press release claiming a tooth infection, though rumors claimed it was her drinking. In 1936, she returned to Hollywood with Youth on Parole. She found it harder to conceal her drinking. Fewer movie roles were offered, and her drinking worsened. She made her last film appearance in the 1940 film Triple Justice, opposite George O'Brien.[citation needed]

Personal life

In 1926, Shannon married her first husband, actor Alan Davis. The marriage ended in July 1940. She married second husband, cameraman Albert G. Roberts, later that year.[2][8]


On May 11, 1941, Shannon's husband Albert Roberts and a fellow studio worker returned from a fishing trip to find Shannon dead in their North Hollywood apartment. She was slumped over the kitchen table, a cigarette in her mouth and an empty glass in her hand. She had been dead for approximately 12 hours. An autopsy revealed that she had died of a heart attack brought on by a liver ailment and a run-down condition.[2] She is interred at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Three weeks after Shannon's death, her husband committed suicide by shooting himself with a .22 rifle in the same chair in which she had died. His suicide note read "I am very much in love with my wife, Peggy Shannon. In this spot she died, so in reverence to her, you will find me in the same spot."[9]

Broadway credits

Date Production Role
October 20, 1923 - May 10, 1924 Ziegfeld Follies of 1923 Performer
January 11 - March 19, 1927 Piggy Performer
February 21 - May 1927 What Ann Brought Home Alma
October 6 - Oct 1927 High Gear Florence Ainslee
November 26 - December 1928 Back Here Sally
August 5 - August 1929 Now-a-Days Jean Wing
November 11 - December 1929 Cross Roads Dora
December 30, 1929 – January 1930 Damn Your Honor Michel Du Fresne
December 22, 1930 – Jan 1931 Life Is Like That Jane Barton
March 11 – March 1931 Napi La George
November 27, 1934 - March 1935 Page Miss Glory Gladys Russell
February 10 - February 1936 Alice Takat Kitty Linderman


Year Title Role Notes
1930 The Gob Short film
1931 Opening Night Short film
1931 The Meal Ticket Friend Short film
1931 The Secret Call Wanda Kelly
1931 Silence Norma Davis/Norma Powers
1931 The Road to Reno Lee Millet
1931 Touchdown Mary Gehring
1932 This Reckless Age Mary Burke
1932 Hotel Continental Ruth Carleton
1932 Society Girl Judy Gelett
1932 The Painted Woman Kiddo
1932 False Faces Elsie Fryer
1933 Girl Missing Daisy Bradford
1933 Deluge Claire Arlington
1933 Devil's Mate Nancy Weaver
1933 Turn Back the Clock Elvina Evans Wright/Elvina Evans Gimlet
1933 Fury of the Jungle Joan Leesom
1934 Back Page Jerry Hampton
1935 Night Life of the Gods Daphne Lambert
1935 Fighting Lady Dora Hart
1935 The Case of the Lucky Legs Thelma Bell
1936 The Man I Marry Margot Potts
1936 Ellis Island Betty Parker
1937 Romancing Along Margot Potts
1937 Youth on Parole Peggy
1938 Girls on Probation Inmate Ruth Uncredited
1939 Blackwell's Island Pearl Murray
1939 The Adventures of Jane Arden Lola Martin
1939 Fixer Dugan Aggie Moreno
1939 The Women Mrs. Jones Uncredited
1939 Dad for a Day Mary Baker
1939 The Amazing Mr. Williams Kitty Uncredited
1940 Cafe Hostess Nellie
1940 The House Across the Bay Alice
1940 All About Hash Edith Henry Short film
1940 Triple Justice Susan


  1. ^ a b (Liebman 2003, p. 383)
  2. ^ a b c d e f "The Private Life and Times of Peggy Shannon".
  3. ^ (Shipman Springer 1974, p. 327)
  4. ^ (Halliwell 2003, p. 422)
  5. ^ (Donnelley 2003, p. 847)
  6. ^ (Brettell 2005, p. 252)
  7. ^ (Soister 2004, p. 148)
  8. ^ (Star 2001, p. 198)
  9. ^ (Frasier 2002, p. 264)


  • Brettell, Andrew; King, Noel; Kennedy, Damien; Imwold, Denise; Leonard, Warren Hsu; von Rohr, Heather (2005). Cut!: Hollywood Murders, Accidents, and Other Tragedies. Barrons Educational Series. ISBN 0-7641-5858-9
  • Donnelley, Paul (2003). Fade to Black: A Book of Movie Obituaries (2 ed.) Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-9512-5
  • Frasier, David K. (2002). Suicide in the Entertainment Industry: An Encyclopedia of 840 Twentieth Century Cases. McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-1038-8
  • Halliwell, Leslie; Walker, John (2003). Halliwell's Who's Who In the Movies (15. ed.) HarperCollins. p. 422. ISBN 0-06-053423-0
  • Liebman, Roy (2003). Vitaphone Films: A Catalogue of the Features and Shorts. McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-1279-8
  • Shipman Springer, John; Hamilton, Jack D. (1974). They Had Faces Then: Super Stars, Stars, and Starlets of the 1930s. Citadel Press. ISBN 0-8065-0300-9
  • Soister, John T. (2004). Up From the Vault: Rare Thrillers of the 1920s and 1930s. McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-1745-5
  • Star, Jimmy (2001). Barefoot on Barbed Wire: An Autobiography of a Forty-Year Hollywood Balancing Act. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 0-8108-3941-5
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Peggy Shannon
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