Peggy Ann Garner

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Peggy Ann Garner
Jane Eyre-PA Garner-2.jpg
Garner in Jane Eyre (1943)
Born(1932-02-03)February 3, 1932[ citation needed ]
DiedOctober 16, 1984(1984-10-16) (aged 52)
OccupationActress, Real estate agent, Fleet car executive
Years active1938-1980
Richard Hayes
(m. 1951;div. 1953)

Albert Salmi
(m. 1956;div. 1963)

Kenyon Foster Brown
(m. 1964;div. 1968)

Peggy Ann Garner (February 3, 1932 October 16, 1984) was an American actress.


As a child actress, Garner had her first film role in 1938. At the 18th Academy Awards, Garner won the Academy Juvenile Award, recognizing her body of contributions to film in 1945, particularly in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Junior Miss . [1] [2]

The 18th Academy Awards was the first such ceremony after World War II. As a result, the ceremony featured more glamour than had been present during the war. Plaster statuettes that had been given out during the war years were replaced with bronze statuettes with gold plating. Despite this, director Billy Wilder's grim and socially significant drama The Lost Weekend took the top honors. It became the first film to win both the Academy Award for Best Picture and the Palme d'Or. Joan Crawford was absent, claiming she had pneumonia. As it turned out she did win, and the award was delivered to her while in bed that night.

Academy Juvenile Award

The Academy Juvenile Award, also known informally as the Juvenile Oscar, was a Special Honorary Academy Award bestowed at the discretion of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to specifically recognize juvenile performers under the age of eighteen for their "outstanding contributions to screen entertainment".

<i>A Tree Grows in Brooklyn</i> (1945 film) 1945 American film by Elia Kazan

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a 1945 American romantic drama film that marked the debut of Elia Kazan as a film director. Adapted by Tess Slesinger and Frank Davis from the 1943 novel by Betty Smith, the period drama focuses on an impoverished, but aspirational, second-generation Irish-American family living in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, in the early 20th century. Peggy Ann Garner received the Academy Juvenile Award for her performance as Francie Nolan, the adolescent girl at the center of the coming-of-age story. Other stars are Dorothy McGuire, Joan Blondell, Lloyd Nolan, Ted Donaldson, and James Dunn, who received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Francie's father.

Featured roles in such films as Black Widow (1954) did not help to establish her in mature film roles, although she progressed to theatrical work and she made acting appearances on television as an adult.

<i>Black Widow</i> (1954 film) 1954 color mystery film directed by Nunnally Johnson

Black Widow is a 1954 DeLuxe Color mystery film in CinemaScope, with elements of film noir, written, produced and directed by Nunnally Johnson and starring Ginger Rogers, Van Heflin, Gene Tierney, and George Raft.

Early years

Born in Canton, Ohio, Peggy Ann Garner was the daughter of William H. Garner, [3] an attorney, [4] and Virginia Craig Garner. [5] She was pushed by her mother into the limelight [4] and entered in talent quests while still a child. Her parents divorced on February 26, 1947. [5]

Canton, Ohio City in Ohio, United States

Canton is a city in and the county seat of Stark County, Ohio, United States. It is located approximately 60 miles (97 km) south of Cleveland and 20 miles (32 km) south of Akron in Northeast Ohio. The city lies on the edge of Ohio's extensive Amish country, particularly in Holmes and Wayne counties to the city's west and southwest. Canton is the largest municipality in the Canton-Massillon, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Stark and Carroll counties. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 73,007, making Canton eighth among Ohio cities in population.

Garner was a model for still photographers for two years before she began working in films. [6]


James Dunn and Peggy Ann Garner in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945) A-Tree-Grows-in-Brooklyn-LIFE-1945.jpg
James Dunn and Peggy Ann Garner in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)

By 1938, Garner had made her first film appearance, and over the next few years she appeared in several more films, including Jane Eyre (1943) and The Keys of the Kingdom (1944). She reached the height of her success at the age of 12 in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945), winning an Academy Juvenile Award largely for this performance. In the same year, she showed she could handle comedy by giving a fine performance in Junior Miss (also 1945). [7]

<i>Jane Eyre</i> (1943 film) 1944 film by Robert Stevenson

Jane Eyre is an American film adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's 1847 novel of the same name, released by 20th Century Fox. It was directed by Robert Stevenson and produced by the uncredited Kenneth Macgowan and Orson Welles; Welles also stars in the film as Mr. Rochester, with Joan Fontaine playing the title character.

<i>The Keys of the Kingdom</i> (film) 1944 film by John M. Stahl

The Keys of the Kingdom is a 1944 American film based on the 1941 novel The Keys of the Kingdom by A. J. Cronin. The film was adapted by Nunnally Johnson, directed by John M. Stahl, and produced by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. It stars Gregory Peck, Thomas Mitchell, and Vincent Price, and tells the story of the trials and tribulations of a Catholic priest who goes to China to evangelize.

<i>Junior Miss</i> (film) 1945 film by George Seaton

Junior Miss is a 1945 American comedy film starring Peggy Ann Garner as a teenager who meddles in people's love lives.

Like many child performers, Garner was unable to make a successful transition into adult film roles.


In 1949, Garner starred in Peg O' My Heart at the Famous Artists Playhouse in Fayetteville, New York. [3] In 1954, she toured with a troupe in several states, performing in The Moon Is Blue . [8] Garner headlined the national tour of the William Inge hit Broadway play Bus Stop beginning in 1955. She starred with Albert Salmi, who later became her husband. Garner also appeared with Dick York in the touring production.

Fayetteville, New York Village in New York, United States

Fayetteville is a village located in Onondaga County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the village had a population of 4,373. The village is named after the Marquis de Lafayette, a national hero of both France and the United States. It is part of the Syracuse Metropolitan Statistical Area.

<i>The Moon Is Blue</i> 1953 film by Otto Preminger

The Moon Is Blue is a 1953 American romantic comedy film produced and directed by Otto Preminger and starring William Holden, David Niven, and Maggie McNamara. Written by F. Hugh Herbert and based on his 1951 play of the same title, the film is about a young woman who meets an architect on the observation deck of the Empire State Building and quickly turns his life upside down. Herbert's play had also been a huge success in Germany, and Preminger decided to simultaneously film multiple-language versions in English and German, using the same sets but different casts. The German film version is Die Jungfrau auf dem Dach.

Garner's Broadway credits include Home Is the Hero , First Lady, The Royal Family , and The Man. [9]

Radio and television

In 1950, Garner starred as Esther Smith in the radio comedy Meet Me in St. Louis. The program ran two months on NBC. [10]

Garner was a panelist in two television programs, Leave It to the Girls on ABC and NBC [11] and Who Said That? on NBC. In 1951, she starred in the comedy Two Girls Named Smith on ABC. [11] :1121

In summer 1960, she appeared in "The Unfamiliar," an episode of Producer's Choice, [12] and she was cast as Julie in the episode "Stopover" of David McLean's western series Tate . In 1960 and again in 1962, she was cast in the episodes "Once Around the Circuit" and "Build My Gallows Low", respectively, on the ABC series Adventures in Paradise , with Gardner McKay. During the early 1960s she also appeared in one episode each of Bonanza and Combat! , both under director Robert Altman (see next section).

Later years

After Garner's film career ended, she ventured into stage acting and had some success but also worked as a real estate agent [13] and fleet car executive between acting jobs in order to support herself. After a decade away from work in feature films, she appeared as the pregnant aunt in the critically acclaimed film, A Wedding (1978), directed by Robert Altman, whom she had worked with on television in the early 1960s. Her final screen performance was a small part in a made-for-television feature This Year's Blonde (1980).

Personal life

Garner married singer/game show host Richard Hayes on February 22, 1951; [14] the couple divorced in 1953. She married actor Albert Salmi on May 16, 1956; they divorced on March 13, 1963. (Another source says that Garner and Salmi were married May 18, 1956.) [15] Garner's final marriage was to Kenyon Foster Brown. After a few years, that marriage, too, ended in divorce.

Her only child, Catherine Ann Salmi, died in 1995 at the age of 38 from heart disease.[ citation needed ]


Garner died from pancreatic cancer in 1984 at the age of 52 in the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Los Angeles. [16]



1939 Little Miss Thoroughbred Praying OrphanUncredited
1939 In Name Only Ellen
1939 Blondie Brings Up Baby Melinda Mason
1940 Abe Lincoln in Illinois Little GirlUncredited
1940 Eagle Squadron Child
1942 The Pied Piper Sheila Cavanaugh
1943 Jane Eyre Jane Eyre as a child
1944 The Keys of the Kingdom Young Nora
1945 A Tree Grows in Brooklyn FrancieAcademy Juvenile Award
1945 Nob Hill Katie Flanagan
1945 Junior Miss Judy Graves
1946 Home Sweet Homicide Dinah Carstairs
1947 Thunder in the Valley Maggie Moore
1947 Daisy Kenyon Rosamund O'Mara
1948 The Sign of the Ram Christine St. Aubyn
1949 Bomba, the Jungle Boy Patricia Harland
1949 The Big Cat Doris Cooper
1949 The Lovable Cheat Julie Mercadet
1951 Teresa Susan Cass
1954 Black Widow Nancy "Nanny" Ordway
1966 The Cat Susan Kilby
1978 A Wedding Candice Ruteledge


1949 Ford Theatre Beth March"Little Women"
1950The Prudential Family PlayhouseCatherine Hilton"Call It a Day"
1951Two Girls Named SmithBarbara "Babs" SmithTV series
1952 Lux Video Theatre Judy"Salad Days"
1952 Robert Montgomery Presents Claire Ambler"Claire Ambler"
1952 Westinghouse Studio One Honey Weber / Frances Weston"Plan for Escape"
1954Eight WitnessesHelen HildebrandTV movie
1955 The Best of Broadway Kaye Hamilton"Stage Door"
1955 Climax! Nora Wallen"The First and the Last"
1955 Westinghouse Studio One Jenny"Strange Companion"
1955 Stage 7 Miranda Abbelard"The Time of Day"
1957The Dupont Show of the MonthLena Anderson"Beyond This Place"
1958 Kraft Television Theatre Jane Bell"The Velvet Trap"
1958 General Electric Theater Janey"The Unfamiliar"
1958 Westinghouse Studio One Katey"Man Under Glass"
1959 The United States Steel Hour Frances Barclay"Wish on the Moon"
1959 The Lineup Yvonne"Thrills"
1960 Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre Sarah Malloy"Deception"
1960 Tate Julie"Stopover"
1960One Step BeyondLaura Perkins"Tonight at 12:17"
1960 Adventures in Paradise Deborah Baxter"Once Around the Circuit"
1961 Naked City Edie Brewer"Button in the Haystack"
1961 Bonanza Cameo Johnson"The Rival"
1962 Have Gun – Will Travel Virginia "Ginger" Adams"Dream Girl"
1962 Adventures in Paradise Lorrie Hamilton"Build My Gallows Low"
1962 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Madeline Drake"Victim Four"
1962 The Untouchables Margaret Radick / Margaret Wilson"Elegy"
1963 Alcoa Premiere Bernice Meredith"Impact of an Execution"
1963 Perry Mason Letty Arthur"The Case of Constant Doyle"
1963 Combat! Nurse Lt. Amelia Marsh"Off Limits"
1963 The Untouchables Barbara Sultan"The Giant Killer"
1963The Patriots Patsy Jefferson Randolph TV movie
1964 The Eleventh Hour Myra Hopp"Who Chopped Down the Cherry Tree?"
1964 The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Anne Donfield"The Project Strigas Affair"
1965 The Outer Limits Amanda Frank"The Probe"
1967 Batman Betsy Boldface"Ring Around the Riddler"
1968 The Big Valley Mrs. Whittaker"The Prize"
1978 Betrayal Mrs. Carol StockwoodTV movie
1979 Lou Grant Dixie Collins"Kids"
1980 This Year's Blonde Father's Wife (Stepmother)TV movie (final appearance)

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  1. "Peggy Ann Garner". The Official Academy Awards Database. Retrieved 7 May 2016.[ permanent dead link ]
  2. Wiley, Mason; Bona, Damien; MacColl, Gail (Ed.) (1996). Inside Oscar: The Unofficial History of the Academy Awards (10th ed.). New York, New York: Ballantine Books. pp. 155–156. ISBN   0-345-40053-4.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  3. 1 2 "'Peggy Ann Garner Week' in Syracuse As Teen-Ager Appears in Plays, Films". The Post-Standard. New York, Syracuse. August 1, 1949. p. 16. Retrieved May 6, 2016 via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  4. 1 2 Katz, Ephraim (1982). The Film Encyclopedia . New York, New York: Perigee Books. p. 469. ISBN   0-399-50601-2.
  5. 1 2 "Parents of Actress Peggy Ann Garner Divorced in L.A." The San Bernardino County Sun. California, San Bernardino. Associated Press. February 27, 1947. p. 1. Retrieved May 6, 2016 via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  6. Mara, Margaret (June 17, 1946). "Beauty Alone Doesn't Make Child a Model Photographers Will Like". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. New York, Brooklyn. p. 9. Retrieved May 6, 2016 via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  7. "(photo caption)". The Anniston Star. Alabama, Anniston. October 28, 1945. p. 28. Retrieved May 6, 2016 via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  8. "Saucy Comedy Coming To Va". The Progress-Index. Virginia, Petersburg. February 28, 1954. p. 20. Retrieved May 6, 2016 via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  9. "Peggy Ann Garner search". Playbill. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  10. Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 223.
  11. 1 2 Sies, Luther F. (2014). Encyclopedia of American Radio, 1920-1960, 2nd Edition. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN   978-0-7864-5149-4. P. 591.
  12. "Top Viewing Today". Independent. California, Long Beach. June 13, 1960. p. 39. Retrieved May 6, 2016 via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  13. Aylesworth, Thomas G.; Bowman, John S. (1987). The World Almanac Who's Who of Film. New York, New York: World Almanac. p. 166. ISBN   0-88687-308-8.
  14. "Peggy Ann Garner To Be Married Today". The San Bernardino County Sun. California, San Bernardino. Associated Press. February 22, 1951. p. 1. Retrieved May 6, 2016 via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  15. "Peggy Ann Garner Married To Actor". The Cumberland News. Maryland, Cumberland. May 19, 1956. p. 1. Retrieved May 6, 2016 via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  16. Peggy Ann Garner obituary,; accessed December 14, 2017.

Further reading