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. She won the Academy Juvenile Award for her work in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945). (Whether the award was given specifically for her work in that film is debatable. The Official Academy Awards Database lists the award as "outstanding child actress of 1945," without mentioning a specific film. The Inside Oscar reference book about Academy Awards refers to "Peggy Ann Garner of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Junior Miss" in citing the award.)
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.
Born in Canton, Ohio, Peggy Ann Garner was the daughter of William H. Garner, an attorney, and Virginia Craig Garner. She was pushed by her mother into the limelight and entered in talent quests while still a child. Her parents divorced on February 26, 1947.
Garner was a model for still photographers for two years before she began working in films.
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).
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. In 1954, she toured with a troupe in several states, performing in The Moon Is Blue. 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.
In 1950, Garner starred as Esther Smith in the radio comedy Meet Me in St. Louis. The program ran two months on NBC.
In Summer 1960, she appeared in "The Unfamiliar," an episode of Producer's Choice, 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.
After Garner's film career ended, she ventured into stage acting and had some success but also worked as a real estate agent 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. (Garner had worked with Altman before: He directed a 1961 episode of Bonanza, "The Rival", in which she appeared as a girl being courted by Hoss Cartwright and a 1963 episode of Combat! in which she appeared. Her final screen performance was a small part in a made-for-television feature This Year's Blonde (1980).
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.
Garner died from pancreatic cancer in 1984 at the age of 52 in the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Los Angeles.
|1939||In Name Only||Ellen|
|1939||Blondie Brings Up Baby||Melinda Mason|
|1942||Pied Piper, TheThe Pied Piper||Sheila Cavanaugh|
|1943||Jane Eyre||Jane Eyre as a child|
|1944||Keys of the Kingdom, TheThe Keys of the Kingdom||Young Nora|
|1945||Tree Grows in Brooklyn, AA Tree Grows in Brooklyn||Francie|
|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||Sign of the Ram, TheThe Sign of the Ram||Christine St. Aubyn|
|1949||Bomba, the Jungle Boy||Patricia Harland|
|1949||Big Cat, TheThe Big Cat||Doris Cooper|
|1949||Lovable Cheat, TheThe Lovable Cheat||Julie Mercadet|
|1954||Black Widow||Nancy "Nanny" Ordway|
|1966||The Cat||Susan Kilby|
|1978||Wedding, AA Wedding||Candice Ruteledge|
|1949||Ford Theatre||Beth March||"Little Women"|
|1950||Prudential Family Playhouse, TheThe Prudential Family Playhouse||Catherine Hilton||"Call It a Day"|
|1951||Two Girls Named Smith||Barbara "Babs" Smith||TV 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"|
|1954||Eight Witnesses||Helen Hildebrand||TV film|
|1955||Best of Broadway, TheThe 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"|
|1957||Dupont Show of the Month, TheThe Dupont Show of the Month||Lena 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||United States Steel Hour, TheThe United States Steel Hour||Frances Barclay||"Wish on the Moon"|
|1959||Lineup, TheThe Lineup||Yvonne||"Thrills"|
|1960||Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre||Sarah Malloy||"Deception"|
|1960||One Step Beyond||Laura 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||Untouchables, TheThe 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||Untouchables, TheThe Untouchables||Barbara Sultan||"The Giant Killer"|
|1963||Patriots, TheThe Patriots||Patsy Jefferson Randolph||TV film|
|1964||Eleventh Hour, TheThe Eleventh Hour||Myra Hopp||"Who Chopped Down the Cherry Tree?"|
|1964||Man from U.N.C.L.E., TheThe Man from U.N.C.L.E.||Anne Donfield||"The Project Strigas Affair"|
|1965||Outer Limits, TheThe Outer Limits||Amanda Frank||"The Probe"|
|1967||Batman||Betsy Boldface||"Ring Around the Riddler"|
|1968||Big Valley, TheThe Big Valley||Mrs. Whittaker||"The Prize"|
|1978||Betrayal||Mrs. Carol Stockwood||TV film|
|1979||Lou Grant||Dixie Collins||"Kids"|
|1980||This Year's Blonde||Father's Wife (Stepmother)||TV film|
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