The iconic Hollywood sign began life back in 1923 as an advertisement for a new housing development in the hills above Los Angeles.
Originally spelling out HOLLYWOODLAND and illuminated with around 4,000 lightbulbs, the entire project cost about $21,000 (more than $300,000 in today’s money).
Eventually the ‘LAND’ part of the sign was removed, but the remaining letters became a symbol for the booming film industry.
Over the years the sign became a magnet for tourists – but also the site of tragedies, as some failed actors and actresses threw themselves in despair from the tall letters.
The most famous of these deaths was that of Peg Entwistle a Broadway actress who arrived in Tinseltown looking to make it in the movies.
Sadly for Peg, that success never came.
After another rejection on September 16 1932 she climbed the H and, drunk and weeping, jumped off.
Her body was found the next day, along with a suicide note 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.”
In the 1940s the letter H toppled over, leading to speculation that Peg’s ghost haunted the landmark.
In 1990 a couple who were hiking in the hills below the sign claimed to have seen a blonde woman wearing 1930s clothing vanish in front of them.