The daughter of a stuntman and sometime actor, Peggy Montgomery proved to be a natural. By the age of three, she was headlining numerous shorts and had her own production unit devoted to churning out her films, becoming the top child star of the decade. At the height of career, there were Baby Peggy dolls and other memorabilia, much like that devoted to another moppet star, Shirley Temple, in the 1930s. Many of Baby Peggy's films were takeoffs on popular screen characters of the day and the child star reportedly earned a salary equal to that of Charlie Chaplin. At age six, her career was interrupted when she lost her two front teeth. Four years later, she was all but washed up as silents gave way to talkies and she committed the cardinal sin of child performers, she grew up. Although she attempted a career in talkies, Baby Peggy gave up after a couple of films and retired.
In the 1970s, Baby Peggy reemerged as author and film historian Diana Serra Cary, publishing two well-received accounts of life in the silent age, "The Hollywood Posse" (1975) and "Hollywood's Children" (1979). She also regularly contributed to journals documenting that era and made appearances at gatherings of film collectors. In 1996, her memoir "Whatever Happened to Baby Peggy?" was published. A candid look at the effects, both good and bad, of working as a child actor, it proved that some things hadn't much changed in nearly seventy years. Baby Peggy had been the breadwinner of her family and had suffered for it in much the same way that a contemporary figure like Macauley Culkin had.