Hollywood sign

What’s the background story on the Hollywood sign? When was it built, for what purpose, etc. I seem to remember hearing that it may have been a real estate ad and that at one time the full sitgn may have read Hollywoodland. Can anyone enlighten me?

Here ya go:


Movie Spoiler ahead.

One of the great lines in the movie The Rocketeer is when Tim Dalton’s character (sorta based on Errol Flynn) steals the Rocket Pack, belts it on, and gets ready to escape the crashing zeppelin, saying “I’ll miss Hollywood”. He immediately crashes, taking down the letters “L-A-N-D” in the “Hollywoodland” sign, leaving it as simply “Hollywood”. He certainly did miss “Hollywood”.

Bummer. I hoped the link would mention Peg Entwhistle, who failed to become famous in Hollywood during her life, but achieved some degree of celebrity by her death. She comitted suicide by leaping from the sign, IIRC in 1925. I don’t know which letter, though…

// golfing hijack //

It’s said that when Ben Hogan played the LA Country Club (maybe; may have been the Riviera) for the first time, on a certain hole his caddy told him to aim for the Hollywood sign.

His reply: “Which letter?”

// golfing hijack //

[No “h,” in case you want to Google her]. She actually had some success on Broadway as an ingenue and as a summer-stock actress—Bette Davis said she was inspired to take up acting after seeing Peg. Peg can be seen in a wonderfully lurid film, Thirteen Women (1932), which shows up every so often on TCM. And she is still the only documented case of a suicide from the sign.

Oh, and she was the stepmother of Brian Keith, from Family Affair!

Buffy and Jody drove her to suicide. I can believe it.

I think Brian Keith silled himself, too, right? (In a more mundane way.)


I believe the Hollywood sign has been changed for some events over the years, both officially (I think it became “VATICAN II” when the Pope was in town) and unofficially (“HOLLYWeeD,” changed by some pro-marijuana brigaders).

The Hollywood Sign is a registered trademark of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

Peg Entwistle’s suicide is mentioned on the site linked earlier. She jumped off the “H” in 1932.

JCHeckler, the link does mention her: http://www.hollywoodsign.org/plotline/signoftimes/1932.htm

Damn you, mobo85! :slight_smile:

My mistake. When the Pope was in town, it was simply (and unofficially) altered to read “HOLYWOOD.”

And then there’s “RAFFEYSOD,” which may have been for a rock band, but no one is exactly sure.

I tried plugging HOLLYWOOD into the Internet Anagram Server to see what the coolest thing that could be spelled with the existing letters is. My favorite is HOWDY LO LO.