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Pepi Lederer
Born Josephine Rose Lederer
March 18, 1910(1910-03-18)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died June 11, 1935 (aged 25)
Los Angeles, California, United States

Pepi Lederer (March 18, 1910 – June 11, 1935) was an American actress and writer. She was the niece of actress Marion Davies.

Contents

Biography

Josephine Rose Lederer was born in Chicago in 1910 and nicknamed "Peppy" for her mischievous and high-spirited personality, and later formally adopted the name. Her mother, Reine Davies (née Douras) was a stage actress and the sister of Rosemary Davies and Marion Davies, while her father, George Lederer, produced musical comedies.

After her aunt Marion began a long-term affair with William Randolph Hearst, Hearst took responsibility for the accommodation of Pepi and her several siblings, who included Charlie Lederer, later a well-known screenwriter. She spent a good deal of her youth at Hearst Castle. The Hearsts took the ambitions of her brother seriously and relegated Pepi to a few small parts in movies such as Her Cardboard Lover and a token job on Hearst's magazine, The Connoisseur.

Though she was considered a captivating personality, Lederer had a voracious appetite for rich food, alcohol, and eventually, cocaine. Increasingly restless with her stalled career and her suspicions that she was only valued by others insofar as she could initiate them into the luxurious world of the Hearst family, she moved to London. She returned to New York in 1930 and, shortly after New Years' Eve 1929 was shocked to discover she was pregnant. She later had an abortion.

Pepi was a close friend and reported lover of silent film star Louise Brooks.

Death

In 1935, her drug addiction worsening, Davies and Hearst committed her to a mental hospital to receive a drug cure. Shortly afterward, she jumped out of a window, dying instantly after falling several floors.

References

Sources

  • Brooks, Louise. Lulu in Hollywood: Expanded Edition, p. 33. Twin Cities: University of Minnesota Press, 2000.
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