Shameless Facts About Peggy Hopkins Joyce, The First Gold-Digger

Shameless Facts About Peggy Hopkins Joyce, The First Gold-Digger

The Roaring Twenties had been a time of debauchery, sensuality, and over-the-top antics—and nobody embodied that spirit greater than the notorious magnificence, socialite, and woman-about-town Peggy Hopkins Joyce. Image Daisy Buchanan from The Nice Gatsby coming alive off the web page, besides with a complete lot extra scandal…and one really heartbreaking finish.

1. She Ran Away With A Unhealthy Boy

Peggy Hopkins Joyce was scandalous from the very starting. Born Marguerite “Peggy” Upton in 1893, she turned naughty in a spectacular method. When she was 15—and already fairly the looker—she ran away from her sleepy hometown of Berkeley, Virginia to take up with a touring Vaudeville bicycle owner. However earlier than they bought far, little Peggy dealt her beau a brutal betrayal.

2. She Was A Gold Digger

Whereas on the highway along with her paramour, the teenaged Peggy met the millionaire Everett Archibald—and as quickly as she locked eyes with the rich man, her Vaudeville lover was chopped liver. Even at that tender age, Peggy knew what she wished: Males with cash. She shortly dumped her bicycle owner to take up with Archibald…however there have been surprising penalties.

3. She Was A Teenaged Bride

Peggy understood which facet her bread was buttered on, and in 1910 she sealed the take care of Everett Archibald, marrying him in a quickie ceremony after 9 months collectively. Unhealthy thought. See, Peggy was already a dyed-in-the-wool hedonist, and as Archibald traveled round as a salesman, she took up with a sequence of males behind her husband’s again. It fell aside nearly immediately.

4. She Betrayed Her Husband A number of Instances

At some point, Archibald occurred to return residence early from one among his enterprise journeys…and walked in on a horrific sight. His younger spouse was wrapped round one other man. Aghast and at a loss, Archibald shortly left for his subsequent enterprise vacation spot, aspiring to take care of the betrayal later. Effectively, he had misjudged Peggy—as a result of she was already one step forward of him.

5. She Skipped City In Shame

Days after this dramatic incident, Peggy went nuclear on her husband. She skipped city solely, taking a stack of cash along with her. She then despatched Archibald a postcard all the way in which from out east, asking him for a divorce. Poor Archibald had nearly no selection however to conform along with her calls for, although he did avoid wasting face by annulling the union—as a result of she was solely 17 after they married.

But even in any case this, Peggy was in for even greater drama.

6. She Had A Secret Love Little one

Simply after she cut up city, Peggy went to go reside with household. It was there she made a gut-wrenching discovery: She was pregnant. 9 months later, she gave delivery to a child boy as a single mom in 1911—a tough a time as any to be elevating a toddler by yourself. However for all these difficulties, nothing might excuse the horror that was about to happen.

7. A Darkish Crime Haunted Her Previous

4 months after giving delivery, Peggy was embroiled in a really darkish scandal. Although particulars are scant, somebody within the family gave the new child an excessive amount of cough syrup, which on the time contained excessive ranges of opiates. Peggy’s son’s perished, and suspicions nonetheless swirl about what actually went on that day. For Peggy’s half, she later fully reinvented this time of her life, claiming she was at a “ending college” throughout these years.

Repressed trauma or not, she was at all times a woman with a plan—and she or he was about to execute her subsequent one.

8. She Had A Unhealthy Behavior

Along with her ending college lie below her belt, Peggy traveled to Washington DC to mingle with actual non-public college women…and boys. Quickly sufficient, she gave in to darkish temptation. With males persevering with to fall throughout themselves for her, she took up with Sherburne Hopkins, a lawyer from a well-established authorized clan. This time, Peggy was certain it will stick. It didn’t.

9. She Was A Shameless Flirt

After Peggy married Sherburne Hopkins in 1913, her complete life was one glittering ball after one other. However that didn’t imply it was a contented marriage. Quickly sufficient, her husband bought jealous of simply how a lot consideration Peggy gave the opposite male attendees at these galas. He was so distraught he bought his personal mom to maintain a detailed watch on his new bride.

Peggy was not one to take a meddling mother-in-law mendacity down, and she or he lashed out in an enormous method.

10. She Taught Her Husband A Lesson

As early as 1915, Peggy had sufficient of taking part in the prim Washington spouse, and she or he straight-up deserted Sherburne Hopkins—and his over-zealous mom—with the intention to transfer to New York and jump-start a profession in leisure. She even had the audacity to remain on the Hopkins household suite within the stylish St. Regis Resort. And as soon as she was within the Large Apple, she by some means discovered new methods to fire up hassle.

11. She Was A Ziegfeld Woman

Peggy by no means had an issue proving herself, and she or he made an enormous splash nearly instantly. After determinedly looking for work, she bought a job working for the world-famous Ziegfeld Follies. Reportedly, when she confirmed impresario Florenz Ziegfeld her shapely legs throughout her audition, he quipped, “Effectively, if you are able to do something in any respect on stage, you’ll do.”

It was Peggy’s massive break…however she was about to satisfy her match.

12. She Was An Knowledgeable In Males

Beginning round 1920, Peggy met the millionaire (natch) J Stanley Joyce, a hard-nosed businessman who made his cash in lumber. Stanley was obsessive about Peggy, and Peggy…was obsessive about Stanley’s cash. At one level throughout their courtship, Stanley gifted her an infinite emerald, just for Peggy to mirror that she “would have slightly had a diamond.”

Sadly, their romance had even larger issues.

13. She Received Out Of Her Marriage By Manipulation

Regardless of dwelling the only life as an actress, Peggy was very a lot nonetheless married to her second husband Sherburne Hopkins when she met Stanley Joyce. However Peggy knew simply what to do. She instructed her “tragic” story of marriage woes to Stanley, who instantly pledged to pay for her divorce. True to his phrase, Peggy was formally a free girl in 1920. And he or she wasted no time.

14. She Had A Speedy Marriage ceremony

Peggy didn’t look like too damaged up about her divorce. She married Stanley simply two days after the paperwork went via, tying the knot with him on January 23, 1920. It wasn’t her first stroll down the aisle, so that you’d count on the brand new Mrs. Joyce to be cool as a cucumber concerning the proceedings. Nonetheless, you’d be fallacious—her marriage ceremony night time was worthy of a cleaning soap opera.

15. She Ransomed Her Physique

As quickly as they stated their “I Dos” and the festivities had been over, Stanley and Peggy went again to their resort room to, er, formally consummate their union. However that’s when Peggy threw her new husband a curve ball. She promptly locked herself within the lavatory and withheld intimacy—till Stanley wrote her a $500,000 test. No, actually.

Then, simply days after her marriage ceremony, Peggy was making extra headlines for all of the fallacious causes.

16. She Went On An Notorious Spree

Along with her third time on the altar over and carried out with, Peggy’s subsequent actions surprised the world. Openly exhibiting off her standing as a trophy spouse and unrepentant gold digger, she went on a really public procuring spree, notoriously spending a cool million {dollars} in only one week’s time. The stunt instantly put her within the papers…however behind closed doorways, issues had been turning into much less dramatic, extra tragic.

17. She Had A Violent Mood

Peggy had at all times liked absorbing male consideration, and being married to Stanley Joyce was critically cramping her model. Her third husband would additionally often complain about her blatant flirtations with different males—and the climaxes of those fights had been breathtaking. Throughout one spat, Peggy scratched him along with her nails, whereas in one other she smashed a champagne bottle over his head.

Extremely, not less than when it got here to smashing the bottle, Peggy claimed “he appeared to love it.” However no one within the marriage preferred the following chapter.

18. She Divulged All Her Secrets and techniques

Peggy Hopkins Joyce now knew she was on everybody’s radar, and that’s precisely the place she wished to be. Within the early 1920s, she reached the height of her fame by doing one factor and one factor solely: She granted an interview to anybody who requested. However she didn’t simply try this—oh no. As soon as a reporter bought entry to her, she made certain they might always remember their time collectively.

19. She Undressed In Entrance Of Strangers

Throughout this era of her life, Peggy got here up with an ingenious branding transfer. She was notorious for receiving curious journalists at her own residence, and would purposefully recline herself over a divan, wearing solely a skimpy negligee. The actual kicker? She would commonly put on no underwear beneath the clear robe.

It wasn’t lengthy earlier than Peggy Hopkins Joyce completely blew up.

20. She Was The Most Well-known Lady In America

Following these bare-all interviews, Peggy reached ever greater ranges of fame. Songwriter Cole Porter talked about her in a number of of his hit songs, and comedians would often use her high-rolling, gold-laden way of life because the punchline of their jokes. Greater than that, revue theaters started to rabidly knock on her door and ask her to look on stage.

But it surely was about to all come crashing down.

21. She Advised An Huge Lie

As Peggy’s star rose, her marriage to Stanley Joyce turned ever extra bitter in her mouth. Within the spring of 1921, the couple went on a belated honeymoon, dwelling the excessive life on a European cruise. It was an unmitigated catastrophe. Peggy spent her time dancing with different males on the liner, dallying with lovers whereas Stanley was asleep, and as soon as concocted a “solo” week within the countryside when she was actually with a boyfriend.

When all of it got here to a head, the scandal was ruthless.

22. She Suffered A Public Embarrassment

For a jealous man, Stanley Joyce was extremely trusting of his spouse, so it took him a very good lengthy whereas to appreciate the extent of what was occurring. However sooner or later, he lastly caught on—and he had fairly sufficient. As yet one more lover approached Peggy at a public operate, he forcefully pushed her again into her chair…which then induced her tiara to slide and lower her face.

Peggy’s response to this was bone-chilling.

23. Her Honeymoon Was A Catastrophe

Peggy could have been bodily injured, however she was additionally totally mortified on the scene her husband made. Her revenge was exacting. She refused to return to Stanley’s mattress that night time, and Stanley himself got here to his personal conclusions. He left their European “honeymoon” to return to his enterprise dealings stateside, telling Peggy to remain the place she was.

Little did Peggy know, this was the start of the top.

24. Her Fairy Story Crashed To A Halt

Shortly after Stanley’s notorious exit from their trip, Peggy bought beautiful information from a journalist throughout one among her routine interviews: Stanley was divorcing her. In fact by then, Peggy was spending most of her time along with her favourite lover, Parisian millionaire Henri Letellier…however no quantity of ardour might cover the darkish accusations that got here out of Stanley’s go well with.

25. She Used Her Husband

Within the wake of his spouse’s absconding with a Frenchman, Stanley gave Peggy pretty much as good as he bought. Whereas Peggy had the audacity to ask for an alimony allowance of $10,000 a month—to not point out the request that Stanley pay her courtroom charges—he countersued her, claiming she had a number of affairs throughout their quick time collectively. But that wasn’t even his worst accusation.

26. She Would possibly Have Been A Bigamist

As the divorce of the Roaring Twenties ramped up, Peggy’s ex accused her of a horrible secret. He claimed that she had by no means really been correctly divorced from Sherburne Hopkins, and that their very own marriage made her a bigamist. Not a very good look, even for one of the crucial infamous dangerous women of her day. However as soon as extra, Stanley didn’t cease there.

27. She Drove A Man To The Brink

In addition to claiming his union with Peggy was invalid due to her bigamy, Stanley additionally uncovered an enormous skeleton in her walk-in closet. He claimed that in her dalliances inside their union, she had pushed one among her lovers into taking his personal life after he went flat broke attempting to maintain her blissful. Clearly, the press went wild on the divorce trial—and the decision saved them busy for days.

28. She “Received” The Divorce

By the top of the courtroom proceedings, the Joyces had all their soiled laundry out to air—with proof popping out concerning the $1.Four million Stanley had spent on his spouse to maintain her in the very best jewellery and furs, to not point out a home in Miami. However for all that, Peggy nonetheless walked away with the proper to maintain all the jewellery Stanley had purchased her and inventory in his firm.

Peggy Hopkins Joyce was free and clear eventually—however her troubles had been simply getting began.

29. There Was One Man She Wouldn’t Marry

After the catastrophe that was her third marriage to Stanley Joyce, Peggy swore that she would by no means marry once more. Even her new lover Henri Letellier wasn’t sufficient to tempt to seasoned gold digger; as Peggy as soon as quipped, “Frenchmen perceive girls too effectively. A woman ought to by no means marry a person who understands girls.” Sadly, it turned out that even Peggy’s flings may very well be downright harmful, and she or he was about to seek out that out the exhausting method.

30. She Took Up With A Harmful Household

Whereas within the midst of her relationship with Letellier, Peggy met one other man she nearly threw every thing away for: the Chilean attaché Guillermo “William” Errázuriz. However this was no strange affair—her new lover had a particularly darkish previous. William was the brother of Bianca Errázuriz, a excessive society girl who had simply fatally shot her ex-husband.

In different phrases, Peggy was now dabbling with a crowd much more dramatic and violent than herself. It ended horrifically.

31. She Was A Homewrecker

When Peggy posted up with William, he was already married and with a household of his personal, simply as she and Letellier had been additionally nonetheless an merchandise. That didn’t cease the 2 of them from leaping head-first into romance, with William falling notably exhausting; Peggy later claimed he wished to drop all his commitments simply to marry her. However within the spring of 1922, this home of playing cards toppled.

32. She Was In A Messy Love Triangle

On Might 1st, 1922, Peggy’s world turned the wrong way up. After an evening in town with Peggy, Letellier, and William hashing out what their threesome must be, Errázuriz wished her goodnight by saying, “There shall be no tomorrow for me.” Peggy, bleary-eyed and sleepy, had no thought what this meant. However she would discover out all too quickly.

33. Her Lover Had A Deadly Accident

That very night, William Errázuriz fatally shot himself in his personal resort room. Everybody from officers to journalists started to swarm the place, determined to know what had actually gone down and the way Peggy was concerned this time. In spite of everything, though William had left a word, it by no means talked about Peggy nor their love triangle. This solely produced extra heartbreak.

34. She Might Have Killed A Man

With no clear reply in his word, William’s household staunchly believed he had carried out it as a result of he owed a mountain of money owed. In the meantime, Peggy herself confessed to the press (in fact) that he had solely grown so determined after she had refused to marry him as soon as and for all. And if individuals didn’t consider her story, the following occasions may need satisfied them.

35. She Hit Rock Backside

Three days after William’s tragic passing, Peggy went proper off the deep finish. On a self-destructive bender, she took a handful of sleeping drugs and tried to observe her lover into the darkish, hoping to finish all of it slightly than face actuality. Fortunately for Peggy, she survived the try. However when she regained consciousness, her phrases had been gut-wrenching.

36. She Had One Remorse

Peggy may need been a shameless gold digger, however she did have a coronary heart. She instructed journalists in one among her many interviews that she was “via with males” after this horrific interval in her life. She additionally confessed to having been in love with William and stated she was deeply regretful that she “performed with him” and “dangled him on a string.”

It was as shut as Peggy ever bought to public regret…however her phrases had devastating penalties.

37. She Was A Actual Femme Fatale

After Peggy gave her interview, newspapers world wide revealed her phrases about her long-lost lover. That’s when the second huge tragedy struck. A second Chilean attaché, Rivas Muntt, who was additionally romantically linked to Peggy, tried to take his personal life utilizing the barbiturate Veronal. And when medics discovered him, he was holding a damning piece of proof.

38. Her Large Mouth Ruined Every little thing

In line with the attendants who arrived on the scene and by chance saved Muntt’s life, the attaché was clutching a newspaper that contained Peggy’s declaration of affection for William Errázuriz. Within the following days, it grew to become clear that Peggy had snubbed Muntt and that he, unable to deal with her love for an additional man, tried to finish all of it as effectively.

By the top of 1922, Peggy’s carefree life had turned darkish and bloody—and she or he had just one choice open to her.

39. She Earned An Enviable Title

Following this femme fatale fiasco, Peggy receded into the background and by no means dated once more. Simply kidding. She pledged to try this, however that’s not what occurred in any respect. By the summer time of 1924, she was married once more—and she or he bought an enormous improve. Her new husband, Depend Gosta Morner, wasn’t simply wealthy, he was a full-on Swedish aristocrat.

To be truthful to Peggy, although, one thing was totally different about this marriage.

40. She Tried To Begin Over

Whether or not it was his noble title or simply the person himself, Peggy appeared effectively and really in love with Gosta Morner, even telling the press after their nuptials, “All my different marriages meant nothing. That is the primary time I’ve ever been really in love.” However in case you’ve discovered something about Peggy, you’ll in all probability take that assertion with an enormous grain of salt. She definitely ought to have.

41. She Couldn’t Step Away From The Highlight

Peggy could have thought she liked the Depend unconditionally, however he quickly gave her an ultimatum she couldn’t settle for. As his spouse, Morner demanded that Peggy quit her profession on stage and display to higher focus her energies on being the brand new Countess. Whereas Peggy agreed at first, inside months she realized she might by no means tear herself away from the highlight

Earlier than 1924 was up, Peggy Hopkins Joyce was single once more—and turning to a brand new vocation.

42. She Was A Skilled Gossip

Now, don’t get me fallacious, Peggy Hopkins Joyce didn’t flip over a brand new leaf on the finish of her fourth marriage. She nonetheless dated furiously, racking up males like auto pioneer Walter Chrysler, however she did additionally handle to keep away from accepting any proposals for the following 19 years. As an alternative, she spent her time writing a gossip column known as Varieties.

Sadly, although, Peggy’s glory days had been about to expire.

43. She Dated A Nerd

Peggy at all times had a various style in males, so nobody was all that stunned when she traded in her suave millionaires for the good British astronomy professor Charles Vivian Jackson. The truth is, Peggy later known as Jackson “the one man I’ve ever liked.” And certain, that sounds slightly acquainted coming from Peggy, however she had a really tragic motive to say it.

44. She Misplaced Her Lover In A Brutal Accident

Most of Peggy’s dalliances met ignominious ends, however her affair with Jackson had essentially the most heartbreaking end of all. In 1937, the couple had been taking an idyllic trip in St. Moritz, Switzerland when Jackson determined to make the most of the environment and go on a sleigh trip. In a merciless accident, he met a deadly accident, leaving Peggy devastated and alone as soon as extra.

Round this time, her life slowly started to unravel.

45. She Misplaced Her Appears to be like

Regardless of the tragedy of Charles Vivian Jackson’s loss of life, Peggy Hopkins Joyce had spent the 1930s being comparatively secure—staying out of hassle and staying far-off from the altar. However even for these wholesome decisions, the ravages of time and her hedonistic way of life had been engaged on her all of the whereas. After the 1920s, Peggy grew to become haggard, chubby, and deeply insecure about each developments.

Along with her vanity at an all-time low, Peggy went again to her dangerous habits.

46. She Was Disobedient

In December of 1945, matrimony known as to Peggy once more, and she or he married her fifth husband, consulting engineer Anthony Easton. However even on that blissful day, she refused to do one factor. After strolling down the aisle in her gown, journalists observed that she had omitted the standard phrase “obey” from her marriage ceremony vows—one thing Kate Middleton grew to become well-known for doing many years later in her marriage ceremony to Prince William.

For some, this was one other indication that Peggy’s marriage was doomed. Sadly, these haters can be proper. Form of.

47. She Had A Mysterious Divorce

No matter her vow modifications, we all know that Peggy and Anthony Easton definitely didn’t make it to “Til loss of life do us half”—however we don’t know after they known as it quits. In usually mysterious Peggy trend, there isn’t a document of their divorce. The one factor we have now to go on to verify their cut up is the truth that she married once more in 1953, to Andrew C Meyer.

By then, although, her story was already coming to a detailed.

48. She Hid From The Cameras Till The Finish

In the long run, even the glittering Peggy Hopkins Joyce’s life ended not with a bang, however a whimper. After marrying Meyer, she determined to age away from the cameras, dwelling a quiet life in Connecticut the place nobody might see her continued decline. Nonetheless, she by no means bought to have even that realistically blissful ending: Simply 4 years later, medical doctors identified her with throat most cancers.

That summer time she handed, nonetheless too younger, on the age of 64.

49. She Requested An Impertinent Query

One in all Peggy’s most well-known dalliances was with none apart from iconic comic Charlie Chaplin. However this relationship can be the supply of the darkest rumor about her. Though apocryphal, Kenneth Anger’s Hollywood Babylon claims that on her first date with Chaplin, Peggy openly requested him if he was certainly “hung like a horse.” Then once more, there’s a extra disturbing rumor floating round.

50. Harpo Marx Thought She Was Illiterate

At one level within the 1920s, whereas Peggy was swanning round Hollywood, she occurred to satisfy Harpo Marx, the “silent” Marx brother. However after assembly with the femme fatale, Harpo claimed that Peggy Hopkins Joyce was really illiterate—and it’s a declare we are able to’t fully disprove. Though she did supposedly write a gossip column, her memoirs had been definitely ghostwritten.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

Initially Revealed by – Dancy Mason

Authentic Supply –

What do you think?


Written by Harry Rosen

Harry Rosen is an accomplished explorer, photographer, creative director, speaker, and author.

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