|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (June 2015)|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
Peaches Browning (June 23, 1910 – August 23, 1956), born Frances Belle Heenan, was an American actress, most famous for her failed marriage to New York real estate mogul, Edward West "Daddy" Browning (1875–1934). The story became one of the most sensational "scandals" of the Roaring Twenties. It is often cited in journalism history texts as an example of the excesses of some newspapers during the era.
On June 23, 1926 (her sixteenth birthday), mere weeks after she met the 51-year-old Edward Browning, Peaches and "Daddy" were wed. Later that same year, Peaches tried to obtain a divorce, and the White Plains, New York trial drew intense coverage by New York City tabloid newspapers such as the New York Daily News, the rival New York Daily Mirror and the more louche New York Graphic, which published a notorious composograph of the couple.
The story was soon picked up by the national newspapers, and the couple became well known in U.S. popular culture of the time (for instance, it is referenced, in the 1927 Gershwin musical comedy Funny Face, Among the notable aspects of the case were Peaches' allegations of odd behavior by her husband, including the fact that he kept a honking African goose in their bedroom. The phrase "Don't be a goof," which Daddy allegedly used as an insult to Peaches, came into national vogue, and later turned up in the lyrics of the title song from the 1936 Rodgers and Hart musical comedy On Your Toes.
The judge accepted Daddy's version of the facts, ruling that Peaches had abandoned her husband without cause, and released him from the marriage. Peaches' notoriety gained her a career in vaudeville. She was managed by Marvin Welt (1883–1953), one of the first theatrical agents to demand a percentage of total ticket sales for some of his clients.
When Edward Browning died in 1934, Peaches was awarded $6000 as a widow's portion.
- Mara Bovsun (June 12, 2011). "Child bride gets zilch from real estate mogul Edward West Browning". NY Daily News.
- "'Peaches' & 'Daddy' Browning", Liberty, Winter 1974, p. 51.
- Greenburg, Michael, Peaches & Daddy, The Overlook Press.