Peggy Lee


‘Lady and the Tramp’ Selected for National Film Registry

On December 13, 2023, the Library of Congress announced that Walt Disney’s Lady and the Tramp is among 25 films being added this year to its National Film Registry, a prestigious list of films “showcasing the range and diversity of American film heritage to increase awareness for its preservation,” according to the Library’s website.

Peggy, Sonny

The 1955 animated feature film showcased Peggy Lee’s talents as both a singer and a songwriter. She provided the singing and speaking voices for four of the film’s characters: Darling (the human mother), Peg (the saucy Pekingese), and Si and Am, the devious cats. With composer Sonny Burke (pictured), she co-wrote the film’s songs, including “Bella Notte,” “He’s a Tramp,” and “The Siamese Cat Song.” In her 1989 autobiography, Lee wrote, “No question, every person that worked on the film was touched by Mr. Disney’s genius. An Italian award was given to Lady and the Tramp that read, ‘In this troubled world, a visible island of poetry.’ Well said.”

“My grandmother was incredibly proud to have worked on Lady and the Tramp, both as a songwriter and as an artist. Without question, it was one of the highlights of her professional life,” said Holly Foster Wells, granddaughter of Peggy Lee and president of Peggy Lee Associates. “To have the film be added to the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry is especially thrilling to me, because I know just how much the film meant to her.”

The National Film Registry, according to the Library of Congress, “is a list of films deemed ‘culturally, historically or aesthetically significant’ that are recommended for preservation by those holding the best elements for that film, be it motion picture studios, the Library of Congress and other archives, or filmmakers. These films are not selected as the ‘best’ American films of all time, but rather as works of enduring importance to American culture. They reflect who we are as a people and as a nation.” A complete list of National Film Registry inductees is available here.

To learn more about the National Film Registry 2023 inductees, read this press release and watch the video below.