Tragic Hollywood

Tom Neal – getting away with murder.

March 25, 2016 // 6 Comments

  Tom Neal was a man who came into the world with benefits and attributes that less fortunate souls could only dream of having, then he went ahead and made a complete mess of his life. And along the way he got away with cold-blooded murder. Born into a wealthy Illinois family he was blessed with movie star looks, and was clever enough to earn a law degree at Harvard in 1938, three years [...]

Girl # 27 – Patricia Douglas Pt 2.

March 19, 2016 // 4 Comments

  Part 2 of the Patricia Douglas story. Patty Douglas did not seek medical aid in the days following her assault. ‘I would’ve been too embarrassed. Someone would’ve seen me naked’, she said. No-one, not even her mother, had seen her naked body since she was a little girl. Consequently, her ordeal and the subsequent examination at the hospital had been extremely traumatic for her. [...]

Girl # 27 – Patricia Douglas Part 1.

March 17, 2016 // 2 Comments

     This story will be in two parts. It is a tale of a young woman’s quest for justice in an era and a place where greedy and powerful men determined who was entitled to fair treatment and who was not. Ptricia Douglas was a ‘nobody’, one of thousands of young hopefuls living and working in Hollywood, California. Like most of her peers she trusted the studios, [...]

Leslie Howard – hero or just unlucky?

March 3, 2016 // 12 Comments

  Even fans of Gone With The Wind do not think much of British actor Leslie Howard’s insipid performance in the picture. I certainly felt he was a much over-rated actor whose casting as Ashley Wilkes (a pivotal role) in GWTW almost ruined the movie. In my opinion, it turned what could have been a great picture into merely a fairly good one. Surely, very few movie-goers truly believed that [...]

Natalie Wood – what happened?

February 28, 2016 // 4 Comments

  Aboard ‘Splendour’ 17 Nov, 1981 It was November 19, 1981 when 43 year-old actress Natalie Wood lost her life off the coast of Catalina Island in Southern California. There have always been important details missing from the official account of her ‘accidental death’, but it has generally been accepted that she probably slipped and fell into the water from the yacht [...]

Tragic Hollywood – Who killed funnyman Ted Healy?

December 18, 2015 // 6 Comments

  Wallace Beery won the Oscar in 1931-2 for The Champ, even though he actually scored one less vote than Fredric March that year. The rules of the previous year awarded Oscars to performers who finished within three votes of the winner. Presenter Conrad Nagel, unaware that the regulations had been changed, incorrectly called for another Oscar for Beery without conferring with Academy [...]

Hollywood – tales from the dark side.

December 14, 2015 // 6 Comments

  Mabel Normand was one of the wildest of the silent stars whose off-screen antics ultimately wrecked her career and contributed to her early death. Mack Sennett credited her with inventing the pie-throwing gag that came to be used extensively throughout the silent picture era, claiming she threw one in comedian Ben Turpin’s face while the cross-eyed star was struggling to get a laugh from [...]

Tragic Hollywood – no end of stories.

December 12, 2015 // 0 Comments

Louise Brooks once described Buster Keaton as the most beautiful man she ever saw. Be that as it may, he was certainly a comic genius. While other funny men relied on slow-cranking cameras and speeded-up images to get their laughs, he mostly worked at normal speed, much of his humour coming from scenes in which he hardly moved at all. And he never threw a single custard pie in any of his [...]

Barbara Payton – what a waste.

December 6, 2015 // 14 Comments

  One of Hollywood’s truly tragic stories was that of Barbara Payton, a pretty and talented actress who experienced both the highs and lows of life in Tinsel Town. Just sixteen years after starring alongside Gregory Peck in the western feature Only the Valiant (1951) she was dead. Her body was so ravaged by hard living and liver failure by then it was all but unrecognisable, yet she was [...]

More tragic Hollywood.

December 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

                              Lord Richard Attenborough starred as the creator of Jurassic Park. Three of his family members lost their lives in Phuket, Thailand when the devastating Boxing Day tsunami hit the Pacific Rim in 2004. His daughter Jane, her mother-in-law and grand-daughter, 14 year-old Lucy, were swept away and killed. His eldest grand-daughter, 17 year-old Alice, was [...]
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