Tragic Hollywood

More tragic Hollywood.

November 17, 2015 // 0 Comments

  I fell in love for the first time when I was nine. It was 1957 and the object of my infatuation was a brunette with a cute smile and Mouseketeer ears on TV’s Mickey Mouse Club. Her name was Annette Funicello and to me she was perfection with a capital ‘P’. But then someone told me she was born in 1942 and was now fifteen years of age! She was too old for me. I cried for a whole [...]

Tragic Hollywood: Jean Seberg and the FBI.

October 22, 2015 // 5 Comments

There is no shortage of tragic stories in Hollywood’s history. Jean Seberg’s is just one of them. Even so, there is something particularly poignant about her story because she appeared to have the world at her feet until someone at the FBI decided to wreck her life and her health by orchestrating a deliberate smear campaign that ultimately led to her death. On 27 April 1970 a letter was [...]

CAROLE LOMBARD – The Profane Angel.

July 31, 2015 // 0 Comments

  Finding really likeable movie stars from the studio era can be quite a challenge at times. Carole Lombard, however, courtesy of her brazen, down to earth approach to life, was a woman who enjoyed the trappings of fame, but never let them seduce her. And that made her a rarity. She seemed to recognize Hollywood for what it was, a ‘Dream Factory’ full of mostly ordinary people blessed [...]

Judy Garland – a victim of MGM’s greed?

July 18, 2015 // 27 Comments

    Frances Gumm was born in Minnesota in 1922. She had two sisters and was nicknamed ‘Baby’ from her childhood. The family moved to Hollywood in 1926 where she was signed to a 7 year contract by MGM at $100 a week in 1935. She was a prodigious talent, but she was naive and impressionable; ripe to be taken advantage of. Before she had even turned fifteen, 38 year-old Spencer Tracy [...]

What happened to Thomas Ince?

July 16, 2015 // 10 Comments

  Thomas Ince was a director of silent movies, in particular westerns. In fact, he was known as ‘the father of the western’, a man who produced and directed over 100 features up until his mysterious death in 1924, just three days after his 42nd birthday. The mystery revolves around the inconsistencies surrounding the ‘official’ cause of death, and what probably took place off the [...]

Paul Bern ( 1889 – 1932 ) – An exercise in character assassination.

July 12, 2015 // 8 Comments

  Irene Selznick, the wife of producer David O, once described Paul Bern as ‘the single most beloved person in Hollywood’. He was a writer at MGM, 45 years old, short and bald, yet his new wife, Jean Harlow, clearly seemed to be in love with him. It was probably not a ‘match made in heaven’, but there seemed to be considerable trust and real friendship between them, qualities not [...]

Carole Landis (1919-48) – she deserved better.

July 10, 2015 // 8 Comments

    Hollywood history is full of tragic stories, but that of Carole Landis (above) is more tragic than most. She was beautiful, friendly, gentle-hearted, popular, talented and smart. She was also a tomboy, liked men and having a good time, yet was naive and easily manipulated. And what Hollywood was never short of was manipulators. All in all she had a lot going for her, yet this gorgeous [...]

Thelma Todd’s death – maybe murder after all?

July 4, 2015 // 20 Comments

      I wrote a month or two ago about the death of actress Thelma Todd in 1935. Based on police and coroner’s reports, I chose to believe she died by accident. Since then, however, I have delved into the case more closely and I am now ready to accept that a monumental cover-up may have taken place. My change of opinion centres on two vital issues: a) the official time of death, [...]

Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle – an innocent victim?

June 9, 2015 // 0 Comments

  It is easy for us today to lose sight of the staggering amounts of money successful people in the fledgling movie industry were making back in the 1920s. The average person in America could live comfortably on less than a thousand dollars a year, about $20 a week. In Hollywood, however, even a lowly ‘crowd’ extra earned $5 a day, a ‘small group’ extra $10 a day, and if you were [...]

Tragic Hollywood – Accidental Deaths ( Pt 7 )

June 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

  Part 7 of ‘Accidental Deaths’ examines the passing of some performers who unintentionally killed themselves with pills, medication, drugs, alcohol, or whatever other substances they took in doses or combinations that ‘accidentally’ ended their lives. Some appear to be genuinely unlucky outcomes, but others would never have happened if the people affected had not been into drugs in [...]
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