Old Hollywood's Scandalous Stars and Starlets
Posted in News on Dec 12th, 2018
It’s not just the Kardashians who get up to no good in Hollywood these days. Scandals have been around as long as the entertainment industry itself. This famous town is full of crazy stories and gossip headlines that get people talking. Even the golden ages of old Hollywood had scandalous Stars and Starlets that would raise a brow today.
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10. Frances Farmer
A favorite of Kurt Cobain and the influence for some of Nirvana’s songs, Frances Farmer was a gorgeous starlet from the 1930s and 1940s who rebelled against the grooming that went on in the studios. She was punished by being cast in low quality films, turned to methamphetamine and alcohol for comfort, and was declared mentally incompetent by the Los Angeles psych ward. During her stay she underwent shock therapy, and was rumored to even have had a lobotomy. When she tried to return on screen in the 1950s it didn’t work out, and she ultimately blamed herself for her fall.
9. Clarke Gable
Clark Gable had a long career of scandals and cheating, but the most heartbreaking one involved Loretta Young, a devout Catholic actress. Young was just 19 when she starred alongside Gable in Call of the Wild, and when filming ended, she moved abruptly to Europe for a few months. When she returned, she claimed she was going to adopt a child which turned out to be hers from a pregnancy she hid in Europe. It was later established the child was Clark’s.
8. The Fixer
Howard Strickling was known as “The Fixer,” and his role as head of MGM meant taking care of “problems” that young Hollywood starlets had. Names like Judy Garland, Bette Davis, and Lana Turner apparently all saw Strickling for referrals to doctors for abortions during their careers. Back in those days, nobody would hire an actress who was a mother out of wedlock, which is why so many went in for the secret procedure that the film studio organized.
7. Ingrid Bergman
Ingrid Bergman hooked up with famous director Roberto Rossellini, cheating on her then-husband Petter Lindstrom. They left their respective spouses for each other, but things got ugly with the US government even getting involved and calling Bergman a “powerful influence for evil.” She lost custody of her daughter, Pia, but eventually got her back, going on to have another daughter with Roberto, the famous Isabella Rossellini.
6. Errol Flynn
Errol Flynn was known as an unfaithful type, but his last affair was no doubt the most scandalous. He hooked up with 15-year-old Beverly Aadland, and the pair had a relationship that spanned many years before he died of a heart attack in 1959. During their time together, she alleged they would stage fake public beatings, and he even referred to her as a “surrogate daughter.” The creep factor on this one is through the roof.
5. Judy Garland
It doesn’t get more wholesome than Judy Garland, but the Wizard of Oz star had a terrible time behind the fame. When she was just 13, she joined MGM studios and was called a “fat little pig with pigtails” and forced her to lose weight for the upcoming movie. At 18, she was put on a diet of black coffee, chicken soup, 80 cigarettes a day, and regular appetite suppressants every four hours. So much damage was done to her that she later developed an eating disorder and would be classed as a “permanent semi-invalid” at age 37, according to doctors.
4. Natalie Wood
Stage moms have always been a bad thing, but none were as terrifying and abusive as Natalie Wood’s. The Hollywood actress would meet her death on a boat one day with her husband, Robert Wagner, and actor Christopher Walken, and although ruled a suicide, it was alleged she was terrified of water and would never have jumped. While filming The Green Promise as a 10-year old, a bridge broke, and she fell into the wild river, but her mother and the director didn’t save her until they had the shot. Wood’s mother also allegedly pimped her out to Frank Sinatra at age 15, and Nicholas Ray at age 17, to secure the role in Rebel Without A Cause.
3. Jean Harlow and Paul Bern
Blond bombshell Jean Harlow married producer Paul Bern in July of 1932 and just a few months later he was found dead, from a fatal shotgun wound to the head. Although it was ruled a suicide, there were plenty of other bits of evidence, including the sighting of his ex-girlfriend around the time of the death. His ex, Dorothy Millette, would die just a few days later of suicide. Harlow paid for Millette’s gravestone, and then passed away not long after due to a mysterious illness that had plenty of theories surrounding it.
2. Fatty Arbuckle
Fatty Arbuckle was one of the biggest names in Hollywood before he found himself on trial for the murder of actress Virginia Rappe. Rappe had died in a hotel room after a liquor-filled party, and it was said that Fatty had raped and killed her. The evidence ended up showing that she died of a bladder infection and there was no sign of rape or murder, he was acquitted, but his career never recovered.
1. Thomas Ince
Ince might not be a memorable name as an actor, but he was a serious player behind the scenes in Hollywood. On his 42nd birthday, he went on a cruise with friends. After allegedly getting severe indigestion after dinner, he went back to his hotel room where he would later die of "heart failure." Only it was rumored that this "heart failure" was, in reality, a bullet coming from newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst. Hearst had intended to shoot Charlie Chaplin but missed, after he saw Chaplin with his mistress, Marion Davis. Ince was cremated quickly, so nobody ever found out the truth, but plenty of signs point to scandal and cover-up.