Have you ever heard of the term “Hollywood Fixer”? These are people who specialize in solving other people’s problems. Specifically, these folks would look after the private lives of celebrities. They helped cover up scandals so their public image remained squeaky clean.
Drug scandals, romantic entanglements, and crimes could all sweep under the rug for a price. And Hollywood would do anything to keep the stars of the film industry in good standing. Fred Otash, Eddie Mannix, and Anthony Pellicano were among the famous fixers.
This video will take a look at some famous Hollywood scandals that were “fixed” These were the type of black marks that could potentially sink careers. It shouldn’t be a surprise if you have never heard of these transgressions, embarrassments, and wrongdoings before. These specialists were good at their jobs. However, they are nonetheless compelling stories.
Keep watching as we take a look at old Hollywood scandals that history forgot.
Joan Crawford was in an Adult Film
Everyone remembers Joan Crawford as an icon of Hollywood. She was beautiful, talented, and one of the jewels of the film industry.
The academy award-winning actress is famous for her films such as Mildred Pierce, Sudden Fear, and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane. For many years, Crawford was MGM studio’s biggest star.
However, before she reached the mountain top. She was grinding in the industry. This hustle included at least one adult film.
Crawford starred in the pornographic film Velvet Lips when she was a teenager. Some accounts suggest the actress was even underage at the time of filming. Those that held the film were requesting 100K to keep the film under wraps.
When this came to light to the powers that be in Hollywood, they knew they had to put the kibosh on the story.
MGM partnered with famous fixer Eddie Mannix to track down and secure the film and the negatives. As the story goes, Mannix partnered with the mob to stop the would-be extortionists. They offered two options. 25k for all the evidence or a plot of land 6 feet under the ground for the men.
That apparently settled the deal. In 1943, after Crawford left MGM, she paid them back 50K for helping protect her career.
Errol Flynn was Tried for Statutory Rape
Between the 1930s through the 50s, Errol Flynn was one of the go-to action stars on the big screen. Robin Hood, Don Juan, and Captain Blood were some of his major roles.
However, Flynn’s escapades off-camera were not as heroic. In 1943, Flynn was accused and ultimately stood trial for statutory rape on two 17-year-old girls. Though he denied the charges, Flynn was responsible for the lurid and damning quote: “I like whiskey old and my women young”
In the courtroom, it seemed Flynn used his charm and acting skills to wiggle out of the crime. The jury was star-struck by Flynn and found him not guilty.
During the trial, Flynn met a 19-year-old girl that the actor married.
Before we take a look at some of these other celebrity stories that stayed on the Q.T., if you are enjoying this video, it would be a scandal not to give it a like. Also, consider subscribing to the Facts Verse page to keep up with other pop culture vids. Keep watching as we take a look at old Hollywood scandals that history forgot.
Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich’s Affair
Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich were both European immigrants who moved to Hollywood to make it to the screen.
In 1925, it has been suggested that these two starlets appeared in the film The Joyless Street. This is tough to prove because no full copies of the film have survived. Yet, historian Diana McLellan, studying photographs of the film, is near-certain they shared scenes.
But why is this interesting? Many accounts claim the two actresses had an affair during filming. The younger Garbo fell hard for Dietrich. On set, it was a torrid love affair that ended after the filming. Apparently, their time together ended with both women upset.
Later, Dietrich divulged to a friend that Garbo was an “unintelligent child” among other harsh words. Keep watching as we take a look at old Hollywood scandals that history forgot.
George Reeves’ Mysterious Death
George Reeves was most known for his portrayal of Superman. The actor played the titular hero in over 100 episodes of the series The Adventures of Superman.
In 1959, Reeves was found dead in what appeared to be a suicide. Yet, there may have been more to the story than face value.
Before his death, Reeves was known to be having an affair with the aforementioned fixer Eddie Mannix. As we know, these “problem solvers” sometimes had some seriously harsh ways of resolving issues.
Naturally, Mannix would not have been pleased about the news. This could be a roundabout way of connecting the dots to murder.
Years after Reeves’ death, Eddie’s wife Toni was overheard confessing in a church that her husband killed the actor.
It is an interesting thought that Superman was murdered by Mannix, but most historians still believe Reeves did, in fact, commit suicide. Keep watching as we take a look at old Hollywood scandals that history forgot.
Hollywood Coerced Many Abortions
The film industry is a business. The wheels have to keep turning and the show must go on.
However, this notion sometimes has some dark connotations. When many stars signed contracts, the studios veritably controlled their lives. In many cases, they decided what films you make and what your public persona would be.
The studios went out of their way to ensure their starlets didn’t get married or pregnant. In Hollywood’s eye, this could be seen as damaging to their rep and keep them from working.
As such, many abortions were pressured over the years. Among the actresses who had studio-arranged abortions were Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Judy Garland, Lana Turner, and more.
The cover stories given to the press about the actresses visiting the hospital ranged from “getting some rest” to an ear infection.
This is certainly the seedier side of cinema.
Leni Riefenstahl Visits Walt Disney
In the 1930s Walt Disney was one of the biggest names in the world. Everyone wanted to get a visit or meet the man.
While he was a very popular person, one of his acquaintances was downright infamous.
In 1938, Walt gave a tour of the Disney lot to the Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl. Riefenstahl was the biggest name in Nazi propaganda in Germany.
Her 1935 documentary The Triumph of the Will was a strong endorsement of the Nazi party and made waves around the globe.
Walt Disney showed the director around sets and let her take a look at his new film Fantasia.
The pair even shared a private screening of Riefenstahl’s next documentary.
Needless to say, this was not a good look for the Mouse House. Keep watching as we take a look at old Hollywood scandals that history forgot.
MGM Pushed Pills on Judy Garland
The famed singer and star of The Wizard of Oz had a rough go in the film industry.
Judy Garland’s talent was recognized at a young age. However, with this recognition came some horrifying treatment from the executives at MGM.
The harassment began at age 13 when an executive called her a fat pig. The studio constantly berated her about her weight. This made the young actress develop diet issues. Again, at age 16, one of the higher up said she was “so fat she looked like a monster”
Garland’s problems developed further. She started taking diet pills supplied by the studio. When she was 18, Louis B. Mayer, one of the M’s in MGM, insured she go on the shocking diet of black coffee, chicken soup, 80 cigarettes, and a regime of diet pills every day.
This deplorable treatment led to Garland suffering from eating issues and drug abuse for the rest of her life.
Lana Turner’s Daughter Killed a Made Man
Lana Turner built her career by playing Femme Fatal in such films as The Postman Always Rings Twice.
However, it seemed some of this bad side showed off-camera as well. In the 50s, Turner was dating known mafioso Johnny Stompanato. Johnny Stomp had ties to the notorious mobster Mickey Cohen.
In 1958, Stompanato was found stabbed to death in Turner’s home. The culprit was Turner’s 14-year-old daughter Cheryl Crane. Crane stabbed Stompanato with a butcher’s knife in the stomach in front of Turner.
She was said to be protecting her mother from the man. Turner took the stand at trial. Even Mickey Cohen was brought in as a witness.
The court ruled the killing as justified. Yet, like many Hollywood scandals, sordid rumors went around. Was young Crane in love with Stompanato? Did Turner kill him, and get her daughter to take the blame?
Maybe some of the famous fixers knew the true tale.
Four People Died While Filming Hell’s Angels
Howard Hughes was one of the most famed aviators and business magnates of the 20th century.
One of his many undertakings was the making of movies. Perhaps his most famous film was the 1930’s Hell’s Angels.
The big-budget film, featuring airplane dog fights, was rife with production woes. Ultimately the film cost 4 million to make.
Always a perfectionist, Hughes wanted the film to be as realistic as possible. This resulted in some very dangerous stunts. While it did result in some thrilling footage, it wasn’t without tragedy.
On set, three pilots and one mechanic were killed. Though you don’t hear about too many deaths in Hollywood, they do happen from time to time with films as ambitious as Hell’s Angels.
You have to admit it is pretty interesting hearing about the seedy underbelly of the film industry. Old Hollywood had quite a few shocking stories off the screen. As long as there are celebrities, there will likely be scandals that need fixing. Who knows what we will hear of next?
So, what did you think? Which of these scandals surprised you? Were any of your favorite actors mentioned in this list? Sound off in the comments.
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