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Old Hollywood Stars Who Were ALWAYS Drunk

A who’s who list of all the greatest classic Hollywood actors compared side-by-side to a list of all the old Hollywood actors who were also raging alcoholics at first glance appears to be the same list. You see, back in the day, long before all of the drunken mishaps. And before the public fully realized just how terrible alcohol’s effects on their bodies and lives could be. the taps flowed a lot more freely and there was never a shortage of libations in Tinseltown.

The Golden Age of Hollywood that fantastic and trailblazing era between the 1920s and 1950s when some of the most influential stars made and some of the greatest films of the 20th century produced. But all of that came crashing down however when the studio system inevitably collapsed under its own weight from complications due to rampant alcoholism and pesky anti-trust laws.

The Golden Age nothing short of glamorous but if you living in Hollywood back then you would have hard-pressed to find anyone that not drunk as a skunk pretty much all the time. The contract players essentially given free rein to do just about anything they wanted. Just so long as it could discretely swept under the rug by a studio fixer if it came down to it.

The old actors drank like fishes while attending posh parties every evening. A lot of them even drank when they were on set, while they drove. Or virtually any other time that they weren’t asleep or showering. Actually, scratch that – some of them probably even figured out how to multi-task on that level as well.

These days, that kind of excess and recklessness is hardly as acceptable as it once was. That’s not to say that there aren’t celebs with drinking problems. But the culture of the past probably would have just called those people ‘fun’ and not necessarily problematic.

In this video, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the most celebrated and beloved superstars from yesteryear that couldn’t seem to put the bottle down. In the process, you’ll get the chance to see just how insane the levels of hedonism and reckless abandon got during that Golden Age. Hopefully, we can take these examples as a precautionary warning so that we too don’t succumb to such a fate. Join Facts Verse to learn more about those Old Hollywood Stars Who ALWAYS Drunk.

Humphrey Bogart

Depending on which studio publicist you listen to, Humphrey Bogart either got his signature scar above his lip either in a fistfight when he’s a kid. After being decked by a prisoner that was being transported when he’s a sailor in the Navy. Or after taking shrapnel during a battle while he’s a crewman on the USS Leviathan.

But if you asked any of his old drinking buddies, they would tell you that Humphrey got that scar during one of his countless drunken barroom brawls back when he used to frequent the Prohibition-era illicit drinking establishments of New York City.

While he was honing his craft as a Broadway actor, Bogart became infamous for drinking until he was no longer conscious at the bar. Whenever someone tried to wake him, he would always be quick to try and pick a fight. His violent tendencies coupled with his drinking habits got him kicked off of more than one stage production. But that didn’t stop him from gaining enough recognition to eventually make the move out to Hollywood to pursue a career as a movie star.

Bogart settled in the notorious Garden of Allah, a housing development that became synonymous with its raucous clientele and the 24-hour lounge that served them even when the other bars refused to. Bogart had quite the crew of drinking buddies to get into trouble with. Some of his closest companions included director John Huston, his lover Lauren Bacali, and Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra.

Fun fact! It was actually Bogart that formed the first incarnation of the Rat Pack.

Despite all the hardship that drinking perpetuated in his life. Bogart cheekily claimed to only have gone ‘on the wagon once’ calling that experience the ‘worst afternoon’ of his life.

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And don’t go anywhere just yet. Stay tuned to learn which Hollywood star known for a lovable drunk.

Errol Flynn

On screen, he’s known for a charismatic madcap and in real life, he’s known as an even more charismatic womanizer. Flynn Is forever remembered for one of the original Hollywood bad boys. His drug and alcohol abuse, sex life, and party-hardy mentality made him something of a legend.

Some of his drunken exploits included getting wasted with a pre-rebellion Fidel Castro. Getting the Warner lot bar shut down by Mr. Warner himself because Flynn kept getting tipsy on set, bringing a doctor’s bag with him to work every day containing two fifths of vodka which he referred to as his ‘daily medicine’. And having a bachelor pad with David Niven in Malibu that earned the apt nickname ‘Cirrhosis-By-The-Sea’.

Sadly that nickname proved to prophetic, because in 1959 at the age of 50. Flynn died after having a heart attack induced by acute cirrhosis of the liver.

Clara Bow

At times it’s almost impossible to deduce which of the tales surrounding the classic stars are real and which are just the products of exaggeration, studio spin, and the overactive imaginations of their zealous fans. Sometimes actors even have to contend with outright lies passed around by some of their fiercest enemies.

Clara Bow knew this truth all too well. Quite a few nasty rumors and salacious stories spread about her that unequivocally not true. There’s this one article printed in the Coastal Times newspaper. For example that accused her of all sorts of things that weren’t based upon any real evidence. This smear piece tried to paint her as a bisexual. Which back then was kind of a big deal. Who frequently slept with prostitutes and even engaged in acts of bestiality.

Kenneth Anger further desecrated her public image by making the claim in his controversial book Hollywood Babylon. That Bow would routinely sexually service the entire USC football team after their games. Of course, this claim was equally as dubious as the ones published in the Coastal Times. But back then there were no fact-checking sites to debunk such lies and the public had quite the appetite for gossip and hearsay.

But even though she had quite a few awful things printed about her that not based in reality. She did live quite the extravagant life and often spotted at the bars heavily intoxicated where she would often go home with married men. She wasn’t a saint by any means and developed such a wild reputation as she did largely because of her lavish and hedonistic lifestyle.

W. C. Fields

William Claude Dukenfield was born above a bar during pre-prohibition times. When the government cracked down on booze and made it illegal. The young drunk stashed thousands of bottles of whiskey and gin in his attic. Even after prohibition lifted, he still continued to keep an abundant supply of emergency liquor in his home just in case.

While on set, Fields would always carry a vacuum flask filled with gin martinis that he would call his ‘lemonade’. Humorously, there’s this one time that some kind of wise guy swapped out his gin with actual lemonade. Prompting Fields to furiously cry out “Who put lemonade in my lemonade?”. Join Facts Verse to learn more about those Old Hollywood Stars Who ALWAYS Drunk.

Spencer Tracy

A man that no one ever thought of as ‘fun drunk’. When Tracy got drunk, known to real mean. Everyone knew that he had a tendency towards violence whenever he hit the bottle – and he hit the bottle a lot.

He oftentimes himself into heated bar fights, arrested by the cops. And one time even woke up in a padded room in a Chicago mental hospital.

This two-time Oscar winner not necessarily drunk all the time. He would try to stay sober for long stretches of time but eventually, he would always find his way back to the liquor store. As soon as booze would touch his lips after a dry spell, he would be off to the races. Tracy would often recluse himself up in his hotel rooms for weeks on end. He spent a lot of his time soaking in the bathtub just sipping on his poison. Not even getting up to relieve himself.

Tracy’s drinking eventually got so bad that Fox threatened to fire him if he didn’t quit. In response to their ultimatum, Tracy stormed out of the office and walked to the bar across the street. After absolutely hammered, he returned to the office and proceeded to make a scene.

Tracy fired by Fox but landed a contract with MGM not long after that. But since the studio already knew about his drinking. They hired a crew that they called ‘The Tracy Squad’ whose duty it was to babysit the unpredictable binge drinker. Join Facts Verse to learn more about those Old Hollywood Stars Who ALWAYS Drunk.

Peter O’Toole

Spencer Tracy may have the quintessential example of a sad drunk, but this guy known for being that charming, fun-loving, goofball of a drunk.

The Lawrence of Arabia star was reportedly a riot to be around while off-set. When he was younger, he apparently lived aboard a barge that sunk because there were too many people on it attending a party that he threw. Then when getting married to his wife Sian, he decided to forego a traditional wedding reception to instead go on this elaborately absurd pub crawl. And when she gave birth to their first child. Peter showed up very inebriated with a full chorus of his equally drunk actor friends who proceeded to sing for the entire hospital.

Peter often drunk and wake up in strange, unexpected places. There was one time that he opened his eyes only to find himself in Mexico with no recollection of the evening before. Another time, he and Michael Caine roused by a furious occupant of an apartment whom they had never seen before.

One of the most famous of his drinking tales was the time that he accidentally cut the tip of one of his fingers off while he was drinking. First, he tried to use brandy to sterilize the wound. He then attempted to reattach the finger himself before finish up the bottle of brandy of course. A couple of weeks later, he unwrapped the bandage to figure out why it was still hurting only to find that not only did the finger not somehow miraculously reattach itself. But he also put it on backward. Join Facts Verse to learn more about those Old Hollywood Stars Who ALWAYS Drunk.

Unfortunately, we’re just about out of time for this video. But hopefully, you’ve enjoyed learning about all of these Hollywood drunks with us.

From what you’ve seen, do you think that the stars back then partied harder than modern celebrities. Or do you think that people today are just a little more protective of their public image? Drop us a line in the comments section with your take.

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