Special Report

Scandals That Shocked Hollywood

Source: Keystone / Getty Images

1. Fatty Arbuckle and death of Virginia Rappe
> Those involved: Fatty Arbuckle, Virginia Rappe
> Date: 1921

Silent film actor Fatty Arbuckle was accused of raping actress Virginia Rappe, who died a week later from ruptured bladder. He was charged with manslaughter and though eventually acquitted, his career was ruined.

Source: Bain News Service / Wikimedia Commons

2. Death of producer Thomas Ince
> Those involved: Thomas Ince, Willam Randolph Hearst, Charlie Chaplin
> Date: 1924

Thomas Ince was a guest on newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst’s yacht, but he left supposedly due to a stomach ailment. He died one day later and was quickly cremated. Rumors swirled that Hearst found out his mistress was cheating on him with Charlie Chaplin and he intended to shoot Chaplin but hit Ince instead.

Source: Stroud / Getty Images

3. MGM hooked Judy Garland on drugs
> Those involved: Judy Garland
> Date: 1930s-1940s

MGM forced Judy Garland to take pills to stay awake, go to sleep, and maintain her weight. The ultimate result was drug addiction, numerous nervous breakdowns, and Garland’s eventual death by drug overdose at age 47.

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

4. False stories about actress Clara Bow
> Those involved: Clara Bow
> Date: 1931

Daisy De Voe — former secretary of silent film star Clara Bow — published numerous unsubstantiated scandalous stories about Bow. Though De Voe was eventually indicted for stealing from her former employer, the combination of studio pressure to resume work and the emotional stress from the stories lead to Bow’s retirement soon after De Voe’s trial.

Source: Keystone / Getty Images

5. Loretta Young adopts her own biological daughter
> Those involved: Actress Loretta Young
> Date: 1935

Actress Loretta Young became pregnant after an affair with Clark Gable, who was married at the time. Young hid in Europe during her pregnancy to protect her career, had the baby, and later “adopted” her when she was 19 months old. Young stuck with the cover story until she died and refused to speak to her daughter for three years after she revealed the truth in a 1994 memoir.

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