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Celebrity Scandals From Golden Age Hollywood That Shook The World

Being a celebrity is not just about the fame, a lavish lifestyle, tons of followers, and riches. It also comes with being under constant watch and nothing about their life is a secret. Make one mistake and they are the talk of the town. Depending on the gravity of the event that happened they can easily become a huge scandal. Not just now, scandals have been a part of Hollywood since the very beginning of the industry. Here are a few celebrity scandals from Golden Age Hollywood that shook the world.

Death of Jean Harlow’s Husband

Death of Jean Harlow's Husband scandals
Death of Jean Harlow’s Husband

In 1932, only two months after their wedding Jean Harlow’s husband, Paul Bern, took his life under suspicious circumstances. He was found in his apartment, with a gun in his hand and a note, the news was a huge scandal. The police took it as a suicide note but they couldn’t understand it so much. Jean Harlow stayed quiet about it other than telling the police that she was at her mother’s place the night of the suicide. MGM – the actress’s studio, was quick to cover the case. Research conducted later showed that it could possible that Bern did not take his life.

Alleged Affair of Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich

Alleged Affair of Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich scandals
Alleged Affair of Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich

Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich were both actresses who had come to Hollywood from Europe and had a lot in common. For most of their lives, the actresses spent denying the rumors but it was a scandal. The actresses had worked together in a silent German film The Joyless Street in 1925. But Marlene Dietrich had denied being in the film. And there was no way to prove it as there was no complete print of the film left. According to Diana McLellan, who studied the footage of the film extensively, the actress was a part of the movie, and the actress had an affair that ended badly. And the two spent their lives denying it.

George Reeves’ Mysterious Death

George Reeves' Mysterious Death scandals
George Reeves’ Mysterious Death

Famous for his role as Superman in The Adventures of Superman. The actor had mysteriously taken his life in 1959. Though it was called a suicide, it came a huge scandal, many speculated that he was murdered. It was because the death happened soon after the rumors of George Reeves having an affair with Toni Mannix surfaced. Toni Mannix was the wife of infamous Hollywood fixer Eddie Mannix. Many years after the actor’s death, Toni Mannix had overheard a friend confessing to a priest that Eddie Mannix murdered Reeves. But most historians believe it was a suicide.

Spade Cooley Murdered his Wife

Spade Cooley Murdered his Wife scandals
Spade Cooley Murdered his Wife

The self-proclaimed King of Western Swing, Spade Cooley, was a man drunk in his fame. He had a television show, hit records, and movie contracts. With his growing fame, he became more and more paranoid. The star became short-tempered and impulsive. His fame made him delusional too and somehow he was convinced that his wife had an affair. In 1961, he beat up his wife, Ella Mae, to death in front of their daughters. The trial became one of the most infamous scandals, further resulting in Cooley confessing to his crime. He died in 1969 due to a heart attack.

Judy Garland was Hooked on Pills by MGM

Judy Garland was Hooked on Pills by MGM scandals
Judy Garland was Hooked on Pills by MGM

According to Judy Garland, she was made to follow a really strict diet while she worked at MGM. She also faced constant abuse and harassment by the executives. They would obsess over her weight and expected her to stay active. She was forced to follow a strict diet and take diet pills. At the age of 18, MGM made the actress follow a diet of black coffee, chicken soup, and 80 cigarettes with diet pills. This resulted in Judy Garland suffering from eating disorders and substance abuse all her life.

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Written by Gargi Mishra

I am Gargi Mishra, an aspiring filmmaker. I look at the world through the viewfinder and love to study films. Write them and write about them.