Golden Age Hollywood Had a Dirty Little Secret: Drugs

Golden Age Hollywood Had a Dirty Little Secret: Drugs

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Debbie Reynolds had just landed the role of a lifetime—and she was exhausted. The 19-year-old had been cast as Kathy Selden, the female lead in Singin’ in the Rain, and she had big shoes to fill. Her partner was none other than the very seasoned, astonishingly talented Gene Kelly, and Reynolds was expected to match him step to step.

Reynolds was up to the challenge, but the grueling rehearsal schedule and pressure soon began destroying her health. When her doctor advised her to take a week off of work, MGM studio chief Arthur Freed told her to go to a different doctor.

In her 2013 memoir, Reynolds recalled how Freed instructed her to get “vitamin shots” from his doctor. “These were possibly the same ‘vitamins’ that ruined Judy Garland,”she wrote.

Reynolds had just discovered one of Old Hollywood’s dirty little secrets—that drugs fueled its classic films. Between the 1920s and 1960s, Hollywood studios created some of history’s greatest films. But they often did so at the cost of their stars’ health.

Despite the pressure, Reynolds stuck with her own physician. “My doctor insisted that I stay in bed,” she wrote. “That decision may have saved me from a life on stimulants.”

There was no official policy of drug use within Hollywood studios, but the carefully regimented system that cultivated movie stars often relied on behind-the-scenes drug use to power actors through unthinkably long days.

Child actors were supposed to be subject to strict labor laws that regulated the hours they spent on set; however, actors like Elizabeth Taylor and Shirley Temple recalled that directors and studio heads always tried to push the boundaries of those hours. Seeing kids leave a set early surprised Taylor later in life: “We didn’t have that at MGM,”she said. In herautobiography, Temple recalls the entire studio celebrating her 18th birthday—by working her all night long.

Though Taylor and Temple both got through their child stardom without drugs, Judy Garland did not. She was introduced to “pep pills” by hermother, who insisted The Wizard of Oz actor take them in order to give an energetic performance. Over the years, as Garland became a bigger star, she was prescribed pills by MGM studio doctors to control both her weight and her energy levels.

“They’d give [me and Mickey Rooney] pills to keep us on our feet long after we were exhausted,” Garlandtold biographer Paul Donnelley. “Then they’d take us to the studio hospital and knock us out with sleeping pills…then after four hours they’d wake us up and give us the pep pills again so we could work 72 hours in a row. Half of the time we were hanging from the ceiling but it was a way of life for us.”

For Garland, who found it difficult to deal with the pressure of being one of MGM’s most visible and hardest-working stars, this regimen led to full-blown addiction and a series of nervous breakdowns. Shedied of a drug overdose at age 47.

Other stars, like actress Joanna Moore, wereprescribed amphetamines or “vitamin shots” to control their weight. And for many women caught in the star system, which demanded physical perfection and performance, taking pills prescribed by studio doctors didn’t feel optional.

“In those days,” Twentieth Century Fox doctor Lee Siegeltold Marilyn Monroe biographer Anthony Summers, “pills were seen as another tool to keep stars working. The doctors were caught in the middle. If one doctor would not prescribe, there was always another who would….everyone was using pills.”

Actors weren’t the only ones taking drugs in Hollywood. Legendary director and producer David O. Selznick notoriously depended on a steady diet of Benzedrine (an amphetamine) to get him through the long hours of making movies like Gone With the Wind. Evelyn Keyes, an actor on set,recalls Selznick “crushing up benzedrine and licking the pieces from the palm of his hand, a grain at a time,” on set. Director Carol Reed and much of his crew reportedly took large amounts of amphetamines to keep up with the quick-paced production schedule of another classic film, The Third Man.

Other stars struggled with drug addiction, too, but got their drugs from outside the studio system. And Hollywood wasn’t the only industry with an addiction to pills. Amphetamines actually increased in popularity after World War II due to its widespread use (and abuse) in the military. And by the 1960s, it was a full-fledged epidemic, with so-called “rainbow diet pills” (actually a potent cocktails of sedatives and stimulants) commonly prescribed by doctors.

In 1970, amphetamine use was dramatically curtailed by the Controlled Substances Act, whichacknowledged its addictive properties. By then, Hollywood had moved on to other stimulants, likecocaine, and the studio system that often provided drugs to actors for the sake of a good performance had lost much of its power.

But you need only look to the silver screen for the legacy of drug abuse in Hollywood’s classic films—it’s right there in the energetic work of some of the most glittering directors and stars of the era.

Scandalous Stories From Old Hollywood

There's a certain undeniable elegance about old movies. We like to think that it was a better, more honorable time, where the men were gentlemen and the women were ladies. Chivalry still existed, and so did romance. That might be true onscreen, but behind the scenes, Hollywood players were just as screwed up then as they are today. Sometimes, they made the juiciest of today's gossip look like it was written by a devout Christian doing his best to be edgy . and failing miserably.

Affairs of the Slutty and Famous: Ten Scandalous Hollywood Triangles

It’s a naturally occurring phenomenon that we sometimes fall for our co-workers—but the interesting thing about Hollywood is that it happens in the public eye. And so, we can’t help but get sucked into the drama when it happens for some folks over and over again. Things can get dirty…and scandalous…and salacious…and downright disgusting. Proceed to number one at your own risk (of revulsion).

10. Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders

This one is perhaps scandalous only to the diehard Twilight fans, because honestly, who else believes Pattinson and Stewart are really in love anyway? But indeed, a marriage was broken, so let us exhale our collective gasp and thank the bloody gods Edward and Bella are back together again. However, in 2012, their bond was momentarily broken when Stewart had an affair with her Snow White and the Huntsman (married) director, Rupert Sanders. The story goes that Sanders was infatuated with and went after the young, impressionable actress the poor dear just couldn’t help herself. Caught in the act (intimate behavior), the two admitted the affair and made their apologies. Sanders is now divorced, but Robsten LIVES.

9. Laura Dern, Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie:

You didn’t think Brad was the first man Angie stole, did you? What I find interesting is that Jolie has claimed that she could never be “intimate with a married man, when my own father cheated on my mother…” Somehow, her version of stealing them away from another woman is different. Regardless, the story goes that Billy Bob and Laura had been together about three years they had discussed marriage and owned a home together. Dern: “I left home to work on a movie, and while I was away, my boyfriend got married, and I’ve never heard from him again.” Thornton and Jolie were married less than three years.

8. Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie:

Again, perhaps Jolie skated past her own words on a technicality—we’ll never know. But what we do know is that Jolie refers to making Mr. and Mrs. Smith as the time when her children’s parents fell in love. An unauthorized biography by Andrew Morton claims it was Angie’s plan to lure Brad away, but all we know for sure is the end result: Angelina got her man.

7. Vera Steinberg, Danny Moder and Julia Roberts:

Sometimes true love just can’t be stopped—at least that’s what Roberts seems to think. After meeting cameraman Moder on the set of The Mexican, Julia decided she was “born to be the wife of this man.” Never mind that he already had a wife. Roberts said his marital status made their relationship ”terribly complicated,” but hey, she needed him. And when Vera didn’t move quickly enough with the divorce proceedings, Julia made her displeasure known:

Roberts and Moder married in 2002 and have three children.

6. Debbie Reynolds, Eddie Fisher and Elizabeth Taylor:

Before Jolie and Roberts, there was Elizabeth Taylor, who has famously married eight times. Husband number four was actor Eddie Fisher, stolen right from under Debbie Reynolds’ nose. Fisher and Reynolds had been best friends with Taylor and her third husband, producer Mike Todd, who was killed in a plane crash (Taylor had nearly taken the flight with him, but because she had a cold, Todd convinced her not to come along). During the course of consoling Taylor, Fisher decided he preferred brunettes and promptly left his wife. Reynolds famously forgave the two, went back to being good friends with Elizabeth and the two even made a film together in 2001 (“These Old Broads,” written by Carrie Fisher).

5. Eddie Fisher, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton:

The rumors of Angelina Jolie wanting to play Cleopatra ought to give Brad Pitt pause, for it was famously on the set of the 1963 film version that Elizabeth Taylor met Richard Burton the two began a torrid affair. In a book containing Burton’s diary entries, the actor wrote of Taylor: “She was, I decided, the most astonishingly self-contained, pulchritudinous, remote, removed, inaccessible woman I had ever seen.” Though Burton was also married (to actress, Sybil Williams), no one comes between Elizabeth and a man she wants—the two carried on in public despite a motion to ban them from the United States (by a member of Congress) and condemnation—“erotic vagrancy”—by the Vatican. The two later divorced their respective spouses and married each other…twice.

4. Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe:

Back in the old days, Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid were one of the golden couples—everyone loved them and thought they’d be married forever. There were plenty of stories about Quaid’s drug abuse, but Ryan stood by her man and he got clean, they married and had a son together. Having a reputation as one of America’s Sweethearts, it was surprising to many when after over nine years of marriage, Ryan strayed. Ryan and Crowe met on the Proof of Life set and began a not so secret affair. Quaid and Ryan soon announced their separation and divorce, and Ryan claimed that Quaid had been unfaithful to her throughout the marriage. So…what’s good for the goose, as they say.

3. Princess Diana, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles:

Okay, so while not technically a “Hollywood” triangle, I contend we adopted Princess Diana—we watched her on the telly—so as far as I’m concerned, that whole royal production they have going across the pond is just an extension of Tinseltown. This one still breaks my heart. We all watched a beautiful, young girl fall in love with and in 1981, marry the Prince of Wales ostensibly a fairy tale come to life. But oh, the wicked witch (aka “The Rottweiler”) was waiting in the wings. Charles had met and been friends with Camilla back in the early 70s, and apparently held a torch for her throughout his marriage. In fact, according to leaked conversations between the two, Charles admitted he wanted to be Camilla’s tampon…? Let’s all hope he’s happy to have gotten his wish.

2. Mary Louise Parker, Billy Crudup and Claire Danes:

Once again, a movie set is the root of all evil—or something. Billy Crudup was in a long term relationship (seven plus years) with Mary Louise Parker, who was pregnant with their child when Crudup met Danes filming Stage Beauty. I guess technically this was a quadrangle, since Danes also left her longtime beau, Ben Lee. Rumor has it Danes later cheated on Crudup with the man she later married, Hugh Dancy. Okay, now I’ve lost track of how many *angles there are. Also, you probably don’t want to read this pretentious interview where Danes said, “That was a choice I made to fall in love. It’s unpleasant to be cast in such an unflattering role, but I just had to remain steadfast…I was living with the same kind of integrity that I had always lived with.”

1. Mia Farrow, Woody Allen and Soon Yi Previn:

Of all the strange stories we’ve heard over the years, this one ranks near the top—yet people don’t talk about it much. Is it just so far out there that people don’t know what to say or do? The deal is, back in the early 80s, Allen had a relationship with another of his muses, Mia Farrow. Farrow and Allen never got married, but they did adopt two children together. Farrow also came into the relationship with two children, one biological and one adopted (Soon Yi) the couple had one biological child together. Bizarre, horrifying behavior (you may not want to read that on a full stomach) went on during the time Allen and Farrow were together, and after Farrow found nude photographs Allen had taken of Soon Yi, they separated and a bitter child custody battle began. (“Nobody knows how old Soon-Yi really is. Without ever seeing her, Korean officials put her age down as seven on her passport. A bone scan Mia had done on her in the U.S. put her age at between five and seven. In the family, Soon-Yi is considered to have turned 20 this year, on October 8 [1992].”) To be clear, Allen was not Soon Yi’s adoptive father, but he certainly was a father figure at some point. The two married in 1997 and have two adopted daughters together.

An aside I’m guessing a lot of people don’t know about the allegations in that Vanity Fair article, else more of the Polanski vitriol would be directed his way?

** FILE ** Glenn Ford and Rita Hayworth go see his latest film "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" in this March 6, 1963 file photo in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. Ford, who played strong, thoughtful protagonists in films such as "The Blackboard Jungle," "Gilda" and "The Big Heat," died Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2006 police said. He was 90. (AP Photo) (AP)

This pin-up girl’s looks alone gave countless soldiers motivation to make it home from World War II. But behind the scenes she had a tumultuous relationship with Columbia Pictures, married a man more than twice her age at just 18 years old (and went on to divorce him and four others), and struggled with alcoholism.

1. A Lot of Silver Screen Movie Stars Were Gay

For whatever reason, theatrical communities have always had a thriving gay populace, and many of these talents found they had to keep their private lives private if they wanted to make the leap to the big screen.

For instance, actor Rock Hudson was a well known homosexual behind the scenes of Hollywood, and had to keep careful watch of what the media said about him.

Hudson never officially came out, but he became one of the first celebrities to die of AIDS-related illnesses in 1985.

Randolph Scott and Cary Grant famously lived together off and on for over ten years, leading to rumors of homosexuality that persist to this day. There are even accounts that acting gods Marlon Brando, Alec Guinness and Lawrence Olivier were bisexual at the very least.

Brando admitted to having homosexual encounters during his life, though he never said who, but on the whole we’re left only with hearsay and secondhand accounts of who was gay and who was straight.

Hollywood's secret history: Scotty Bowers on sex and stars in the Golden Era

A new documentary reworks the memoir of Bowers, who boasts he paired Cary Grant with Rock Hudson and Katharine Hepburn with 150 brunettes – and slept with so many actors he didn’t have time to see their films

Last modified on Mon 3 Dec 2018 15.12 GMT

S cotty Bowers was a 23-year-old petrol station attendant on Hollywood Boulevard when the actor Walter Pidgeon pulled up to the pump and asked the dimpled blond to jump in his Lincoln. It would be the ride of his life. Pidgeon was gay, claims Bowers in his autobiography Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars, and that afternoon they became lovers. Bowers himself transcended labels. Years later, he startled sexologist Dr Alfred Kinsey by checking off every sex act on his list (and took him to orgies to prove it). Guys, girls, spouses, kings, consorts – and a three-way with Ava Gardner and Lana Turner. Bowers had done it all.

“[Kinsey] came looking for me,” says Bowers, now 95, on a hot afternoon in a Hollywood courtyard apartment. “Things he thought impossible, I came up with.” With his devilish blue eyes and thick white hair, it is easy to picture why he was popular. He burns with energy, as though he spent his retirement stoking gossip he vowed he wouldn’t spill while his lovers were alive. J Edgar Hoover? “A drag.” Vivien Leigh? “A hot, hot lady.” Wallis Simpson? “A real ballsy chick.”

Bowers (second from left, back row) with friends. Photograph: Courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment

Bowers used to turn tricks in this same building. Today, the vintage-style pad belongs to the director Matt Tyrnauer, a former Vanity Fair journalist who recently reworked Bowers’ memoir into the eyebrow-raising documentary Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood. Tyrnauer, sitting next to Bowers and gently nudging his digressions on track, confirms that he called the Kinsey Institute to check Bowers’ tale. They knew exactly who he was.

Everyone knew Bowers. George Cukor, Gore Vidal, Merv Griffin Tyrone Power referred to him in letters, interviews and biographies, calling him “Scotty”, “Sonny”, or just “the gas station on Hollywood Boulevard”. Tennessee Williams hand-wrote a 40-page story about him, which Bowers found embarrassingly over the top.

“I said: ‘Tennessee, forget that bullshit,’” says Bowers. “I should have kept it.’” Instead, for decades, people pushed him to write down his own memories. “I kept putting it off and putting it off, and all of a sudden, almost everyone they wanted me to write about was dead.”

Lana Turner and Ava Gardner, with whom Bowers claims to have had a threesome. Photograph: Keystone/Getty Images

In 1946, the year he met Pidgeon, Bowers was competing with millions of other returning second world war veterans for work. Canoodling with a celebrity for $20 made more sense than digging a ditch for $10. After Pidgeon spread the word about his new friend, more luxury cars began to cruise by. Soon, Bowers’ side-hustle had expanded to a parked trailer with two king beds, glory holes in the bathroom and a battalion of good-looking men and women to fix up with some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Bowers boasts that he paired Cary Grant with Rock Hudson back when the Pillow Talk star was still named Roy, and introduced Katharine Hepburn to 150 lovely brunettes. As for Hepburn’s rumored paramour Spencer Tracy, Bowers says he slept with him, too.

Hepburn and Tracy’s complex relationship is a fascinating example of Hollywood’s hypocritical – and literal – moral code. Publicists decided it was better to pretend the friends were having an affair than explain the real reason why Tracy wasn’t living with his wife Louise, to whom he stayed married until his death. A heterosexual affair was forgivable – even romantic – and it wouldn’t get either actor fired. After Fatty Arbuckle was put on trial for the rape and murder of Virginia Rappe, the studios began to add a clause in their contracts forbidding actors from committing any offence that risked public hatred, contempt or ridicule. While the courts found Arbuckle innocent –twice – the Hollywood moguls believed just a whiff of indecency could destroy the entire industry. The swinging days of the early silent era ended overnight. Performers became studio property: they were told how to dress, how to behave, and who to date, or at least pretend to.

Bowers in uniform in the 1940s. Photograph: Greenwich Entertainment

It was a lucrative lie. Roy Harold Scherer got his teeth capped and became Rock Hudson. When the tabloids began to nag Hudson to get married, the executives betrothed him to his lesbian secretary Phyllis. Archibald Leach was rechristened Cary Grant and wed to the great beauty Barbara Hutton, although the love of his life was screen cowboy Randolph Scott, with whom he lived for 12 years as a “roommate”. Bowers says in his book: “The three of us got into a lot of sexual mischief together.”

Living double lives took a toll. Eventually, Hudson began drinking a bottle of scotch a day and recklessly sleeping with strangers. Grant tried psychedelic therapy and spoke in quips that hinted at his unfulfillment. “I played at being someone I wanted to be until I became that person, or he became me,” he told his biographer. Even his most famous quote – “Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant” – sounds like a whispered confession, or maybe a misdirection. What if he just wanted to be as free as Archibald Leach?

Bowers bedded so many movie stars that he didn’t have time to see their movies. “A movie takes a couple hours. I was busy every minute.” When his daughter, Donna, died, he went back to work that day. He shared a home with her mother, his longtime partner Betty, but slept there only a few times a year. In the documentary, he teeters towards admitting regret for spending most nights in someone else’s bed. But he candidly admits his only true passion was money. He grew up hungry during the Depression era, and, as a young teenager, he turned tricks for two dozen Chicago priests who paid him in quarters. That would be abuse in everyone’s eyes but his. In the documentary, Tyrnauer repeatedly presses Bowers about his childhood, and does so again today.

“You’re very intent on the fact that you don’t perceive yourself as a victim,” says Tyrnauer.

“I did what I wanted to do,” maintains Bowers.

“That is not the conventional perspective at all, but it is his perspective and I don’t judge him for that,” says Tyrnauer. “I think people get to define who they are and tell their story and express their beliefs.”

Executives married off Rock Hudson to his lesbian secretary, Phyllis Gates. Photograph: Kobal/Rex/Shutterstock

“I do think that different people are different, that’s very true,” replies Bowers. “I’m speaking for myself only.”

As an adult at the petrol station, Bowers never took a cut of other people’s cash. To him, that meant he wasn’t a pimp he was a purveyor of joy. “The most important thing was company,” says Bowers. The LGBTQ community didn’t have many safe places to connect at that time. Homosexuality was illegal in California until the 1970s. When the Los Angeles Police Department vice squad – “the sexual Gestapo,” says Tyrnauer – barged into a gay bar, patrons risked being arrested, shaken down for cash, shipped to a mental institution, and possibly lobotomised. The LAPD targeted the Hollywood glitterati because they had careers to protect and money to spare.

When the petrol station became too famous, Bowers became a for-rent party bartender, which gave celebrities an even better excuse to invite him into their homes. Even that was risky. One cop memorised Bowers’ car registration plate and would pull him over, scare him a bit, and then undo Bowers’ pants while complaining about his miserable marriage. “I hope he found happiness,” writes Bowers, charitably.

The vice squad is responsible for Bowers’ impressive memory. Midway through one aside, he recites the address of a silent movie star who has been dead for 45 years. Terrified of a raid, he rarely wrote down his friends’ information. “It was all in my head,” says Bowers. “I never kept anything. If I wrote down a number, I had it in my hand until I tore it up.” Even then, he would swap the first and last digits to ensure the person’s identity couldn’t be cracked, a trick inspired by the Navajo code talkers.

Now, Bowers has no secrets. Critics have slammed the book and the documentary for outing celebrities without consent. In the film, Tyrnauer includes a film fan arguing that legendary stars deserve more respect. Bowers counters: “What’s wrong with being gay?” Others have thanked him for sticking up for the real person underneath the studio gloss – for revealing their truth the way they might have if they were alive today. It is impossible to know how Hudson and Grant would have chosen to live in a country that legalised gay marriage. Perhaps their lives would have been happier. Although, Bowers notes, even in 2018: “Everything’s not going to be out in the open.” More actors are out, but now must prove they can play both gay and straight characters. Neil Patrick Harris has succeeded Matt Bomer is trying. Some have decided that it is still easier to hide.

Asked if he is biting his tongue about anyone alive, Bowers blurts out the name of a beloved actor and her “169% gay” husband. He is dead she isn’t. So, Bowers will wait. “Let me tell you something: when you’re dead you’re dead,” he insists. Later, when the conversation turns to Kevin Spacey – Bowers claims to know one of his exes – Tyrnauer steadily repeats that Bowers’ information about the alleged perpetrator is merely secondhand. The director is clearly, and correctly, aware of the complexities of talking sensitively about sex in the era of #MeToo. But after eight decades of secrecy Bowers sighs: “Poor Kevin Spacey, he was right in the middle of a picture and they dumped him and everything.” Thanks to #MeToo, morality clauses are making a comeback. This time, one hopes they will only be wielded for good.

Cary Grant (right) with his ‘room mate’ Randolph Scott. Photograph: Snap/Rex Features

Hollywood journalist Liz Smith once quipped: “All this crap about ‘coming out’! Honey, I don’t think I have ever really been in!” Before she died last November, she affirmed that Hepburn was a lesbian.

“I was pleased that she went on the record about Hepburn because I don’t think she’d ever done it before,” says Tyrnauer. “It really provides a great assist to Scotty’s narrative about Hepburn and Tracy, because people are in willful suspension of belief about this supposed golden couple.”

Even more startling are Bowers’ lusty tales about Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII. “Wally and Eddie,” corrects Bowers, waving away their formal names. “It was very easy to see how she talked him out of being king of England because she had complete control over him,” says Bowers. “She told him if you want to fool around and do this and that, you can’t do it if you’re king.”

Scotty Bowers at home in LA. Photograph: Courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment

“A lot of people don’t believe that particular story,” says Tyrnauer. “But he places them at the Beverly Hills Hotel in the 50s. We found a picture of them in the Beverly Hills Hotel in that period – it’s in the movie.” Four former clients knew Edward, and the couple’s close friend, photographer Cecil Beaton, titled an entire chapter of his diary: “Scotty.”

“There were many, many factors that connected them,” says Tyrnauer. “I cross-referenced everything I could.” When Bowers described a mansion’s winding pathway to the pool house, or a gate in a backyard, Tyrnauer would pull up an aerial view of Google Maps and there it was, as though the nonagenarian had visited yesterday.

In Los Angeles, notes the director: “You can wipe the dust off something that has been obscured and find the truth. Scotty’s a living example of that. Here he was in Laurel Canyon for decades minding his business. And yet he’s Scotty Bowers, the infamous male madame to the stars, and either you knew it or you didn’t.”

Hollywood's dirty little secret

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Myleene Klass

“Kick him in the balls and run out of the door,” advised Joan. “I have done that. That’s why I didn’t get Cleopatra,” referring to the 1963 epic film which eventually starred Elizabeth Taylor. “Well, I didn’t do it literally. I just refused to go to bed with the head of the studio. I had tested for Cleopatra twice and was the frontrunner. He took me into his office and said, ‘You really want this part?’ And I said, ‘Yes. I really do.’ ‘Well,’ he said, ‘then all you have to do is be nice to me.’ It was a wonderful euphemism in the Sixties for you know what. But I couldn’t do that. In fact, I was rather wimpish, burst into tears and rushed out of his office. So I didn’t kick him in the balls but I should have done.”

We may have thought the days had passed of leering directors promising young stars glittering careers if only they would sleep with them first but the recent experience of Myleene Klass tells another story. The M&S model and presenter has just revealed how a married Hollywood star who she recently interviewed expected her to bed him and asked her to sign a “sex contract” so she didn’t reveal the details afterwards. He didn’t exactly say “sleep with me, babe, and I’ll make sure you go places Stateside” but that was presumably the inference he was banking on.

M yleene, who is pregnant with her second child with fiancé Graham Quinn, may not be as well known in the US as she is here but she is a level-headed lass and her reaction was incredulity.

She apparently thought: “Mate, which planet are you from?” and managed, through gritted teeth, to stay lunching politely with him through the main course and dessert before she kicked him into touch. And this unnamed actor is reportedly just one of three who have expected 32-year-old Myleene to have sex with them. So is her experience exceptional or actually all too common?

“The well-worn casting couch remains Hollywood’s guiltiest dirty little secret – everyone knows it exists but no one really talks about it in public,” says Sandro Monetti, a Hollywood-based showbiz journalist and author. ­

“Certainly no Tinseltown starlet would expose the sleazy practice of sex contracts as Myleene has done here. But these things happen all the time beneath Hollywood’s increasingly politically correct image.”

While many actresses might not think it in their best interests to reveal what goes on behind a casting ­director or leading actor’s doors, there are those who have angrily spoken up – from Raquel Welch and Helen Mirren through to Lady Victoria Hervey and Megan Fox, the star of blockbuster Transformers.

Just days ago Hervey, 33, the daughter of the Marquess of Bristol, who decamped to Hollywood seven years ago, explained: “There was a film I was supposed to do and the director made it very clear that I would need to sleep with him if I wanted the role. I walked out. A lot of girls get taken advantage of. There are a lot of ­conniving people in Hollywood. You need to stay on your guard.”

Fox, meanwhile, has revealed that since she’s become famous she has grown increasingly dismayed by Hollywood’s sordid standards, though she too has tactfully refused to name names, describing her propositioners as “Hollywood legends”.

“You’re going to meet them and you’re so excited, thinking, ‘I can’t believe this person wants to have a conversation with me’ and you realise that’s not what they want at all,” she complained last year. “There are some actors who have been in the business for a while who are very ­egocentric and have been able to sleep with a lot of girls and they think I’m going to be this Marilyn Monroe type who’s going to bat my eyes and be a receptacle for them.”

When it comes to the casting couch, Marilyn Monroe is an interesting example. Dubbed one of the earliest “bimbos” in the Fifties (on early film sets it stood for “body immaculate, brains optional”) the lush Monroe submitted to the casting couch to propel her from plain Norma Jeane Mortenson to international fame. She dismissed the trading of sex for stardom airily as “no big tragedy – nobody ever got cancer from sex” and added: “I’ve slept with producers. I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t.”

Other comments, however, ­suggest she wasn’t so laissez-faire about the whole business. When 20th Century Fox awarded Monroe the richest contract of any actress in 1955 she triumphantly declared: “It means I’ll never have to suck another **** again!”

She even warned Joan Collins about the lascivious “wolves” in Hollywood and revealed a particularly unpleasant experience with the notoriously lecherous Harry Cohn, one of the original kings of the casting couch who was head of Columbia Pictures from 1919 to the Fifties. Cohn apparently invited Monroe to an overnight cruise on his yacht where she was required to strip naked for him – but when she declined his advances (so she sometimes did) Monroe recalled, “I had never seen a man so angry.”

Cohn vies with Darryl F Zanuck as the man who invented the casting couch and it was said Cohn had the original one in a secret annexe off his office. Zanuck, meanwhile, was an enthusiastic womaniser and the head of 20th Century Fox from 1935. He was famously “in ­conference” with a number of ­aspiring actresses between 4pm and 4.30pm every afternoon.

One would-be starlet who was shown innocently into his office was rather shocked to find him half naked (from the waist down) and ready for action – which all rather suggests that the casting couch has been in existence for as long as cameras have been rolling.

Aviator and Thirties and Forties film mogul Howard Hughes may have had glittering affairs with the likes of Ava Gardner, Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis and Ginger Rogers but he still kept a “secret” house near his LA home where he’d “interview” would-be starlets, Jane Russell among them, pretending he was playing at the golf club nearby. But many of these wannabes would never achieve fame. In fact, some of the greatest silver screen stars are the ones who refused.

Lauren Bacall has revealed how Hughes unsuccessfully attempted to get her on the casting couch while other great icons who have claimed knowledge of the practice – and declined – include Raquel Welch. “I never slept with anyone to get a part, although the offers were there,” she has declared.

I n 1991 Oscar-winning film ­producer Julia Phillips wrote a book called You’ll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again in which she suggested the casting couch was still alive and well, while two years later Helen Mirren, Bacall, Jane Seymour and Bo Derek joined forces for a documentary entitled Sex For Jobs In Hollywood. “The casting couch was always thought of as a joke but women are now saying: ‘Well actually guys it wasn’t,'” Mirren revealed at the time. “We never found it very funny.”

Myleene Klass is in a position not to take her own indecent proposals too seriously but as Sandro ­Monetti adds: “There are different lengths that ambitious people will go to in order to further their showbiz careers.

“Myleene was prepared to chase stardom on a reality show. Others will go much ­further. But while such actions may get your foot in the door, only star quality and ability can keep you there long term.”

The Gay Sex Lives of Hollywood’s Golden Age Stars Revealed in New Documentary

“What’s wrong with being gay?” says old-time procurer to the stars Scotty Bowers in Matt Tyrnauer’s documentary Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood. It happens when someone at a Bowers book signing complains that the author broke the confidence of his celebrity clients and wonders what if those dead icons have grandchildren and they find out they were gay. The “So what?” line of defense from Bowers is spot on, and he also says that these really weren’t secrets to those in Hollywood who knew what was going on anyway.

Besides, I would add, celebs’ private lives are always dissected by the media and the public, and if everyone can embrace the lies all those years, then why not finally learn the truth? There were a lot of gays in the movies (big surprise), and they were only human in their quest for constant sex, as long as no one blew the whistle on them, and Bowers never did—until they were gone, anyway.

The Tracy-Hepburn scheme

Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn in Woman of the Year (1942).

Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn did not actually live together and weren’t a couple at all, but the big shots thought it would be better to pawn them off as an adulterous duo than a gay man and a lesbian. Oh, by the way, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were gay, too.

Hudson, Grant, and a flook marriage

Rock Hudson married his agent’s secretary shortly after Life magazine pointed out that the hunky actor wasn’t married and would soon need to explain why. On the way up the ladder, Bowers had set Rock up with the tres gay Cary Grant.

Group play for Cole Porter

Witty songwriter Cole Porter asked Bowers for 15 guys at once, so he could blow them all, one by one. I guess he was living out his hit song, “You’re The Top.”

Bowers was a matchmaker

Bowers also provided opposite-sex partners for stars like Vivien Leigh and Bette Davis. And by the way, he never took a penny! He just wanted people to be happy.

Holy trinity

Gay director George Cukor was “the salivator,” campy actor Paul Lynde was the drunk, and The Seven Year Itch co-star Tom Ewell had an itch for a seven-incher.

Bowers’ lips are sealed (for now)

Before the movie, it was noted that whatever Bowers knows about living stars like Clint Eastwood and Arnold Schwarzenegger is not included. (Nor are some of the more body-fluid-oriented tales from the book, Full Service. Yes, I read it—twice.)

A progressive kind of marriage

Scotty Bowers in front of a poster for Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood.

Here’s the real shock: Bowers himself—who had sex with some of his male movie star clients back then, starting with Walter Pidgeon—has had a wife named Lois for 34 years. Their dynamic is interesting because Lois says she wishes Bowers had told her about his past when they met. He responds that she didn’t tell him anything about her past either, and for all he knew, she might have been a hooker. Yeah, but he would have loved that!

A Pocketful of Posey

I was thrilled when I received a copy of the new book Blame It on Bianca Del Rio in the mail, until I opened it and the Drag Race winner had written, “Michael, do you need a large print version?” No, I could read it just fine—and it’s hilarious, with Bianca responding to made-up questions with twisted answers. When asked if she has nerves before a show and if so, how she copes with it, Bianca says, “We all have different coping mechanisms to work through our nerves… Barbra Streisand throws boiling hot tea on the lighting director. And Meryl Streep masturbates to Holocaust pictures from Auschwitz. I have a much easier way to cope: I do it with yoga and meditation. And by ‘yoga and meditation’, I mean booze and pills.”

On Broadway, the Go-Go’s musical Head Over Heels is a hangover-free high (see my review here) and so was the opening night party at Guastavino’s. At the event, Go-Go Jane Wiedlin told me she welled up watching the show because she thought of the little punk girl she was 40 years ago, “and look at who I am today.” Is there still that punk girl inside her? “Yes!” she said, laughing and pointing to her wonderfully wacky outfit—a red-roses-patterned dress with lace-up combat boots.

Also there, Dominique Jackson from Pose said she had been inspired to sit with me and some others at a Whoopi Goldberg SAGE table last year. “And now you’re bigger than I am,” I noted. “No, I’m not,” she joked, smiling. “I had surgery. I cut it off!”

And our lips weren’t sealed when I did onstage Q&As with John Waters at IFC Center on Friday, after showings of Hairspray and Female Trouble. John admitted that at one point in the preparation for his dark 1994 comedy Serial Mom, Roseanne was going to play the title role (which ended up going to Kathleen Turner). “She was a liberal then,” Waters deadpanned. “What happened?”

I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas

“Ladies and gentlemen and the rest of us,” says nonbinary performance artist and author Kate Bornstein on welcoming us to Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men. Jangly rave music had preceded the show, and Bornstein was now onstage with two-spirit performer-writer-activist Ty Defoe—they’re the People in Charge, according to the program—both backed by a silver tinsel curtain.

All of it is not what you’d expect and not what it may seem, which was exactly the point. “Neither of us is a straight white male,” Kate adds, and the two continue to banter hilariously, while bringing up points about privilege, expectation, acceptance, and refusal to hate. And then the play begins, with those two occasionally appearing onstage to guide the actors in their movements, stagehands also in full view as they remove props between acts.

What follows is a Christmas Eve gathering with a spunky old widower named Ed (Stephen Payne) who brings together his three sons for banter, Chinese food, and misbegotten gift giving. Of the sons, Jake (Josh Charles) turns out to be a rich banker who coasts on his privilege, only hiring whites at his company, to give the clients what they supposedly want, even though he happens to have mixed race children. Drew (Armie Hammer from Call Me By Your Name) has managed to do good in the world with his teachings and writings. And Matt (Paul Schneider) is a Harvard grad who is still paying off student loans and who’s pretty much given up, having failed at trying to change the world, so he’s now living with dad and crying at unsuspecting moments. (Drew actually wonders if Matt might be gay and in need of coming out.)

The three brothers have a highly entertaining camaraderie, going into racy, silly shtick as if they were still pre-adolescents, and two funny set pieces emerge—a KKK version of the title song from Oklahoma! (you have to see the show) and a wild dance routine where the brothers get to carry on and show off in tag-team fashion. But things are amiss as Jake’s gift to dad breaks, dad can’t remember the words to “O, Tannenbaum,” and Drew tries to help Matt out of his depression while making things worse.

Jake’s initial view of Matt—that he’s self-sabotaging in order to make way for non-whites to get opportunities—turns out to be misguided, as the inter-relationships grow more complicated. More likely, Matt isn’t grabbing at his white privilege because the results didn’t make him feel all that privileged. The play, as directed by Anna D. Shapiro, is uniformly well-acted and quite funny, though the jokes are more persuasive than the pathos.


Pornographic films were produced in the early 20th century as "stag" movies, intended to be viewed at male gatherings or in brothels. In the United States, social disapproval was so great that men in them sometimes attempted to conceal their face by subterfuge, such as a false mustache (used in A Free Ride) or even being masked. [15] Very few people were ever identified as appearing in such films and performers were often presumed to have been prostitutes or criminals. Vincent Drucci is said to have performed in a pornographic film made in 1924. [16] Candy Barr, who appeared in the 1950s Smart Alec, was virtually unique among those appearing in stag films, having attained a degree of celebrity through her participation. [17]

In the US, during the late 1960s, there was regular semi-underground production of pornographic films on a modest scale. After answering New York City newspaper advertisements for nude models, Eric Edwards and Jamie Gillis, among others, appeared in these films, which were silent black and white 'loops' of low quality, often intended for peep booth viewing in the proliferation of adult video arcades around Times Square. [18] [19] [20] The product of the New York City porn industry was distributed nationwide by underworld figure Robert DiBernardo, who commissioned the production of much of the so-called 'Golden Age' era films made in New York City. [21] [22] Although not the first adult film to obtain a wide theatrical release in the US, none had achieved a mass audience, and changed public attitude toward pornography, as Deep Throat did.

Beginnings Edit

Blue Movie by Andy Warhol, released in June 1969, [3] [4] [5] and, more freely, Mona, by Bill Osco, released afterwards in August 1970, [6] were the first films depicting explicit sex to receive wide theatrical distribution in the United States. [3] [4] [6] Although Blue Movie involved sexual intercourse, the film, starring Viva and Louis Waldon, included substantial dialogue about the Vietnam War and various mundane tasks. [3] [4] In comparison, the film Mona differed from Blue Movie by presenting more of a story plot: Mona (played by Fifi Watson) had promised her mother that she would remain a virgin until her impending marriage. [23] Nonetheless, Blue Movie, besides being a seminal film in the 'Golden Age of Porn', was a major influence, according to Warhol, in the making of Last Tango in Paris (1972), an internationally controversial erotic drama film, starring Marlon Brando, and released a few years after Blue Movie was made. [5] [24]

Also around this time, in June 1970, the 55th Street Playhouse began showing Censorship in Denmark: A New Approach, a film documentary study of pornography, directed by Alex de Renzy. [25] According to Vincent Canby, a New York Times film reviewer, the narrator of the documentary noted that “pornography is more stimulating and cheaper than hormone injections” and "stresses the fact that since the legalization of pornography in Denmark, sex crimes have decreased." [25] Nonetheless, on September 30, 1970, Assistant District Attorney, Richard Beckler, had the theater manager, Chung Louis, arrested on an obscenity charge, and the film seized as appealing to a prurient interest in sex. The presiding judge, Jack Rosenberg, stated, “[The film] is patently offensive to most Americans because it affronts contemporary community standards relating to the description or representation of sexual matters.” [26]

Nevertheless, afterwards, in October 1970, the History of the Blue Movie, another film documentary study of pornography directed by Alex de Renzy, was released and featured a compilation of early blue movie shorts dating from 1915 to 1970. Film critic Roger Ebert reviewed the film, rated it two-stars (of four), and noted that the narrator tells us "solemnly about the comic artistry of early stag movies". [27]

Somewhat later, in December 1971, the film Boys in the Sand, one of the first adult erotic films, after Blue Movie in 1969, [28] [29] to be reviewed by Variety magazine, [30] was released and opened in theaters across the United States and around the world. [31] The film's title is a parodic reference to the 1968 play by Mart Crowley, and the related 1970 film adaptation, The Boys in the Band. [32]

Deep Throat Edit

The 'Golden Age of Porn' continued in 1972 with Deep Throat. It officially premiered at the World Theater [33] in New York City on June 12, 1972 and was advertised in The New York Times under the bowdlerized title Throat. After Johnny Carson talked about the film on his nationally top-rated TV show [11] [34] [35] [36] [37] and Bob Hope, as well, mentioned it on TV, [7] Deep Throat became very profitable and a box-office success, according to one of the figures behind the film. In its second year of release, Deep Throat just missed Variety's top 10. However, by then, it was often being shown in a double bill with the most successful of the top three adult erotic films released in the 1972–1973 era, The Devil in Miss Jones, which easily outperformed Deep Throat, while leaving Behind the Green Door trailing in third place. [38]

The Devil in Miss Jones Edit

The 1973 film The Devil in Miss Jones was ranked number seven in the Variety list of the top ten highest-grossing pictures of 1973, despite lacking the wide release and professional marketing of Hollywood and having been virtually banned across the country for half the year (see Miller v. California, below). [38] Some critics have described the film as, along with Deep Throat, one of the "two best erotic motion pictures ever made". [39] William Friedkin called The Devil in Miss Jones a "great film", partly because it was one of the few adult erotic films with a proper storyline. [40] Roger Ebert referred to The Devil in Miss Jones as the "best" of the genre he had seen and gave it three-stars (of four). [10] Ebert also suggested the film's box office receipts were inflated as a way of laundering the profits from illegal activities, although such a method would have required organised crime to be paying taxes on their illegally obtained income. [41] [42]

The Devil in Miss Jones was one of the first films to be inducted into the XRCO Hall of Fame. [43] The sound-recording, cinematography, and story-line of The Devil in Miss Jones were of a considerably higher quality than any previous porn film. The lead, Georgina Spelvin, who had been in the original Broadway run of The Pajama Game, combined vigorous sex with an acting performance some thought as convincing as anything to be seen in a good mainstream production. She had been hired as a caterer, but Gerard Damiano, the film director, was impressed with her reading of Miss Jones's dialogue, while auditioning an actor for the non-sex role of 'Abaca'. According to Variety's review, "With The Devil in Miss Jones, the hard-core porno feature approaches an art form, one that critics may have a tough time ignoring in the future". The review also described the plot as comparable to Jean-Paul Sartre's play No Exit, [44] and went on to describe the opening scene as, "a sequence so effective it would stand out in any legit theatrical feature." [44] It finished by stating, "Booking a film of this technical quality into a standard sex house is tantamount to throwing it on the trash heap of most current hard-core fare." [34] [44] [45] [46] [47] [48] [49] [50]

"Porno chic" Edit

An influential five-page article in The New York Times Magazine in 1973 described the phenomenon of porn being publicly discussed by celebrities, and taken seriously by critics, a development referred to, by Ralph Blumenthal of The New York Times, as "porno chic". [7] [11] [51] Some expressed the opinion that pornographic films would continue to extend their access to US theaters, and the mainstream film industry would gravitate toward the influence of porn. [12] [13]

Supreme Court's 1973 Miller v. California Edit

Supreme Court's 1973 Miller v. California decision redefined obscenity from "utterly without socially redeeming value" to lacks "serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value". Crucially, it made 'contemporary community standards' the criterion, holding that obscenity was not protected by the First Amendment the ruling gave leeway to local judges to seize and destroy prints of films adjudged to violate local community standards. The Miller decision stymied porn distribution. [34] The Devil in Miss Jones, as well as Deep Throat and Behind the Green Door, was prosecuted successfully during the latter half of 1973 the Supreme Court's Miller decision closed much of America to the exhibition of adult erotic films, and often led to it being banned outright. Porn films would not feature as prominently in the mainstream movie business as they did in the Golden Age, [52] until the emergence of the internet in the 1990s. [53]

Post-1973 Edit

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court's decision to have put mass box office returns beyond the reach of pornographic films, the leaps in the films' quality that had occurred between 1972 and 1973 were not sustained. [ clarification needed ] With their relatively modest financial means, a predicted move of organized crime into Hollywood failed to materialize. [13] Pornographic films continued to be a highly profitable business, and thrived throughout the rest of the 1970s, leading to the concept of porn "stars" gaining currency. Ostracism of porn performers meant they almost invariably used pseudonyms. Being outed as having appeared in porn usually put an end to an actor's hope of a mainstream career. [54] An indication of the returns still possible was that a 1976 release, Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Comedy, favorably reviewed by film critic Roger Ebert in 1976, [55] reportedly grossed over $90 million globally. [34] [56] Some historians assess The Opening of Misty Beethoven, based on the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw (and its derivative, My Fair Lady), and directed by Radley Metzger, as attaining a mainstream level in storyline and sets. [57] Author Toni Bentley called the film the "crown jewel" of the Golden Age. [58] [59]

In general, after 1973, adult erotic films emulated mainstream filmmaking storylines and conventions, merely to frame the depictions of sexual activity to prepare an 'artistic merit' defense against possible obscenity charges. The adult film industry remained stuck at the level of 'one day wonders', finished by participants hired for only a single day. The ponderous technology of the time meant filming a simple scene would often take hours due to the need for the camera to be laboriously set up for each shot. [60] Repeated sustained performances might be required on cue at any time over the course of a day, which was an issue for men without the recourse to modern Viagra-type drugs. [54] [60] Production was concentrated in New York City where organized crime was widely believed to have control over all aspects of the business, and to prevent entry of competitors. Although their budgets were usually very low, a subcultural level of appreciation exists for films of this era, which were produced by a core group of around thirty performers, some of whom had other jobs. Several were actors who could handle dialogue when required. However, some participants scoffed at the idea that what they did qualified as "acting". [7] [34] [54] By the early 1980s, the rise of home video had led to the end of the era when people went to movie theaters to see sex shot on 35mm film with production values, ultimately culminating with the rise of the internet in the 1990s and beyond. [54]

The 'Golden Age' was a period of interactions between pornography and the contemporaneous second wave of feminism. Radical and cultural feminists, along with religious and conservative groups, attacked pornography, [61] [62] while other feminists were pro-pornography, such as Camille Paglia, who defined what came to be known as sex-positive feminism in her work Sexual Personae. Paglia and other sex-positive or pro-pornography feminists accepted porn as part of the sexual revolution with its libertarian sexual themes, such as exploring bisexuality and swinging, free from government interference. The endorsement of female critics was essential for the credibility of the brief era of "porno chic". [63] [64] [65] [66]

Major pornographic film actors of the first part of the 'Golden Age', the "porno chic" era, included:

At the time of the maturation of the second wave, movies increasingly were being shot on video for home release.

As their popularity rose, so did their control of their careers. John Holmes became the first recurring porn character in the "Johnny Wadd" film series directed by Bob Chinn. Lisa De Leeuw was one of the first to sign an exclusive contract with a major adult production company, Vivid Video, and Marilyn Chambers worked in mainstream movies, being one of the first of a rare number of crossover porn actors.

Major producers during the first wave of the 'Golden Age', the "Porno Chic" era, include:

With the rise of video, the dominant pornographic film studios of the Second Wave period were VCA Pictures [67] and Caballero Home Video. [68]

Source: A-list actress used to make rounds of Hollywood secret sex parties

A go-go dancer performs at the Penthouse Executive Club in New York June 15, 2005. A decade after New York began cracking down on seedy strip clubs, the business has flourished and turned upscale. While the city continues its fight against the few remaining sordid joints that once populated Times Square and along Eighth Avenue, fancy establishments catering to executives with large corporate expense accounts have sprung up to the west of the famous landmarks. To match feature Life-Strippers REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton SS - RTR15K7M (Reuters)

LOS ANGELES – In Hollywood, when the cameras stop rolling, some stars go home to their husbands, wives and children. Others take a detour to invite-only parties where anything goes, including group sex, S&M, drugs, hookers, and every kind of debauchery.

Welcome to the secret sex societies of the entertainment industry.

E! News explores the underground phenomenon in a new series of two-hour specials, "Secret Societies of Hollywood," premiering on Thursday. "Within these exclusive members-only organizations, the search for excess can be found everywhere,” the network claims. “From notorious Hollywood madams like Heidi Fleiss, who was believed to have supplied prostitutes for many big name stars, to an underground society of people who celebrate their love of bondage and other bizarre sexual tastes at parties that rotate from clubs and mansions to all over the city."

FOX411 talked to one of the Hollywood insiders interviewed on “Secret Societies,” who said the modern proliferation of paparazzi and tabloid journalism has forced more and more stars -- gay and straight, young and old -- to pursue their sordid interests behind closed, very high, very thick, doors.

"Law enforcement stays away as they have no right to do anything regarding a house party, and there is usual careful discretion with these types of parties to make sure that there is nothing that could warrant unwanted attention," said alternative sentencing expert Wendy Feldman.

Sources tell FOX411 that code words are used to gain entrance to the ultra-secret soirees, sometimes called “NH” parties, for “Never Happened.” One well-placed entertainment insider told us that one of the biggest A-list actresses in the entertainment industry today was notorious for frequenting S&M clubs when trying to get bigger and better roles in the not-too-distant past.

"She was famous for her escapades, it was right up her street," the insider said of the star. "High end hookers also frequent these places, using it to try and break into show business."

Today’s secret orgies have their historical precedents. Last year, former WWll Marine Scotty Bowers wrote a tell-all --"Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars” – in which he claimed he set up sexual encounters for Cary Grant, Rock Hudson, Vivian Leigh and Katharine Hepburn.

And in the upcoming tell-all "Nicholson," by New York Times bestselling author Marc Eliot, the Oscar-winner Jack is painted as as the poster child for hedonism. Eliot says, even before he was famous, the legendary actor's apartment was the go-to spot of round-the-clock partying, drinks, drugs and sex.

Eliot claims that Nicholson was outdone only by one other: Harry Dean Stanton. "On weekends, Harry Dean liked to throw sex parties that started on Friday night and ended sometime Monday morning," Eliot writes.

Reps for Nicholson and Stanton did not respond to requests for comment.

These days, we’re told that subterranean shindigs are typically attended by a big-name star or two, while the majority of guests are hopefuls willing to do just about anything in an attempt to score that big break.

“It’s sad,” said one source. “But that always was, and still is, show business.”

Watch the video: Hollywood Documentary HD - Hollywoods Golden Age (May 2022).


  1. Dorien

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  2. Selassie

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  3. Rabbani

    Nothing of the even calculation.

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