Hollywood is a place rife with gossip, but several historical scandals have recently come to light after years of cover-ups by MGM general manager and president, Eddie Mannix.
Mannix, along with MGM’s head of publicity Howard Strickling, dedicated their careers to keeping Hollywood’s biggest stars out of the tabloids — which meant covering up some very dirty deeds.
Legendary screen icon Joan Crawford always courted scandal. She’s said to have changed her name and lied about her age in order to join MGM studios, but — incredibly — she once starred in a pornographic film.
Crawford chose to work on the blue movie to boost her film career before she hit the big time, but Mannix is said to have tracked own every last copy of the tape and destroyed them all, as well as paying $100,000 of MGM money to buy the original film negative.
Hollywood heavyweight and Gone With The Wind heartthrob Clark Gable was one of Mannix’s personal friends and, as such, a client for outrageous rumor-quashing.
One long-running rumor alleges that Mannix helped Gable cover up a hit-and-run that killed actress Tosca Roulien in 1933, after Mannix paid an MGM screenwriter to take the rap for Gable.
Just one year later, Gable supposedly sexually assaulted co-star Loretta Young. Young fell pregnant and, to avoid headlines, Mannix helped her to “adopt” her own daughter publicly when the child was two.
Paul Bern, a producer, writer, and director for MGM and wife of starlet Jean Harlow, committed suicide due to marital problems. But now it’s thought Mannix had a hand in Bern’s tragic demise.
Bigamist Bern married Harlow despite having another wife in New York. According to one theory, Bern’s first wife shot Bern in the head but, just to save rising actress Harlow’s career, Mannix used his contacts in the police to cover up the truth.
Another shocking story is the case of Patricia Douglas, who went to a casting call for MGM. She was told to dress in a skimpy outfit to “entertain” the men and the event supposedly ended with Douglas being raped.
When Douglas tried to take legal action against Mannix and MGM, other guests were allegedly paid to say that Douglas was “uncontrollably drunk”.
When the court date came, mysteriously, no lawyers arrived and a federal judge had to dismiss the case.
Before Christopher Reeves famously donned Superman’s cape, George Reeves acted as the Man of Steel until he committed suicide in 1959.
But according to sources, it was an open secret in Hollywood that Reeves was having an affair with Mannix’s wife. Mannix apparently didn’t mind Reeves and his wife’s relationship, as Mannix himself was busy with extra-marital affairs.
But when Reeves dumped Mannix’s wife to marry someone else, Mannix was furious that the actor broke his wife’s heart — so ordered his Mafia contacts to murder Reeves and stage the suicide.
And we thought these stars were so squeaky clean…