Friday, August 31, 2012
Does Tragedy Haunt Hollywood?
From THE LOS ANGELES TIMES MAGAZINE, January 19, 1936
Does tragedy haunt Hollywood? The extent to which tragedies occurred in Hollywood might not have been any greater than elsewhere, but they happened nonetheless.
There were recurring allegations that the authorities did not investigate things thoroughly enough, even that things were deliberately covered up. It was said that the local politicians and the studio bosses worked together to ensure that things would continue smoothly in spite of any problem that might happen to arise.
Some people even thought that there were some sort of connections between these tragedies. They thought the victims had somehow fallen victim to some sort of cycles of bad luck. Dorothy Dell was quoted as having said the day before her death, "You know, they say deaths go in cycles of three. First it was Lilyan Tashman, then Lew Cody. I wonder who'll be next?"
I don't believe it was bad luck, myself. More likely a combination of different things were seen as bad luck by people who had no way of knowing everything that was involved.
William Desmond Taylor
Lew Cody and Mabel Normand
Paul Bern and Jean Harlow.
Dorothy Dell costarred with Shirley Temple, one of the biggest stars of the thirties.
Marjorie White was another traffic fatality in the thirties. Her last movie was the start of the "Three Stooges" series at Columbia.
Busby Berkely, who had a traffic accident on the same street as Marjorie White not long after she did.
Will Rogers was one of the biggest stars of the time.
Karl Dane was one of a number of stars whose career suffered after the coming of sound.
Virginia Bruce and John Gilbert. John Gilbert's career also suffered after sound came in.
John Gilbert and Virginia Bruce:
William Desmond Taylor:
Will Rogers ( Official Site ):
Marjorie White and The Three Stooges: