Sunday, May 08, 2005

Babylon's Burning

Mmmm... I finally got my own copy of Kenneth Anger's book, Hollywood Babylon. So dishy! Mr. Anger, he of underground art films and a child actor himself, writes tabloidy bits about the Hollywood glamour days in as queeny a way as possible. Anybody living in LA (or with a love of Tinsel Town's dirt) should have this. It's even got pictures. Of course.

Here are some fun snippets:

About Errol Flynn's rape trial: "When Betty Hansen took the stand and testified that Flynn had taken off her clothes, Geisler (Flynn's lawyer) charged like the cavalry. First, he got her to admit that she had permitted the disrobing, then he thundered at her: 'Didn't you want him to take them off?' Betty's disarming reply won the day for Flynn: 'I didn't have no objections.' Flynn was acquitted on all four counts."

About Rudy Valentino's penchant for powder (from the Chicago Tribune): "A powder vending machine! In a men's washroom! Homo Americanus! Why didn't someone quietly drown Rudolph Gugliemo, alias Valentino, years ago?"

About heroin in Hollywood: "One of the town's leading dealers was a quiet, gentlemanly actor on the Sennett lot known as 'The Count.' It was he who offered to fix up Wally Reid's hangover during the filming of 'Forever,' who first put Mabel Normand, Juanita Hansen, Barbara La Marr, and Alma Ruebens on the junk."

About the suicide of Lupe Velez: "Then her periods stopped and she realized that her latest had knocked her up. Big deal? Call Doctor Killkare (the joke name for Tinsel Town's leading abortionist)? Forget it. Lupe, the gyrating cunt-flashing Hollywood party girl, was in her Heart of Hearts the snow-white virgin of her First Communion in San Luis Potosi, an awed adorer of Nuestra Senora dos Grandes Dolores, an on-your-knees girl! Devout Mexican Catholic. She could not bear to snuff out the gigolo's fetus within her. Rather, she would doom herself to Eternal Torments but committing Her Own Murder, by Herself." (ed. note: she staged a suicide room, throwing flowers on the bed and floor and lighting candles, but wound up drowning in her toilet after a dash to the bathroom while projectile vomiting all the pills she swallowed.)

Read Defamer lately? Ah, nothing's changed...