Old Hollywood’s 12 Most Shocking Scandals And Stories
Old Hollywood is looked back upon as being glamorous and the “good old days” of Hollywood but, behind the scenes, things weren’t as innocent as they appeared. Although glitz, glamour and the life of luxury was in the spotlight, back in the early days Tinseltown could be surprisingly seedy and controversial and fans would be shocked at what went on when the cameras weren’t flashing (and sometimes even when they were). Back then, without social media and tabloids, things were expertly covered up and Old Hollywood was able to keep its charm and grace without anyone finding out what was really happening. Take a look back at 12 of Old Hollywood’s most shocking scandals and stories:
12. Spade Cooley
The story of Spade Cooley is one of the most tragic in country music history. From the ’40s to 1960, Cooley was regarded as the King of Western Swing but, on April 3, 1961, the singer viciously murdered his wife Ella Mae Evans right in front of their 14-year-old daughter. According to reports, Ella Mae had admitted to having an affair with country singer Roy Rogers and sent Cooley into a violent rage. Although he initially told police that Ella had fallen in the shower, at the trial Melody Cooley told the jury the entire beating that she witnessed saying that she “watched in terror as her father beat her mother’s head against the floor, stomped on her stomach, then crushed a lit cigarette against her skin to see whether she was dead.” After the longest case in county history at the time, Cooley was convicted of first-degree murder after withdrawing his insanity plea. After serving nine years of his life sentence, Cooley was given a 72-hour furlough from the prison to play a benefit concert but while standing on the wings he suffered a fatal heart attack.
11. George Reeves’ Suicide
When George Reeves was found dead on June 16, 1959 after a gunshot wound to the head, the world mourned the loss of the iconic Superman actor and couldn’t believe he would take his own life. While it was ruled a suicide, right away there were questions about what really happened – from the delayed reaction of the people in his home at the time to the evidence found on scene. There was the fact that Reeves had reportedly been having an affair with Toni Mannix, the wife of famed MGM “fixer” Eddie Mannix. It was reported that years later, shortly before her death, Mannix actually confessed to a priest that Eddie had hired someone to kill Reeves. While the Mannix story has caused suspicion, her confession has never been deemed as true due to the fact she was suffering from dementia before her death. Most still believe that Reeves took his own life because he could not find work after playing the iconic superhero.