UK News

The buried scandals of Hollywood’s golden age UK News

Once again, it is my pleasure to join you on our weekly Memory Lane hike. I note a new survey of young people and their wish to be alive in the 1960s. I’m sure most of my readers were alive in that decade and I loved this decade, even though my pickers of Periwinkles almost crippled my feet, so I turned to the more comfortable brothel lianas. I know, it’s so non-PC, so hopefully my editor gives a scammer a little leeway.

Remember the penny arrowroot cookie as you sat outside a pub with a glass of lemonade while your parents went for a drink? Was this child neglect? Do you remember going to the movies and having a cigarette while watching the last movie and quickly getting out when the credits rolled to avoid showing up for the national anthem? The old Gate Studios in Borehamwood were taken over by Harkness Screens, which had to replace movie screens every two years due to the nicotine staining.

Elstree Studios produced Cliff Richard films such as Young people and Summer holidays. I organized the unveiling of a plaque saluting Cliff at the Studio in 2008 – what a great guy and a music legend. I have been appalled by the way the media has treated him over the past few years. Alas, the media are just a joke when they embark on one of their so-called public interest crusades, but in fact to try to keep their sales or ratings down.

In reality, they would have a field day with what happened in Hollywood during its heyday that fries the scandals of today. I remember meeting 1950s idol Tab Hunter at a London hotel to talk about his career many years ago. He told me about his gay relationship with Anthony Perkins, who is best remembered today for the film. psychopath and how tinseltown tolerated gays as long as they were at the box office. In the 1950s, the press bowed to Hollywood and all kinds of scandals were covered up, even with the help of the Los Angeles police. Looking the other way in exchange for a brown envelope was nothing unusual. Can you imagine trying this out today?

Tab told me that his manager was responsible for developing the careers of other 1950s Hollywood pin-ups such as Guy Madison, Troy Donahue and many others in exchange for, shall we say, the casting. His manager’s most famous discovery was Rock Hudson, whom he transformed from a simple truck driver into a big Hollywood star. Sadly, at that time being gay wasn’t good for a movie star. At one point, a magazine threatened to reveal Rock’s secret life. The manager bought them back by sacrificing another of his clients, Rory Calhoun, who scored westerns but had a criminal record.

Tab was a real gentleman and a lot of fun to meet. Sadly, he and everyone he mentioned are now gone. Rock had a really sad end and at that point the media reveled in it.

Having met many stars over the past few decades, I have had a hard time deciding whether to be honest about some of them or help preserve their public image. Personally, I don’t think that’s my role, although I always encourage them if they write an autobiography to be honest. The sad fact is that after you die, anyone can write anything about you.

Someday I might write about the Hollywood star who asked me if there were, say, ladies of the night in Borehamwood and another who, just walking into her dressing room in Elstree, I could have “hovered”, but my lips are sealed. Until next time it was a pleasure to have your company and take care of you because this damn virus is still here and if you are young please get this jab. Remember, this is just a little prick. Like Dick Emery used to say “you look awful but I like you”.

  • Paul Welsh MBE is a writer and historian from Borehamwood of Elstree Studios

More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2021-08-29 17:00:00

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *