Charm, beauty, grace, talent, and intelligence: Hollywood’s leading ladies have it all, and on top of that, many of them have led fascinating lives full of drama, melancholy, humor, tragedy, romance, and heartbreak. In fact, when it comes to the actresses on this list, many of them have actually been through more interesting experiences than some of their most well-known movie roles!
From the very first faces of silent film like Mary Pickford and Marion Leonard to the names that defined the Golden Age of Hollywood like Joan Crawford and Veronica to modern talents like Meryl Streep and Angelina Jolie, here are 101 glamorous facts about Hollywood actresses.
1. Choose Your Own Adventure
A tabloid was going to publish a story that Jennifer Lawrence was having an affair with one of her co-stars, but her publicist got wind of it first. Lawrence called them and was allowed to choose which one of her co-stars she was involved with.
She went with Bradley Cooper. Solid choice.
2. The Look
Lauren Bacall’s trademark facial gesture, known as “The Look,” was actually borne out of nerves on the set of her first film, To Have and Have Not. She kept her chin pressed against her chest to keep from shaking until just before the cameras rolled, which is why she began every shot by bringing her gaze upward.
3. Girl Crush
Natalie Portman has outwardly expressed interest in wanting to grab Scarlett Johansson’s breasts—she thinks they’re really pretty.
A Dead Giveaway
The 1935 film The Call of the Wild starred Loretta Young and Clark Gable as co-stars. During their time together on the film, Young became impregnated by Gable—clearly, a situation that’s ripe for scandal. Young ended up leaving the country for an “extended holiday,” took the baby to an orphanage in California, then returned sometime later to “adopt” her biological child. She stuck by the adoption story, despite everyone realizing the truth due to the fact that her daughter had inherited her famous father’s distinctive ears.
She stuck by the adoption story, despite everyone realizing the truth due to the fact that her daughter had inherited her famous father’s distinctive ears.
5. You Get a Broken Heart! And You Get a Broken Heart!
Minnie Driver dated her Good Will Hunting co-star Matt Damon for a year, but the relationship ended when Damon denied having a girlfriend on the Oprah Winfrey Show. What happened to the chivalry of sending a text?
6. Goblet of Fire
While filming Chinatown, it’s rumored that Faye Dunaway threw a cup of her own urine in Roman Polanski’s face. The director had forbidden her from taking any bathroom breaks. Thus, to rectify multiple tensions at once, Dunaway relieved herself in a cup and then promptly flung the contents at Polanski’s mug. Can we blame her?
In 2002, paparrazi used a long-lens camera from an 8-story building to capture pictures of Jennifer Aniston sunbathing topless in her own backyard. The photos ended up in multiple magazines, and Aniston again went to court over the issue with both the photographer and magazines; in 2003, the photographer paid Aniston $550,000 in damages.
8. No One Can Ever Know
Before she became one of the top leading ladies of her time, Joan Crawford allegedly performed in at least one dirty film (and on top of that, she may also have been underage at the time). We’ll never know the truth of this matter, because every copy of the film was allegedly hunted down by Crawford’s later employer, MGM Studios.
We’ll never know the truth of this matter, because every copy of the film was allegedly hunted down by Crawford’s later employer, MGM Studios.
When Crawford parted ways with MGM in 1943, she paid them $50,000, an odd gesture in itself… unless one assumes it was a repayment for making her embarrassing (and damaging) film debut go away.
9. When Fans Go Too Far
Kate Winslet says she is still disturbed and “haunted” by her nude scene in Titanic with Leonardo DiCaprio, only recently revealing that fans still go after her with images of the drawing of her body and ask her to sign it. She always refuses.
10. Despair During Bad Times
Many have been inspired by the iconic Hollywood sign which overlooks the movie-making capital of the United States, but when those inspirations fail, things can take a turn for the morbid. In 1932, Peg Entwistle, a struggling actress during the Great Depression, climbed atop the big “H” in the Hollywood sign, back in the days when it was actually the Hollywoodland sign, and tragically threw herself from it.
11. Dirty Halle
Halle Berry visited a real crack den to prepare for her role in Jungle Fever. She also didn’t bathe for two weeks.
12. No Improv
Woody Allen and Meryl Streep have worked together precisely once: on the movie Manhattan. Streep, as in Kramer vs. Kramer, often likes to tweak or add her ideas to scripts, and Allen was very strict about sticking to the existing writing. Word is that Streep wasn’t too happy about this.
on the movie Manhattan. Streep, as in Kramer vs. Kramer, often likes to tweak or add her ideas to scripts, and Allen was very strict about sticking to the existing writing. Word is that Streep wasn’t too happy about this.
13. My Bloody Valentine
It seems like eons ago that Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton were still together.
And wearing necklaces of each other’s blood. According to Thornton, it was Jolie’s idea that “it would be interesting and romantic if we took a little razor blade and sliced our fingers, smeared a little blood on these lockets and you wear it around your neck just like you wear your son or daughter’s baby hair in one”. In terms of romantic gestures, we’d have gone with the hair thing; more Victorian, much less painful, and way more hygienic.
14. Attention Seeker
The feud between Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield could be summed up in the famous picture where an annoyed Loren takes note of Mansfield’s revealing neckline. To provide more context, Loren was hosting a party in Beverly Hills as an attempt to get her name out there, but Mansfield proceeded to upstage her with her usual tricks of revealing clothes and “accidental” wardrobe malfunctions for extra publicity.
According to Loren, one reason she had her eye on Mansfield’s breasts was that she was expecting another one of Mansfield’s wardrobe malfunctions to happen at any moment. Despite her frustration and disdain, Loren would refuse to autograph any copy of that famous picture out of respect for Mansfield’s memory—she had died tragically in a car accident in the 1960s.
15. No-one Suffers like the Bombshell
The tragedy of Marilyn Monroe’s life is that she clearly had severe emotional problems that needed sorting, but she was trapped in a world where she was firmly tied to a pedestal made out of her sex appeal. Small wonder that she went through a meltdown on Some Like it Hot. Her unprofessionalism on that film set has become the stuff of legends, with Monroe showing up hours late to the production and constantly flubbing her lines, which led to breakdowns on Monroe’s part.
Her co-star, Tony Curtis, later quipped that if it hadn’t been for Monroe’s bra size, she would have been placed in a mental asylum, while director Billy Wilder was so infuriated by Monroe that he didn’t invite her to the wrap party when the film was finished, and when he was asked whether he’d work with her again, he joked that his doctors advised against it. Perhaps one or two of those doctors might have been spared to give Monroe the help that she needed.
16. The Real Story
Long before she married John Travolta, Kelly Preston was engaged to Charlie Sheen—until one night, when he accidentally shot her in the arm. Well, as the story goes, she was accidentally shot somehow, and shortly after, they broke off their engagement.
For decades, there’s been wild speculation about that night, and Sheen has finally addressed the rumors and revealed what really happened that night.
He claims that while he was downstairs making coffee one morning, she picked up a pair of his pants and his revolver fell out of the pocket, going off. She was apparently clipped by shrapnel, and he helped her wrap her arm and called 911.
We hope at least he got a gun safety lecture from the first responders out of it. Of course, that’s all according to Sheen—we’d love to hear Preston’s side of the story.
17. The Day the Clown Died
Thelma Todd was a very talented comedic actress who worked alongside Laurel and Hardy, Buster Keaton, and the Marx Brothers, to name a few. However, her incredible career was tragically cut short in 1935 when she was found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning at the age of 30. The death was ruled a suicide, though it flew in the face of her personal and professional lives both lacking a motive for suicide.
However, her incredible career was tragically cut short in 1935 when she was found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning at the age of 30. The death was ruled a suicide, though it flew in the face of her personal and professional lives both lacking a motive for suicide.
Rumors blamed her lover, Roland West, for murdering her, and even claimed that he’d confessed to her murder on his deathbed. Regardless, it was an incredibly unfunny way for such a funny woman to go.
18. Sibling Trouble
Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland, despite their wildly different surnames, were sisters. However, things were complicated between them even from childhood, when they became bitter rivals from the start. Their mother made things worse by favoring de Havilland over Fontaine, which added further fuel to the fire.
19. I Did What?!?
In 2013, a bizarre sequence of events led to Zoeey Deschanel being named a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing. She woke up to find her name mentioned across social media and the story began to come together:
on a Fox newscast, the anchor has read the name “Dzhokhar Tsarnaev,” but the closed captioning had misunderstood it as “Zooey Deschanel”.
This led to a caption that identified her as the main suspect in the bombing. Deschanel later received an apology from the network affiliate and the company that handled their captioning.
Deschanel later received an apology from the network affiliate and the company that handled their captioning.
20. It’s on Now
When they both became actresses, Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine began competing for roles against each other. Fontaine got one over de Havilland when she was cast in the Alfred Hitchcock films Rebecca and Suspicion, winning an Oscar for the latter. De Havilland never forgave her for having a thriving career, so that when she won an Oscar of her own in 1947, she refused to shake Fontaine’s hand while accepting it—Fontaine was hosting the Oscars that year.
21. See You Never
The final straw between Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine occurred when their mother died in 1975.
According to Fontaine, de Havilland never invited Fontaine to the funeral, while de Havilland claimed that Fontaine had apparently had better things to do—given that this was the mother who openly picked favorites with her kids, we’re inclined to believe either story might be true. Either way, the sisters didn’t speak to each other again until Fontaine’s death more than 35 years later.
22. Sisters Before Misters?
Elizabeth Taylor went through famous relationship after famous relationship. The one that caused the biggest scandal, however, occurred when she lost her third husband to a plane crash in 1957, and she found comfort in the arms of his old friend, Eddie Fisher.
The one that caused the biggest scandal, however, occurred when she lost her third husband to a plane crash in 1957, and she found comfort in the arms of his old friend, Eddie Fisher.The problem was that Fisher was married at the time… to Taylor’s good friend Debbie Reynolds.
The fallout was naturally painful, though the two women managed to reconcile. As for Fisher and Taylor, their relationship lasted five years, so I guess it had been all worth it?
23. Bizarre Love Triangle
Drew Barrymore and Kristen Wiig are close friends—which made it all the more surprising when Wiig began dating Fabrizio Moretti in 2011. How come? Well, Barrymore and Moretti, drummer for indie rock band The Strokes, dated seriously from 2003 to 2007.
It could’ve easily turned into a classic Hollywood love triangle, with lots of tabloid drama and fans making “Team Drew” and “Team Kristen” shirts.
Despite this, the two remained friends throughout. Barrymore called the situation “wacky and incestuous,” and expressed that she thought the union made sense. Either way, Wiig and Moretti only lasted a few years, and she’s been linked to actor Avi Rothman in the years since.
24. Where Are Those Child Labor Laws??
You’ll never watch The Wizard of Oz the same way again after you find out just how tortured Judy Garland’s life was thanks to her Hollywood career. When she was set to star as Dorothy in the aforementioned film, she was 15, and already the studio was pushing her to lose as much weight as possible. Garland suffered mentally from the producers’ bullying, and then physically when she became addicted to diet pills.
Garland suffered mentally from the producers’ bullying, and then physically when she became addicted to diet pills.
While this wasn’t exactly a full-blown scandal back in the day, it was considered extreme even for the time. The crew who worked on The Wizard of Oz reflected that they’d never seen such cruelty towards a youth before. Shame that they couldn’t have stepped in and tried to help things, though.
25. Run-in With the Law
A 2013 viral tape showed Reese Witherspoon screaming at a police officer while being arrested for disorderly conduct, but most don’t know that she also shamefully confessed to bold-faced lying to the officer during the incident: as she said, “I saw [the cop] arresting my husband and I literally panicked.
I said all kinds of crazy things. I told him I was pregnant. I’m not pregnant! I said crazy things”.
26. Neither Pro-Life nor Pro-Choice
In Old Hollywood, when a big-time actress had a career playing the bombshell or the sex symbol that all the men want to be with, the image might be spoiled if she got married or, God forbid, got pregnant and couldn’t perform. Film studios would apply serious pressure on such actresses to avoid marriage and even force them to get abortions if the stork scheduled an appointment.
27. She Doesn’t Ship It
How did Kristen Stewart feel about her relationship to Robert Pattinson? In retrospect, she said it made her feel “gross”. The public pressure to make it work for the sake of fans got to the actress.
She admitted, “People wanted me and Rob to be together so badly that our relationship was made into a product. It wasn’t real life anymore. And that was gross to me. It’s not that I want to hide who I am or hide anything I’m doing in my life. It’s that I don’t want to become a part of a story for entertainment value”.
28. The Girl Can’t Help It
Back in the 1950s and 1960s, one woman decided that there was truly no such thing as bad press. Despite being a well-known actress, singer, and nightclub entertainer, Jayne Mansfield became notorious for the many publicity stunts she orchestrated which titillated and offended many different groups of people. Known for her impressive bust, Mansfield lost no opportunity to have a series of wardrobe malfunctions in public, showing off for the cameras.
Despite being a well-known actress, singer, and nightclub entertainer, Jayne Mansfield became notorious for the many publicity stunts she orchestrated which titillated and offended many different groups of people. Known for her impressive bust, Mansfield lost no opportunity to have a series of wardrobe malfunctions in public, showing off for the cameras.
This was partly fueled by her rivalry with Marilyn Monroe, and also because she was eager to use all the publicity she could get. However, many eventually grew tired of the joke, and her stunts became steadily more negatively received. She’s often been credited with popularizing the bikini and also paving the way for people such as the Kardashians. Feel free to debate whether that’s a positive or negative legacy.
She’s often been credited with popularizing the bikini and also paving the way for people such as the Kardashians. Feel free to debate whether that’s a positive or negative legacy.
29. An Untimely End
In 1967, Jayne Mansfield got into a car with her attorney, her driver, and three of her children. It would be the last car ride of her life, as just before 2:30 AM, the car crashed into the rear of a tractor-trailer, having failed to notice the trailer slowing down. The three adults, including Mansfield, were instantly killed, while the sleeping children in the rear of the car suffered only minor injuries.
It would be the last car ride of her life, as just before 2:30 AM, the car crashed into the rear of a tractor-trailer, having failed to notice the trailer slowing down. The three adults, including Mansfield, were instantly killed, while the sleeping children in the rear of the car suffered only minor injuries.
One of those sleeping children was her three-year-old daughter, Mariska Hargitay, who most people know as Det. Olivia Benson on Law & Order: SVU. Rumors abounded that Mansfield had been decapitated by the crash, but these reports were only slightly exaggerated from the severe head trauma which had been cited as the cause of death.
30. Just a Little Nap Between Parents
Kristen Bell admitted that her daughters have walked in on her and husband Dax Shepard in, uh, the heat of the moment. While promoting Bad Moms Christmas, she appeared on The Talk and confessed to the ladies about how it happened. “Well, we didn’t, like, continue…we sort of just went like, ‘Hey, what’s up? What do you need? What do you need’?… And then we just said, ‘Mommy and daddy are just going to take a nap for a couple of minutes’”.
Don’t worry, Kristen. We’re sure they won’t remember that as they get older. Well, maybe.
31. Playing it Up
The supposed true love of Greta Garbo’s life was silent film actor John Gilbert, with whom she starred in several films. MGM even changed the title of one of their films to Love so that they could advertise John Gilbert and Greta Garbo “in” Love and play up their real-life chemistry.
32. Jilted Lover
As much as Garbo and Gilbert were supposedly in love, marriage just wasn’t in the cards for the pair. He proposed several times, finally getting her to agree to a double wedding with King Vidor and actress Eleanor Boardman.
On the day of the wedding, however, she stood him up at the altar, leaving him disappointed and understandably angry.
33. Stop the Wedding!
In 1929, Gilbert proposed yet again to Garbo, but she still wouldn’t accept, and he got engaged to Ina Claire instead. The day before they were to be married, Garbo supposedly called Gilbert’s best man and begged him to stop the wedding. His reply was that only she could do that, but Garbo didn’t want to create a scandal and let it go on.
34. The Showman
After a brief marriage to English actor Michael Wilding, Elizabeth Taylor married film and theater producer Mike Todd.
Todd loved spectacles: for Elizabeth’s birthday, he rented Madison Square Garden, invited 18,000 party guests, and arranged to have the whole thing broadcast on CBS. Todd died in a plane crash in 1958; it was Taylor’s only marriage not to end in divorce.
35. Charlie Needs to Mediate this One
Movie sets are full of ego, but what happens when one actor blatantly criticizes another in the middle of production? In Charlie’s Angels, Lucy Liu allegedly attacked Bill Murray, screaming and throwing punches at his face. Was she justified? Moments before, Murray had stopped a scene in progress, apparently in order to compare Liu to her co-stars Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz.
In Charlie’s Angels, Lucy Liu allegedly attacked Bill Murray, screaming and throwing punches at his face. Was she justified? Moments before, Murray had stopped a scene in progress, apparently in order to compare Liu to her co-stars Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz.
He praised the two other actresses, then pointed to Liu and asked, “What in the hell are you doing here? You can’t act”! Nice Bill, real nice. He was replaced by Bernie Mac for the sequel.
36. Romance is Different in Hollywood
Anyone who has seen Casablanca or Murder on the Orient Express (the first one) will know just how talented Ingrid Bergman was. In her own lifetime, she was hailed as a legendary actress, until she became better known for a scandal which shocked a society that was hooked on Bergman’s wholesome cinematic persona. The news came out that she had begun an affair with director Roberto Rossellini when both were married at the time.
They ended up divorcing their spouses to become an item, partly because Bergman had become pregnant with Rossellini’s child. The pair would have three children together before divorcing in the 1950s. Despite the damage to her reputation, Bergman’s career endured, and she won another Academy Award later in her career.
37. Roberts vs. Roberts
Eric and Julia Roberts, both movie stars, albeit with very different career trajectories, first became estranged when Eric, struggling with chemical dependencies, gained an unsavory reputation for domestic violence.
His sister Julia understandably sided with Eric’s partner in the custody battle for their daughter Emma (yes, the Emma Roberts who is also an actress), which Eric took serious issue with. Things got so bad between them that Julia allegedly refused to have her brother’s name even mentioned around her. They did eventually reconcile, though.
38. The Battling Bogarts
Before marrying Lauren Bacall and becoming one-half of one of the most high-profile Hollywood couples of the era, Humphrey Bogart was married to actress Mayo Methot. And it was not a smooth relationship. They both drank heavily and fought regularly, eventually earning the moniker “The Battling Bogarts” in the press. Methot became known as “Sluggy” due to her combative nature, and Bogart would later name his yacht Sluggy in her honor.
39. Bogart, Bacall, and Methot
Bogart fell in love with Bacall on the set of To Have and Have Not, and they began an affair. At 3 am one morning, Bogart called Bacall, saying “I miss you, Baby,” before Methot, who had caught wind of the affair, tore the receiver from his hand and screamed at a terrified Bacall down the line: “Listen, you Jewish b**ch, who’s going to wash his socks”?
40. For Shame
Clara Bow paved the road for later sex symbols like Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor with films like It (no, there wasn’t a killer clown in this one). However, this position in Hollywood created a public which was eager to believe anything about this gorgeous starlet. Bow refused to… kneel to pressure (pun avoided) when a tabloid known as Coast Reporter threatened to spread ugly rumors about her if she didn’t pay them to stop.
Bow refused to… kneel to pressure (pun avoided) when a tabloid known as Coast Reporter threatened to spread ugly rumors about her if she didn’t pay them to stop.
Stories soon spread that Bow was an abuser of drink and drugs alike. She was said to have slept with men and women, taken part in an orgy with the USC football team, and even performed bestiality. These lies, coupled with the attempted blackmail, led to the publisher of Coast Reporter being arrested and sentenced to an eight-year prison term, proving once and for all that you really can send someone to jail for spreading fake news.
She was said to have slept with men and women, taken part in an orgy with the USC football team, and even performed bestiality. These lies, coupled with the attempted blackmail, led to the publisher of Coast Reporter being arrested and sentenced to an eight-year prison term, proving once and for all that you really can send someone to jail for spreading fake news.
41. So This is Why Bronn’s Never Around when Tyrion Needs Him Most!
With all the convincing hatred and bitterness between characters on Game of Thrones, you would think that at least some of it must be genuine. Well, it turns out that the real bitterness isn’t reflected in the show at all. This is because Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) and Jerome Flynn (Bronn) have made an explicit condition in their contracts that they are never to be in the same room as each other at any point in time!
The specific reason remains unknown, but it’s been established that they were once a romantic couple of sorts.
42. Talk About a Young Offender
1958 bore witness to one of the biggest scandals ever to rock Old Hollywood. Johnny Stompanato, known gangster and infamous boyfriend of renowned actress Lana Turner, was found stabbed to death in Turner’s home. Turner’s daughter, the 14-year-old Cheryl Crane, confessed to stabbing Stompanato after he had assaulted her mother in the midst of a vicious argument. The homicide was ruled to have been justified, proving once again that being in the Mafia doesn’t pay off in a court of law.
43. It Could Have Been Much Worse
As shocking as it was that Cheryl Crane had stabbed Johnny Stompanato to death, a few rumors persisted that things had gone down differently than was claimed by those involved. The most common of which was that Lana Turner had actually been the one to stab her boyfriend, and her daughter only took the fall because the court would look more favorably on murder if it was a minor who did it.
The most common of which was that Lana Turner had actually been the one to stab her boyfriend, and her daughter only took the fall because the court would look more favorably on murder if it was a minor who did it.
A more twisted rumor claimed that Turner hadn’t actually been threatened by Stompanato; she’d actually caught him in bed with her daughter! In her rage, she’d stabbed Stompanato and forced Crane to take the fall. Frankly, we’re doubtful that this version is true, and we really hope that it isn’t.
44. Strange Days for the Lohan Clan
Lindsay Lohan’s father Michael secretly fathered another child, Ashley Horn, only revealing her existence in 2012. This is where it gets weird—allegedly, Ashley underwent a number of surgeries to look more like her famous half-sister. She told In Touch Weekly that she got her jaw and chin reshaped, as well as her nose, and fat injections, and that her goal was to look like Lohan back in her “good days”. She later stated that the media manipulated her, and that those were not her reasons for getting any surgery.
45. Over the Rainbow
Judy Garland had a close friendship with President John F. Kennedy. They would often have late-night phone conversations and Kennedy would insist that she sing a few bars of her signature number from The Wizard of Oz, “Over the Rainbow,” before she hung up.
46. No Wonder We Never See Dorothy’s Parents
One of the many actresses who was pushed into getting an abortion by the studio system was Judy Garland (yes, her again). However, in her case, the pressure came not just from greedy film producers, but also from her own mother. In fact, it was her mother who arranged the abortion rather than the studio. And we thought Lindsay Lohan had had it rough…
However, in her case, the pressure came not just from greedy film producers, but also from her own mother. In fact, it was her mother who arranged the abortion rather than the studio. And we thought Lindsay Lohan had had it rough…
47. Nixing a Photoshoot
Rachel McAdams once stormed out of a photoshoot and fired her publicist after she was told that she was expected to pose nude.
In 2006, McAdams was slated to appear on the cover of Vanity Fair’s annual Hollywood issue, but she was not informed that the shoot would involve nudity. When she found out she immediately left. Clearly, her publicist had overlooked a rather crucial detail when explaining the details.
48. Last Words
Right before she died from a tragic pill overdose, Marilyn Monroe had a final desperate phone call to a friend. Just as she began to drift, her last words were, “Say goodbye to Pat, say goodbye to the president, and say goodbye to yourself, because you’re a nice guy”.
She was talking to actor Peter Lawford, who was married to Patricia Kennedy and was brother-in-law to sitting President John F. Kennedy.
49. Setting the Story Straight
Though Mandy Moore is known for her good girl image, in 2006 her ex-boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama made some pretty scandalous comments to Howard Stern about Moore’s intimate life.
The actor claimed that he had taken Moore’s virginity and also commented cruelly that, “The sex with Mandy was good, but it wasn’t like warm apple pie”.
At the time, Moore called him out for lying about taking her virginity, and even more recently she herself went onto Stern’s show and revealed more details about Valderrama’s icky rumor.
“‘Where did this come from’”? she remembered asking him at the time when she called him up. “And I remember in the moment he tried to explain it away, that sort of he did get caught up, and like he maybe insinuated more than outright said it.
And I was like, ‘No, you outright said it’”.
She then continued, “I met him at a photo shoot for like, some teen magazine, literally, when I was 15? 15! I was [pretty innocent!] … Again, never French kissed a boy.
He was like my first real true boyfriend. [But] he did not [take my virginity]”.
50. An Award-Winning Triangle
Dangerous (1935) was the role that got Bette Davis her first Oscar for Best Actress…but it also arguably kick-started her feud for Joan Crawford. While filming Dangerous, Davis fell in love with her co-star, Franchot Tone, whom Crawford was dating. Their chemistry did not go unnoticed by Crawford, who pressured Tone into a quick engagement while they were still filming.
Davis never forgave Crawford for “stealing” back her own man.
51. Maternal Affliction
When she was 16, Clara Bow’s mother fell out of a second-story window and suffered brain injuries that would likely contribute to her epilepsy and psychosis. Mrs.
Bow would grow to resent her daughter and once put a knife to the teenager’s throat. The assault led to her mother’s commitment to a sanitorium, where she later died at the age of 43.
52. Food Fight
Although Demi Lovato has been through so much, and has battled against her drug addiction, there’s still one demon she has yet to conquer:
her eating disorder. Lovato says she has suffered from compulsive overeating and bulimia since she was 8 or 9. As she says, “I had started working at that time and was under a lot of stress so I would bake cookies for my family and I would eat all of them and nobody would have any to eat. That was my first memory of food being that medicine for me”.
She admits that “food is still the biggest challenge in my life”.
53. More Than Frenemies?
In more amicable days, Joan Crawford tried to make nice with Bette Davis by sending gifts and flowers to the latter’s dressing room. Davis glibly shot down Crawford’s olive branches as “lesbian overtures”. (Bisexual rumors followed Crawford throughout her career, which leads some avid theorists to suggest her feud with Davis was fueled by spurned attraction as much as jealousy.
54. Keeping Her Past at Bay
After marrying Grace Kelly, Prince Rainier had all screenings of her films banned in Monaco. And what’s more, film director Alfred Hitchcock had offered the actress-turned-princess a role in his new movie, Marnie, but she turned it down because of the pressure put on her by Monaco.
55. Red Foreman Would Not Be Impressed
Ashton Kutcher found an unusual way to celebrate his anniversary with his then-wife Demi Moore.
Instead of flowers or chocolate, Kutcher chose instead to consummate his relationship with Sara Leal, a young administrative assistant. I can never remember—which year’s anniversary is infidelity?
56. Look at All Those Popped Monocles!
One of the most shocking acts in Mae West’s career was also her first starring role on Broadway. In 1926, West wrote, directed, produced, and starred in a play titled Sex. As if the title wasn’t shocking enough for the 1920s, the content also led to conservative critics denouncing the piece and religious groups voicing complaints. The show, meanwhile, was highly attended, with more than 375 performances!
57. Just Try Me!
Despite the wild success of West’s play, Sex’s run came to an abrupt halt when New York City police officers launched a raid in the winter of 1927 and arrested West, among others—this happened long after several members of the police department and justice system had gone to see the play. West was charged with obscenity and “corrupting the morals of youth”. She was sentenced to either pay a fine or serve ten days in prison.
Ever the one to buck the trend, West proudly declared that she would go to prison for her art.
58. Queen of the Jail
West’s decision to go to prison wasn’t just about standing for her art. She was also fully aware of the publicity that would come with this decision.
Her efforts were duly rewarded, and she had a ball playing it up. During her time in prison, West alleged, she had worn her silk panties rather than the standard prison clothes.
West also dined with the prison warden and his wife, and we can only imagine the conversation carried out at that dinner date!
West ultimately served just eight days in prison, getting two days off for good behavior. The irony of that last sentence literally made us laugh aloud while writing it.
59. Revenge Is a Dish Best Served in Gold
Bette Davis famously did not win her 10th and final Oscar nomination for What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? To add insult to injury, her co-star Joan Crawford was there to rub salt in the wound.
Crawford had convinced the four other Best Actress nominees, who could not show up, to let her accept on their behalf if they won.
Not being able to beat those 4-to-1 odds, Davis had to watch her lifelong enemy Crawford take the award onstage.
60. Acting Badly
For the movie Boogie Nights, director Paul Thomas Anderson explained to the cast that acting poorly for the porn scenes (which is what he wanted them to do) would be really difficult for them to do. He challenged the cast to see who could act the worst, and not surprisingly, Julianne Moore won the contest.
She’s so talented that she’s even good at being bad!
61. Nothing to Hide
Clara Bow was just trying to tell her life story to Photoplay magazine when she (1) might have invented celebrity biographical culture and (2) “betrayed” the private sensibilities of Old Hollywood. In an age where actors desperately tried to hide any aspect of their personal life, Bow bore it all in her piece titled “My Life” for the magazine.
Her first-person narrative was hugely controversial not so much for its content—but for the very idea that a star should be honest about their life.
62. Whatever Floats Your Boat
Ariana Grande believes that one of her exes cheated on her with a guy.
Speaking of one of her songs, she’s said: It’s about a boy who cheats on a girl with another boy… It’s one of my favorites on the album, and it’s really funny because I believe it has happened to me.
I’m not 100 percent positive, but I’m 99.9 percent positive”.
63. One of the Boys
Growing up, Clara Bow was a guy’s gal; she ran with a “gang” of male friends until her blossoming “womanhood” made it hard to be just one of the dudes. She also saw one of these boys burn to death in front of her in a childhood accident.
64. A Near Death Experience
In 2014, while on the beach in Oahu, Hawaii, Anne Hathaway got swept up in a riptide. She started to scream and wave her arms, but her boyfriend wasn’t close enough to hear her. Thankfully, some local surfers saw her in distress and were able to save her with a boogie board, but she cut her toe on some coral on the way in and when she finally made it to shore, was bleeding profusely.
65. Garbo Talks!
Swedish-born Greta Garbo didn’t know any English when she came to America in 1925. Although she eventually learned the language, MGM executives were hesitant to transition her from silent films to talkies. They needn’t have worried, as her first sound film, 1930’s Anna Christie, was a huge success and earned Garbo a Best Actress Academy Award nomination. The film was publicized with the tagline “Garbo Talks”! Her sizzling first line was “Gimme a whisky, ginger ale on the side, and don’t be stingy, baby”!
66. People Can Be Cruel
After returning to the limelight following a hiatus from acting, people were quick to point out that Renee Zellweger looked a lot different, particularly her face, and immediately began speculating that she had plastic surgery.
She ended up dismissing the rumors in an essay she wrote for the Huffington Post and chalked it up to the fact that she has simply aged, like every human being does.
67. Privacy Please
Notoriously enigmatic and fiercely private, Garbo rarely gave interviews, avoided industry social functions, and never signed autographs or answered fan mail.
Nor did she ever appear at Oscar ceremonies, even when she was nominated. She had said that her desire for privacy began when she was a child: “as early as I can remember, I have wanted to be alone.
I detest crowds, don’t like many people”.
68. The Swedish Sphinx
Garbo’s aversion to publicity and her reclusive nature bolstered the aura of mystery surrounding her, and reinforced the intrigue of her on-screen persona. MGM eventually played up to it, and Garbo was regularly referred to as the “Swedish Sphinx” in the press.
Kirsten Dunst’s breakout role was as forever young vampire Claudia in the film Interview with the Vampire, based on the book by Anne Rice. In the film, Dunst and Brad Pitt’s characters share a tender moment together. The scene called for Dunst and Pitt to kiss each other.
It made Dunst uncomfortable to say the least, having her first kiss with a man many years her senior. “I thought it was gross, that Brad had cooties. I mean, I was 12,” she said.
70. The Role of a Lifetime
The screen tests for the role of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind were, to say the least, intensive. Over 1,400 unknown actresses were interviewed in a nationwide casting call, and dozens of famous stars auditioned for the part, including Katharine Hepburn, Loretta Young, Helen Hayes, Lana Turner, and Lucille Ball.
149,000 feet of black-and-white film and 13,000 feet of technicolor were shot for the tests.
71. Thanks, Mom?
Drew Barrymore’s early problems with alcoholism and drugs led to a suicide attempt when she was only 13, but the actress was found and taken to the hospital. Afterward, her mother sent her to a mental institution, where she stayed for a year and a half.
Drew says there was no warning of the institutionalization, but she realizes that she likely would have run away if her mother warned her it was coming.
Once Drew was released at age 14, she emancipated herself from her mom, legally becoming an adult.
Despite this, Barrymore thinks fondly of her mom, even though the two don’t speak that often.
72. Barred by Bigots
Gone with the Wind made its grand premiere at Loew’s Grand Theater in Atlanta, Georgia on December 15, 1939. Producer David O.
Selznick wanted to bring African-American actress Hattie McDaniel (who played Mammy) along to the premiere, but sadly, MGM advised him not to, on account of Georgia’s segregation laws at the time.
Clark Gable, McDaniel’s co-star, was outraged, and threatened to boycott the premiere unless she were permitted to attend. McDaniel convinced him to attend anyway, and the premiere went ahead without her.
She went on to become the first African-American Oscar winner for her role in the film, winning Best Supporting Actress.
73. Monogamy No Go
Scarlett Johansson has been married and divorced twice: once to Reynolds (they split in 2011), and once to Romain Dauriac (they split early 2017).
She has said in the past that she finds monogamy difficult, particularly when she’s working very hard and is away from her partner. In her words, “I think the idea of marriage is very romantic; it’s a beautiful idea, and the practice of it can be a beautiful thing, I don’t think it’s natural to be a monogamous person. I might be skewered for that, but I think it’s work. It’s a lot of work”. Good luck, Colin Jost!
74. An Affair to Remember
Katharine Hepburn’s relationship with Spencer Tracy is one of Hollywood’s most legendary love affairs. They had a relationship for 27 years until Tracy’s death in 1967. Tracy was an unhappily married father of two when they met, but he never pursued a divorce and remained married throughout the whole affair.
They made a total of nine films together.
75. Unlucky Number Nine
A mere four days after Cher’s divorce from Sonny Bono was final, on June 30, 1975, she jumped into another tumultuous marriage, this time with rock star Gregg Allman, frontman for the Allman Brothers Band. However intense their feelings were for each other at the time, they couldn’t withstand Allman’s alcoholism and substance abuse.
He would allegedly drink a quart of vodka every day while doing heroin, leading Cher to reach her limit with the guitarist after only nine days of matrimony.
She told Entertainment Weekly that Allman was “so high, he didn’t even understand me”.
76. Oscars Shmoscars
Despite winning four Oscars and being nominated for eight more, Katharine Hepburn never attended an Academy Awards ceremony as a nominee.
She appeared at the ceremony only once, to present the Irving Thalberg Award to Lawrence Weingarten in 1974. After a standing ovation, she told the crowd “I’m living proof that a person can wait forty-one years to be unselfish”.
77. Dangerous Liaisons
One of Michelle Pfeiffer’s earliest roles was playing the innocent and ill-treated Madame Marie de Tourvel in Dangerous Liaisons. She played opposite John Malkovich, who had the infamous role of the unprincipled Valmont.
As might be expected on the set of a film about scandal, it was soon reported that the married Malkovich had begun an affair with Pfeiffer. The affair did not last, but neither did Malkovich’s marriage.
78. National Hero
German-born Marlene Dietrich was asked to return to Germany by associates of Adolf Hitler to make films there in the late 1930s.
A staunch opponent of the Nazi government, Dietrich refused. She became an official US citizen in 1939. For entertaining US troops in WWII and for her stand against Naziism in general, Dietrich received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1947.
In 2014, a stalker named Joshua James Corbett broke into Sandra Bullock’s Los Angeles home. When she realized that a stranger was in her house, she was forced to hide in a closet while calling 911.
Corbett was arrested, entered a no contest plea and is now prohibited from seeing Bullock for 10 years. Bullock never appeared in person for the trial, but her 15 minute 911 call was still valuable evidence.
Here’s part of the recording from Bullock’s 911 call:
“I’m locked in my closet. I have a safe door in my bedroom and I’ve locked it… I hear them. I hear someone banging on the door”.
80. Protect Those Pipes
Marlene Dietrich’s voice was unique, iconic, and probably her most defining and valuable feature. She was no doubt aware of this; she insured her voice for $1 million.
81. Not to Be Messed With
In 2003, Cameron Diaz was approached by John Rutter, with whom she had done a topless photo shoot and video with when she was 19. The creepy Rutter offered her the chance to buy back the photos, which he was otherwise threatening to publish.
Rutter asked for $3.5 million in exchange for keeping the photos private. Diaz wasn’t having it and sued him for attempted blackmail. In 2005, Rutter was sentenced to prison.
82. Prince Harming
Film legend Marilyn Monroe eloped with baseball legend Joe DiMaggio in 1954, but the marriage lasted only nine months.
DiMaggio was upset his wife did not forgo her bombshell image after marriage. Following a mental breakdown and another divorce on Marilyn’s part, her ex re-entered her life. Just four days before her death from an overdose in 1962, DiMaggio quit his job to ask for Marilyn’s hand in remarriage.
DiMaggio sent flowers thrice a week to Marilyn Monroe’s grave. He outlived her by 36 years but never married again, and his last words were apparently, “I’ll finally get to see Marilyn”. While Joe DiMaggio’s undying devotion to Marilyn Monroe looks like the stuff of Hollywood romance, it shouldn’t eclipse how their union also echoed the Hollywood violent thriller. When they divorced, DiMaggio had Monroe’s phones tapped and would show up to her house at random intervals, just to see if she was with other men. Not cool.
Brie Larson has already joined the golden club of Academy Award winners, winning in 2016 with her performance in Room. Larson’s character was a victim of sexual abuse and that fact wasn’t lost on her. Larson made sure to hug all the sexual assault survivors who graced the stage during Lady Gaga for Gaga’s performance of “Til It Happens To You”.
Larson also refused to clap for Casey Affleck after presenting him with his Best Actor Oscar for Manchester by the Sea. Affleck was sued for the alleged sexual harassment of two women (with suits settled in 2010) and Larson advised that:
“…whatever I did onstage kind of spoke for itself”.
84. Silent Start
Marion Leonard was one of the first celebrities of the early days of the silent film era. She starred in the first film ever made in Hollywood, D.
W. Griffith’s In Old California from 1910.
85. Essential Ritual
The last time Cate Blanchett saw her father alive, she was sitting at the piano and waved goodbye as he walked past the window. That was also the day he died, and because she didn’t get to give him a hug goodbye, she developed a ritual where she couldn’t leave her house until she physically said goodbye to all of her family members. Totally understandable under the circumstances.
Marilyn Monroe and Shelley Winters were roommates when they first tried to make it in Hollywood.
87. Low Blow
During Amanda Bynes’ very public mental breakdown, when her legal troubles were beginning to pile up, fellow-child star Lindsay Lohan took the opportunity to cruelly kick her one-time rival while she was down. Lohan took issue with the fact that Bynes had not been incarcerated after her many run-ins with the law, tweeting:
“Why did I get put in jail and a Nickelodeon star has had NO punishment(s) so far”? So much for supporting your peers.
88. Before She Was Marilyn…
Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson, and only legally changed her name to Marilyn Monroe in March 1956.
89. Yeah, That’s Just Creepy
Creepy director Alfred Hitchcock took his feud with The Birds star Tippi Hedren way too far when he went for her family. While The Birds was in post-production, Hitchcock had brought Hedren in to have a mask made of her face. Hitchcock then took the model and shrunk her face down and created a doll which was an exact replica of Hedren.
Hitchcock dressed the doll up like Hedren’s character in The Birds, put the doll in a little coffin, and sent it to Hedren’s six-year-old daughter for a “birthday gift”. The daughter in question was actress Melanie Griffith, who later declared of Hitchcock:
“He was a [expletive beginning with mother], and you can quote me”.
90. Steamy Affair
According to Shia LaBeouf, he and his Transformers co-star Megan Fox had an affair while they were shooting. At the time, Fox may or may not have been involved with her now-husband, Brian Austin Green; the two had a volatile relationship, and it looks like LaBeouf never thought to ask.
As he explained the tryst, “Look, you’re on the set for six months, with someone who’s rooting to be attracted to you, and you’re rooting to be attracted to them”.
LaBeouf also confirmed that it was Fox’s comments about Transformers director Michael Bay—comments that compared him to Hitler—that got her booted from the Transformers franchise. However, it wasn’t Bay’s idea, it was executive producer Steven Spielberg’s idea.
91. First Love
Tatum O’Neal was Michael Jackson’s first girlfriend and, allegedly, his first real love.
Jackson once said in an interview that during their time together, she had tried to seduce him, but the idea of sex terrified him so he backed off. For years, it was widely believed that Jackson had lost his virginity to O’Neal, but in 2004 she shocked the world when she categorically denied this in her book.
According to her, the two of them kissed, but never did anything more—the tabloids had made their relationship seem far more scandalous than it had been in real life. However, she also denied Michael’s claim that she tried to seduce him.
92. Surprise Appearance
After her death, Veronica Lake was cremated, as per her wishes. Her ashes were scattered off the coast of the Virgin Islands. However, a portion of Lake’s ashes were reportedly discovered in 2004—found in a New York antique store.
93. Some People Won’t Get Along
One of the most famous stories revolving around Olivia de Havilland was her intense rivalry with her younger sister, Joan Fontaine.
Beginning in childhood, the two sisters vied for their mother’s favor (who didn’t help matters by favoring de Havilland). This rivalry continued for the rest of their lives, getting worse over Oscar competition, and arguments over their mother’s cancer treatment.
When Fontaine attempted to congratulate her sister on her 1946 Oscar win, de Havilland’s reaction was utterly cold-blooded. As Fontaine extended her hand, de Havilland turned away. The pair didn’t speak for five years after the public snub, and continued to feud for the rest of Fontaine’s life.
The pair didn’t speak for five years after the public snub, and continued to feud for the rest of Fontaine’s life.
94. Use It or Lose It
As the Sexual Revolution swept the face of America, Doris Day’s film roles remained unchanged: pure, conservative, and “sweet” characters stayed her forte. For her unwillingness to budge with the times, pundits of the 1960s and 70s snidely dubbed her “The World’s Oldest Virgin”.
95. So Fresh and So Clean
Crawford’s obsessive cleanliness reared its pristine head even in her bedroom affairs.
In his memoirs, Kirk Douglas recalled a particularly disturbing and bizarre romantic encounter when the two stars once went back to Crawford’s house. In the middle of the act, Douglas reports, Crawford leaned in and murmured into his ear—but it was far from sweet nothings.
“You’re so clean,” she said.
“It’s wonderful that you shaved your armpits when you made Champion”. As Douglas put it, her passionate outburst was “a real conversation stopper”. Nonetheless, Douglas admits that, “All by herself, she was equivalent to my six sisters and my mother”.
96. Church Schism
Scientology was blamed for Nicole Kidman’s divorce from Tom Cruise, but very little was known about the split’s awful details until former Scientologists revealed that Cruise and the Church of Scientology actually had Kidman’s phone tapped during their marriage.
97. In the Flower of Her Youth
On December 20, 2009, actress Brittany Murphy died at the tragically young age of 32.
While the cause of death was originally listed as natural causes, a subsequent report blamed her death on “a combination of pneumonia, anemia, and prescription and over-the-counter drugs”. Five months after Murphy’s death, her husband, Simon Monjack, died in the same bedroom that Murphy had been in.
In a disturbing coincidence, the cause of his death was also listed as pneumonia and anemia.
One reason for the abrupt deaths of Murphy and her husband has been brought forward by Murphy’s mother, Sharon. Sharon maintains that her daughter and son-in-law died due to a presence of toxic mold in their house.
By contrast, Murphy’s father, Angelo Bertolotti, had toxicology tests done on Murphy’s hair.
The results convinced him that she and her husband were poisoned. Bertolotti has yet to make an accusation on who that poisoner might have been, and it’s worth pointing out that Murphy’s mother, Sharon, and Bertolotti hotly dispute each other’s claims.
98. The Decline and Fall
When Mary Pickford wed Douglas Fairbanks, they were two of the biggest stars in Hollywood.
They often hosted lavish parties at “Pickfair,” their home, but few saw the dark side of their glamorous life together. The massive amount of attention they received strained the marriage. At the end of the silent era, both their careers floundered, creating further tension.
Then, in the early 30s, a scandal erupted that would finally tear them apart. Fairbanks began an affair with Sylvia, Lady Ashley, a wealthy socialite. When his cheating became public, the Hollywood golden couple separated.
99. Runaway Bride
In the late ’80s and early ’90s, Julia Roberts had a reputation as something of a runaway bride (perhaps leading to her casting in a film of the same name in the late ’90s). She became engaged to Dylan McDermott after they appeared in Steel Magnolias together, but broke it off when she met Kiefer Sutherland while making Flatliners. Sutherland was already married at the time with a child, but he soon announced his engagement to Roberts.
A huge wedding was planned, but three days before, Roberts called it off and ran away to Ireland with Sutherland’s good friend Jason Patric. Recently, Sutherland revealed he holds no grudges about the whole debacle, saying that Roberts was smart to get out while she did.
100. Head Case
During the war, Bette Davis tragically lost her second husband, Arthur Farnsworth, but he did not die in battle. However, his death was due to violent reasons: he passed out in a Hollywood street and died two days later.
When the autopsy came back, it revealed that he died from a skull fracture incurred two weeks before. Davis testified she didn’t know what could possibly have caused the fatal injury. Farnsworth’s death was labeled an accident.
101. Consummate Professional
When Heath Ledger tragically died from intoxication from prescription drugs, his ex-partner (and mother of his daughter, Matilda) Michelle Williams was busy filming the movie Mammoth in Sweden. The rest of Williams’s time on set, according to her, was “horrible,” and she later admitted that she couldn’t even “remember most of it”.
Speaking in an interview almost a decade after Ledger’s death, Michelle described the period immediately afterward as one of the hardest times of her life.
She said that life became “unmanageable”… partly because she was trying to raise her and Ledger’s young daughter without allowing the media circus to affect her childhood.
Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190