It’s no secret that Hollywood has a dark and murky underbelly and things were never murkier than during the so-called Golden Age of Hollywood, when screen icons lived a very different life to the celebs of today.
The Cohen Brother’s latest film Hail Caesar! examined this time with Josh Brolin playing the infamous Eddie Mannix a Hollywood ‘fixer’ who made sure that the stars were behaving.
However Eddie Mannix was a real man who, as the general manager and later vice president of MGM, sat at the centre of a nefarious spider’s web controlling doctors, the police and the press allowing him to spin a celeb scandal any way he wanted.
Mannix worked in collaboration with MGM’s head of publicity, Howard Strickling, to help keep the leading men and ladies of Hollywood off the front pages, The Huffington Post reports.
Here’s a list of just a few of the celebrities that Mannix helped over the years…
The legendary Joan Crawford was an icon of the silver screen during the 1930s leading to her being named the first ‘Queen of the Movies’ by Life magazine.
Unfortunately Ms Crawford always courted scandal and was surrounded by rumours, allegedly changing changing her name and lying about her age so she’d be old enough to join MGM studios.
Some say she even went so far as to disguise her natural red hair and freckles with make up and hair dye to appear more attractive.
However nothing was more scandalous than her decision to star in a pornographic film before she broke through as a star. Mannix is supposed to have tracked down every single copy of the tape and destroyed them, and also paid $100,000 of MGM’s money to buy the original negative.
The illustrious Clark Gable may have been a heavyweight actor but he was also a massive dick, and was in trouble so often that he and Eddie Mannix ended up becoming really good friends.
It’s long been rumoured that Mannix helped Gable cover up a lethal hit and run on actress Tosca Roulien back in 1933 , with Mannix paying off an MGM screenwriter to take the blame.
Just one year later, during the filming of Call of the Wild, Gable supposedly sexually assaulted his co-star Loretta Young and she fell pregnant.
To stop the fallout Mannix helped Loretta ‘adopt’ her own daughter publicly when the girl turned two.
Paul Bern was one of MGM’s busiest employees working as a producer, writer and director, he also happened to be a bigamist, marrying the one of the studio’s biggest stars Jean Harlow despite having a wife in New York.
Marrying another woman turned out to be a mistake Bern didn’t live to regret as his first wife turned up and shot him in the head soon after.
Or at least that’s one of the theories, legally Bern’s death was ruled as a suicide although for years there were rumours that Mannix covered up the murder using his police contacts, as he didn’t want Jean Harlow’s career to be ruined.
Being a loyal MGM employee Mannix did everything he could to keep the studio on top in Hollywood this included burying scandals before they snowballed.
One example is the supposed rape of Patricia Douglas, a young woman who answered a casting call for MGM. Arriving on the lot her and other young actresses were dressed in skimpy cowgirl outfits and used as ‘female entertainment’ for over 300 salesmen and executives.
The event supposedly ended with Douglas being raped but when she tried to take legal action against MGM Mannix supposedly paid off the other guests to say that Patricia was ‘uncontrollably drunk’.
Apparently when the court date arrived no lawyers turned up and a federal judge was forced to dismiss the case.
Before Christopher Reeves put on Superman’s red cape George Reeves was the Man of Steel until he committed suicide in 1959, but rumours abound that he met his tragic end at the hands of Eddie Mannix.
Supposedly it was an open secret in Hollywood that Reeves was having an affair with Mannix’s wife Toni, however this is here things take a strange turn.
Mannix allegedly approved of the affair as he was having an affair as well and as a Christian didn’t believe in divorce. But when Reeves dumped Toni to marry Leonore Lemmon, Mannix was infuriated at Reeves for breaking his wife’s heart.
The legend goes that Mannix used his Mafia connections to have Reeves killed and then staged the suicide. Of course this is all rumour and hearsay so take it with a massive pinch of salt.