Monday, January 01, 2018

Blind Items Revealed #16 - Old Hollywood

September 28, 2017

She wasn't really a librarian. She was an actress. Probably almost A list at her peak. The thing is though she loved books and generally had a handful with her at all times. So, to those closest to her she was called the librarian. It was also a code word. No one used her name out loud when they wanted something else for her. Her peak was during silent films. She worked with nothing but A+ listers and was always by their side. Besides being a decent actress, she also had connections in the medical industry. Those connections allowed her to be almost the only source of cocaine in Hollywood. Besides being the only source for cocaine, she provided a service no one else did. She would come to the studio or the home of a star and have them lie down. She would then personally supervise the injecting of cocaine into their body. While the star enjoyed the effects of the drug, our actress would stay there reading a book or talking to them or whatever else they needed. When the rush ended, our actress would collect her fee and exit. Oh, and just because she was tiny and beautiful didn't mean you could get away without paying. Between her gun and her bodyguard, everyone paid or they ended up in the hospital. A couple of people ended up dead. One person who ended up dead was not even her fault, but it ruined her career in front of the cameras and as a dealer. She tried to make a comeback a few years later as an actress and had some success, but her husband was jealous of the attention so she stopped. She died a short time later.

Mabel Normand

33 comments:

MovieBuff said...

Gotta Google

Andi F said...

She also co-stared with Fatty Arbuckle. His whole rape trial hurt her career.

Sunspirit said...

Love Old Hollywood blinds

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachewbacca said...

These Old Hollywood blinds make so much more sense if you've read Hollywood Babylon by Kenneth Anger, such a great read.

Scooterchick said...

She worked with Charlie Chaplin at Keystone. She was responsible for Mack Sennett hiring him off the vaudeville stage when Chaplin was touring with the Fred Karno troupe (with Stan Laurel) when he went to America the first time. She also helped persuade Sennett (a Canadian) to keep Chaplin on at Keystone when he failed to deliver, initially. The death of the director William Desmond Taylor (who had walked out on his wife & kids back east, apparently, changed his name, etc. - they thought he had died years before he actually did) was the scandal that ruined her career as well as that of May Myles Minto, a girly girl actress with a strong stage mother. Passionate love letters from Minto were found in his house after his death, along with a wardrobe including scanty lingerie embroidered with "MMM".... Only one reason those unmentionables would be found at a guy's place: if she needed to change them!

Himmmm said...

Great story/item Enty! There is just so, so, soooo much more to this that I wish people could know. The stuff Mabel got up to in her era? Would melt the minds of the most jaded celeb in today's Hollywood. Someone very close to me actually owns Mabel's hand-written diary (nearly illegible but stunning).

For those of you who enjoy Old Hollywood? Look for a new series coming to HBO in the future. Deal has been done but no word on production/target air dates just yet. It's called "Ribbon of Dreams" and it is about Mabel, Mr. Desmond-Taylor, Roscoe, Charlie, D.W., Mack, Mary, Douglas, C.B., Adolph, Irving, Mr. Moreno, and many others who founded Hollywood in the silent era. I know...because I've had a hand in developing the show from day 1 with David Chase (creator of Sopranos). Casey Bloys at HBO gave it a greenlight. What's amazing is all of the relatives of so many of those pioneers agreed to be part of the show (including Charlie Chaplin's beautiful descendants). Just gotta get it to the screen. Maybe 2018 will let Mabel's ghost get her final "say". It'll be a scorcher of a show for sure.

Himmmm said...

Very good Scooterchick! You know your history well. Mary Minter's mother was a piece of work. And we all think today's momagers are bad? Nothing is new under the sun apparently.

Andi F said...

Doesn't surprise me that the Chaplin's descendents have agreed to a show about him, or other descendents have. While good looking, none of them have the It factor their grandparents, great grandprents did.

Andi F said...

Normand had a cocaine habit that Taylor was trying constantly to get her clean.

I Pity Liadan's Pity Party said...

I love Mabel Normand! Thanks for the heads' up on the HBO series, Himmmmm.
"Mabel at the Wheel" and "Tillie's Punctured Romance" are must-sees, if anyone is interested, as well as the biography by Timothy Dean Lefler.

LONGtime reader, first-time poster.

Manger1 said...

He promised no filler. Too much googling today.

Vie Zeen said...

I googled but should've just read posters posts instead.

Schneiderisnext said...

Himmmm

Please, can you help us with "the church" blind?

375 comments, tons of theories, but no confirmation/help from Enty yet

http://www.crazydaysandnights.net/2017/12/todays-blind-items-church.html?m=1

Is the mogul Mr. G? Is the Church Dream City or the FLDS?

Glitter said...

Years and years ago I read a book called A Cast of Killers that details the shooting death of William Desmond Taylor. One suspect was Mable Normand. Great look into that era. Good gossip.

Himmmm said...

Schneiderisnext - I've read some of what you've done there and you guys/gals are amazing, intrepid detectives. I have no personal knowledge of that actual blind, and you know far more about it than I do. So my guesses on that would just be guesses. I'd say your work on it makes you far more of an authority than I could be. Sorry I can't be of more help to you, I just have no first-hand knowledge of that exact church. I've got rugrats tugging on the coat so I'm heading out the door right now. Best of luck and have a safe New Years my friends!

@Glitter: yes, and there's something , a website I think, called "Taylorology" which is an academic study into the Desmond-Taylor murder and all the cast of that scandal. I've heard it's quite impressive.

Scooterchick said...

Hi Himmmmm Aw shucks, thank you! My fascination with Old Hollywood runs deep; first was a life-long obsession with Chaplin - everyone should read Dr Stephen Weissman's bio & analysis of him - when you realise the pathos of why his mother became insane and his truly Dickensian childhood, it's a wonder he survived at all, let alone became a comedic and musical genius.... After Chaplin caught my interest at 8, I was lucky enough to grow up in Toronto just blocks away from a former vaudeville theatre that after conversion to a cinema, ran nothing but pre-1950s films. All that, an eidetic memory and an impish delight in trivial facts and the seamier side of the big screen, and, well, here I am :). King Vidor was a great source of info gathered on Desmond Taylor & may have solved the crime. Bring On More Old Hollywood Blinds, I say! There are soooooooo many juicy stories.

Scooterchick said...

Himmmmm Can't wait to see 'Ribbon of Dreams'! I hope it is made to a high standard and has a long life - soooo much rich material, and truth really is, at times, stranger than fiction, looking back at those 'golden years' of moving pictures. (I loved the series 'Vinyl', for example, but was so disappointed when it was cancelled; and had been a 'Boardwalk Empire' fan from its inception). Chaplin's many talented descendants are to be found in everything, and many strongly resemble young Chaplin and his beautiful & fecund wife Oona. I wonder if 'Ribbon of Dreams' will touch on the scandalous events in Charlie's half-brothet Sydney's career?

Kimberly Davis said...

yes...love these hollywood silent era blinds! Sydney Chaplin..hmmm..I'm trying to recall...did he have something to do w/ MMonroe, or did I just read that in the Joyce Carol Oates book? How can Chaplin's descendants compete w/him or Eugene O'Neill? I know one of them, a lovely French woman who is a performance artist. I was mad for Greta Garbo, John Gilbert! Can't wait for HBO show...I found the Rock and role one bitterly disappointing.

Scooterchick said...

Hi Kimberly Davis that Sydney was Charlie's son, named after his half brother Sydney (there were at least 2 other half brothers, one named Wheeler Dryden, raised in Canada bu hus father - different father than Syd sr or Charlie's) who also appeared in 'Limelight').... The older Sydney led a very scandalous life, ended up retiring from films quite suddenly (think Wein-pig only so bad it even terminated his career at a time when so much was tolerated in Hollywood), & moved to France where he lived til the end. In lieu of nothing, the snr Syd also was very, very clever with money and invested in air travel long before anyone ever even considered it as an option to taking the train to cross the country, so he not only multiplied Charlie's money, but also made a nice fortune for himself. Geraldine Chaplin ('Dr Zhivago, just one role), Charlie's eldest daughter was wonderful when she acted. Some current actors, like Ben Chaplin, are actually not related but Ben chose Chaplin as his stage name.... Did anyone watch Tom Hardy's series 'Taboo' last year? The actress that played his sister is a Chaplin grand or great grand daughter.

Scooterchick said...

Kimberly Davis - Michael Chaplin, the son who wrote the execrable autobio book 'I Couldn't Smoke The Grass On My Father's Lawn', straightened out eventually, & is very involved in the family trust and Chaplin film foundation in Italy. One reason why many people don't know much of any note by any of Chaplin's descendants is because his mass of kids from his second family were born & raised in Vevey, Switzerland, and are/were bi & tri lingual. Michael, Geraldine and others live in France & various UK & European countries and so may be in non-English media & arts.

Scandi Sanskrit said...

This one is awesome! 🗽👩🏻🚕🍂💛

Scandi Sanskrit said...

This is one of my fave blind items IDK why.

Scandi Sanskrit said...

Mmm, unmentionables. 😂😂😂😂

Scandi Sanskrit said...

Reality/truth can sometimes be stranger than fiction because you can't make that shit up.

Like what level of genius are you to think up this "service" where you sell your time to keep high people company while you talk/read a book (it doesn't say she reads TO them) but it's brilliant.

Scandi Sanskrit said...

"I vant to be alone..." —Ballerina Greta Garbo 🏨

Natasha said...

The great un-answered question of the ages is the one poor Mabel asked at the end of her life:

" Who killed poor Bill?"

William Desmond Taylor's murder was never solved. LAPD and DA Burton Fitts saw to that. I still say that Mary Miles Minter shot him by accident that night. She likely used the old, "if you don't marry me, I'll kill myself!" routine, waving that .38 with the faulty trigger that she'd swiped from dear old Mummsie. She really didn't mean to do it and couldn't quite recall most of the rest of the night or even the next few weeks.

Hmmm...do you know if the new show will address the Taylor murder?

I Pity Liadan's Pity Party said...

@Natasha - I agree. Poor MMM did it. I don't believe that Mummy had a fling with Taylor, though - do you guys?

Scooterchick said...

Or MMM's horrible momager did it... Apparently she owned a .38 and 'unusual bullets', which were similar to what killed Desmond Taylor. She also left the country and stayed away for years..... She and her daughter fought over money, etc.... She seems kind of suspicious, too ;)

B626 said...

I can’t imagine the risks actresses took back then to be successful
The shame of sex outside of marriage
No Birth Control
Hell, the lack feminine hygiene products

Natasha said...

@scooterchick

The Mom, Charlotte Shelby, was indeed a suspect and a damn fine one too!

She'd threatened Taylor before witnesses. She'd even gone looking for Mary late one night over to Taylor's. The admin who drove the car that night was appalled to see that her boss was packing heat. Charlotte calmly asserted that had her daughter been there, she'd have shot both of them.

Nice lady, eh?

No wonder poor Mary went nuts!

Schneiderisnext said...

Oh boy! My first Himmmm response!

Thanks for your time, and encouragement! No need to apologize. You're a real light in this dark space.

Happy New Year!

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