Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Today's Blind Items- Blackmail - Old Hollywood

This reporter was one of the most respected reporters of her time. She landed some interviews that are still considered important a half century later. Some of the interviews she landed were just being in the right time in the right place. Her Hollywood interviews though were her knowing more than everyone else and using that information to get exclusive interviews.

1. There was this permanent A+ list singer who blew off an interview with her. One week later after she told him she would release the story of him having sex with a 13 year old he gave the reporter an interview and gave her a dozen other interviews over the course of his career.

2. She knew all about this closeted permanent A list singer. The singer would always sue people if they hinted he was gay. The reporter had audio recordings of the singer talking to several different men and offering them money for sex. She used that for access and also to keep him from testifying against one of her employers at a libel trial.

3. She launched the career of this permanent A+ list mostly movie actress and in return was privy to every actor and actress in Hollywood who hit on the permanent A+ lister. The reporter is also who introduced her to a permanent A+ list celebrity who would ultimately be her downfall.

70 comments:

sandybrook said...

Rona Barrett?
1-Elvis

zilla1 said...

Hedda Hopper or Louella Parsons

zilla1 said...

Although people were more scared of them than anything else

sandybrook said...

2-Bobby Darin?

zilla1 said...

Speaking of respected female reporters, I got to reading Nellie Bly's undercover piece on mental wards at the turn of the century. She was really the bombdiggety.

zilla1 said...

Let's throw Baba Wawa in there just to cover the bases.

Kno Won Uno said...

This sounds right because half a century ago is only 1966.

Ettacettera said...

I don't know how she could be respected if she used blackmail and threats...

Anyway, first thoughts..Frank Sinatra, Wayne Newton, Natalie Wood..or Monroe...

Kno Won Uno said...

Wasn't Rona always on Merv Griffin?

Kno Won Uno said...

I like Natalie Wood for #3

Kno Won Uno said...

OMG, she's still alive!

sandybrook said...

She was on a lot of talk shows. She was a pretty big name and looked halfway decent too

Angela6 said...

I'm thinking Hopper, she was really despicable.

MontanaMarriott said...

2.Liberace?

MontanaMarriott said...

3. Marilyn and JFK?

Something Fishy said...

Marilyn with JFK for #3. Either Sinatra or Elvis for #1.

Kno Won Uno said...

She was one of an army of teeny-tiny, brittle, birdlike women, probably on "diet pills".
Yes, she was more visually attractive than Totie Fields, but her voice was horrible.

MontanaMarriott said...

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/2007/05/liberace_sues_c.html

OB said...

Second the Rona Barrett guess. Google Rona and Anne Helen Peterson for a great article/interview with Rona from a bit earlier this month

zilla1 said...

Very likely her.

zilla1 said...

oops, I missed the 50 years ago part.

Big Blue said...

Please don't remind me of that.

Ettacettera said...

There was a pbs program about her, I think one of their American Experience series ..really interesting..one brave cookie

zilla1 said...

Agreed!

MontanaMarriott said...

Writer for Confidential, Aline Mosby

http://www.elvis-history-blog.com/elvis-aline-mosby.html
When Elvis choose Randolph Scott over Aline Mosby, he may not have been aware of her lofty reputation in the entertainment press. When she angrily stormed out of Las Vegas, the city’s writers foresaw “explosive repercussions” for Elvis

MontanaMarriott said...

Totally forgot about Rona Barrett.....
https://www.metv.com/stories/what-ever-happened-to-rona-barrett

Great guess!

Airhead said...

not Walters because of the "was", she is still a reporter and is still respected.

Guesser said...

More likely than Rona who wished she was respected,but I think she was too close to the celebrities to gain respect.

sandybrook said...

thx!

Angela6 said...

Me too : (

BoomBoof said...

100%- According to the Wikipedia page for the gossip column Confidential (which she wrote for) Liberace dropped his lawsuit against it.

BoomBoof said...

Also, she interviewed Lee Harvey Oswald so that's legit.

guidedog said...

Like these guesses.

Barbara Walters is respected by the public. Professionally she has a reputation for being a viper.

Pink Escada said...

OT: For a great read about "old Hollywood" and "old Los Angeles" read West of Eden by Jean Stein. Lot's of juice about Jack Warner, Jennifer Jones, and others. One take away from the book is that you will be happy you have relatively dull, drama free lives. You will not want to trade places with any of these people.

anna from savannah said...

The aces Luella had up her sleeve was the fact her husband was the OB-GYN to the starlets. She was the second to know when an actress was 'infanticipating' and the first with the scoop. Hedda, on the other hand, was ruthless and totally professional. Those were the days!

d brown said...

Dorothy Kilgallen

1) Sinatra
'2) Johnny Ray

Guessing said...

Totie Fields!!! I haven't heard that name in decades...I totally forgot about her. Was she part of the permanent Match Game crew? Or was she Hollywood Squares?

Squeege said...

Where is the journalism in any of this? She sounds like a filthy blackmailer with low morals to me. Why is Enty celebrating her? What kind of scum doesn't expose a paedophile for the sake of an interview?

Kno Won Uno said...

Oh, man....I don't remember. I'm thinking Match Game.
I thought she was married to a comic - at least they appeared together a lot on Griffin - but her Wikipedia page says she was married to George William Johnston. Now my ancient brain is befuddled.

Hot Cola said...

Marlin & JFK for #3

Dynamo said...

Rona Barret does makes.

1- Elvis. I have heard that he had a fascination with preteen girls.
2- Liberace. For years he fought off rumors he was gay.
3- Natlie Woods. This does make sense; but so does Marilyn Monroe.

TopperMadison said...

Liberace was NOT a singer. He flamboyantly played the piano and told jokes really well.

Sd auntie said...

Totie Fields,Phyliss diller and Truman capote were my favorites on Merv Griffin. Ellen and company are boring as hell..

incredulous said...

im too young to know who this is.

Sd auntie said...

how about Johnny Mathis?

Sd auntie said...

Johnny Mathis or sir Elton and his marriages two marriages ?

Kno Won Uno said...

The definition of talk show has changed dramatically - and not for the better. Everything's so bland & dull.

Ruti said...

I thought the same thing. She knew he had sex with a 13 year old and successfully blackmailed him for her own gain? Wow. Sounds like a peach.

Cici said...

#3 Elizabeth Taylor (Richard Burton)

Guessing said...

I remember Truman being on the Merv Griffin show after he wasn't invited to the Oscars for writing "La Cote Basque, 1965." He was BITTER!

70s daytime names keep coming to me - Charles Nelson Riley, Brett Somers, Joey Heatherton, Paul Lynde, Joann Worley...

bush bunny said...

Miss Rona got her start by chasing Eddie Fisher all over NYC before he became a household name. She was the president of his fan club, as well. When he became famous he was really horrible to her and she wrote about this sad episode of her life in her autobiography. Am I completely wrong about the singer? Wasn't it Eddie? Or was it Bobby Darin? Anyone out there as old as I am who can confirm this? The memory (what memory?) is the first thing to go. After the boobs fall to your knees.

Studio54 said...

I don't recall Elvis ever giving Rona Barrett any interview.

Zilla1 said...

Barbara is retired. That said, this probably is Rona.

Zilla1 said...

By all accounts, Jack Warner was a monstrous asshole.

Guessing said...

Nipsey Russel

Bleu said...

The timing is right for Gloria Steinem, who of course was a reporter and then later an editor for years. John Lennon was one of her first big celebrity interviews.

mmm said...

Holy shite, y'all. This conversation was like in the early days of CDAN. Thanks!!!

Malibuborebee said...

You obviously know nothing about Gloria Steinem.

Claire said...

Great guess! I hadn't heard of her but I looked her up and she fits for all of these (if the guesses are correct for those)

LaBomba said...

Great guess!

Etak said...

Based on this, https://www.buzzfeed.com/annehelenpetersen/all-the-dirt-on-rona-barrett-the-forgotten-gossip-girl?utm_term=.gg0GaMY1gB#.gg0GaMY1gB
1 Frankie Avalon
2 Cary Grant or Rock Hudson

H2O said...

Was Rona the one who always said, "Hello to all of you from Hollywood?"

She always posed in a 3/4 shot and I remember her talking about some celeb having cancer, calling it "the big C." I thought that was pretty nasty.

emeraldcity said...

The Natalie/Barbara time line doesn't fit. Natalie was a child star already in the '40's. I don't think Barbara could have been the one to launch her career she would have been in her teens when Natalie was starting out. Natalie was the top child star in 1947 and Barbra didn't really get any interviewing clout until the '60's

Guessing said...

Great story. Thanks for posting.

Guesser said...

I know I'm late but nobody mentioned the Gabor sisters or Jayne Mansfield. Yes I'm old too.

Guessing said...

Omg, yes, great call. Yeah, it's sad when you're the one saying, "remember when..."

shiba said...

1.) any girl who slept with Elvis was in heaven at having been picked by The King, and would never testify against him.
2.) if he somehow got setup or the girl's parents wanted to prosecute (if they found out) Elvis' record label or studio would pay them off, while Elvis sent her a personally autographed new album.

There is no heroine who saves the day by exposing the filthy entertainer who seduced a 13 yr old. Everyone already knows, except the adoring fans.

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