Saturday, April 06, 2019

Blind Item #1 - Mr. X - Old Hollywood

Have you ever seen the 1933 movie Design for Living? You should, it's a classic Pre-Code movie about a ménage a tois arrangement directed by the great Ernst Lubitsch and starring Gary Cooper, Fredric March and Miriam Hopkins, based on a play by Noel Coward. The singing duo from the previous BI were in such an arrangement in real life with a B-list actor who was the long time boyfriend of the male half of the duo. Ironically, these three tried to get a remake of that same film made in the early 1940s but were immediately shot down by the studio brass and the Production Code.The female singer was literally forced into a fake marriage with the actor after he and the male singer were busted by the cops at a raid at a gay club with quite a few underage men in attendance. The male singer was let go and his arrest expunged thanks to the studio fixers but the actor wasn't so lucky. He was blackballed for several years and didn't make a single movie for about two years. Oh, there were other times he was arrested for cruising, including one time overseas when he was serving in WWII, but unlike his first arrest those were swept under the rug. During this time he began to drink heavily and began beating his new "wife" regularly. One time, his boyfriend (the male singer) confronted him about it and fists began flying. The gossip columns said that the actor was drunk and fell down the stairs, which obviously wasn't the case. If you're wondering who the female singer was seeing romantically during this time, it was the boss of her studio, who was very much married. Eventually, the male singer married a woman soon after the female singer did. He and the actor still continued to see each other up until the male singer's death. By the way, the actor paid all the funeral bills for the male singer and his family, because the singer did the same for him when the female singer passed away several years before. Later in his life, whenever he was asked about the male singer he usually deflected to how great his marriage to the female singer was, so on and so forth. So there really wasn't any great love affair between the two singers, as many want you to believe.

17 comments:

J said...

Nelson Eddy?

J said...

And Gene Raymond?

MJ said...

Ok, i just read the first line and i had to stop to say that i ADORE Design For living, great movie, the wit, the " suggested and implied" the acting, the characters, everything , wonderful movie, like every Lubitsh movie, but this is rreally special

anyway...read on AGC that the old blind was about JeanetteMacDonald ( in red ) and Eddie Nelson, so, i guess one of this is Eddie Nelson

tall, dark, and handsome said...

Jeanette McDonald and Nelson Eddy- Duo
Gene Raymond- Boyfriend/Husband
Louis B. Mayer-Studio Boss

Sd Auntie said...

My goodness. Who new these two were so scandalous! Wow

Sd Auntie said...

Nelson nearly beat Raymond to death for laying hands on Jeanette. That's. great!

timebob said...

If you have a Roku it’s free on the Roku channel

Elphin MacSkye said...

I'll have to reread my copy of "The Sewing Circle" to freshen up on the tangled rainbow fabric that was Golden Age Hollywood. I still love the story about Vivian Leigh trolling with a Gay actor (no, I can't remember which one, she was a 'ho), in the very "rough trade" bars of El Lay.

Notagoodscreenname said...

I’m starting to hate Hollywood. Nobody is trustworthy there.

Mango said...


Eventually, the male singer married a woman soon after the female singer did.

I mean, WTF?

Vita said...

Tall,DarkandHandsome got it! I was going to say the more things change, the more they stay the same, but I dare say things were wilder then! Deeper secrets from the public seemed to allow for more power and manipulation by the secret keepers.

AppleThief4Elliot said...

Jeanette Mcdonald could get it!

GentleBreeze said...

Scanning their wiki bios again, it all seems to fit. However, they seemed to hold actual affection for each other (as in the plot of Design for Living). This blind was written to seem especially salacious. and who didn't L.B. Mayer shtoop?!
Gene Raymond served in WWII as a pilot, lived to 90 and was at Jeanette's death bed. I give him some props.

Beyond EMF said...

Gene and Nelson look like they could have been brothers.

Ann said...

More of these old Hollywood blinds please Enty. These are much more interesting than reality star and rapper blinds.

Enthusiasm Quotes said...

Very Nice And Interesting Post, thank you for sharing
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cebii said...

It's a bit ironic that Celine name her twins Nelson and Eddy.

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