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Old Hollywood’s Most Scandalous Secrets, as Told by David Niven
According to David Niven, debonair star of films including Wuthering Heights, Around the World in 80 Days, and Bonjour Tristesse, not all full-service brothels in the golden age of movies were run out of gas stations, as in Ryan Murphy’s Netflix series Hollywood. One was housed in a stately colonial-style mansion right under his window in the North Hollywood hills, run by a “Baroness” and filled with whips, kinky costumes, and two beautiful failed actresses deeply in love.
This tale and many more are recorded in Niven’s 1975 memoir, Bring on the Empty Horses, which has long been considered by those in the know—including (strangely enough) conservative commentator William F. Buckley Jr.—one of the best books ever written about Hollywood in its studio-system heyday.
The memoir is a follow-up to his equally delightful 1971 autobiography, The Moon’s a Balloon. In Horses, the British-born Niven reveals a generous but clear-eyed view of Hollywood from the 1930s to the early ’60s. “[It] was hardly a nursery for intellectuals, it was a hotbed of false values, it harbored an unattractive percentage of small-time crooks and con artists, and the chances of being successful there were minimal,” he writes. “But it was fascinating, and if you were lucky, it was fun.”
Fun yes, but also freaky. Through a series of thematic vignettes, Niven spills the tea on the passions and pretentions of stars like Humphrey Bogart (a real softie), Mary Astor (at her best in bed), Fred Astaire (a terrible dancer in public), Greta Garbo ( a big fan of skinny-dipping), and Charlie Chaplin (a pompous bore). He does so with such grace and panache that one is almost unaware secrets are being revealed—but revealed they are, much to every Hollywood fan’s gossipy delight. Ahead, six of the juiciest tidbits from Niven’s pen.
Miley Cyrus says that celebrities aren't truly experiencing the coronavirus crisis: 'I have no idea what this pandemic is like'
"I'm sure some people I was reaching out to felt the same way I do, which is that my experience is so rare, it almost doesn't feel right to talk about," she recently told WSJ Magazine. "This isn't Covid-19, what I'm experiencing."
"I'm sure a lot of the hesitation for other people saying yes to doing the show is because it almost doesn't feel right for celebrities to share our experience," Cyrus concluded. "Because it just doesn't compare."
Colby Melvin on sobering up, sex, and the cruelty of social media
There are a lot of motivational posts on Colby Melvin’s Facebook page these days.
Memes about being kind to yourself, pulling yourself out of dark places, reasons for getting sober.
Sober? Yep. America’s 31-year-old underwear sweetheart, businessman, entrepreneur, the man who can pull off a jockstrap, literally, and still look as innocent as his baby blue eyes—or are they green, hazel, gray? Aye, there’s his mischievous rub—is back from a rough couple of years of depression, despair, and drugs.
He’s also ready to talk, his voice something he’s never been afraid to use.
Speaking to Colby on the phone in Louisiana, where he now lives, again, with the parents who raised him, he didn’t shy away from a single question or tell me any subject was off-limits.
If he bared anything to Queerty, this time it was his soul.
A variety of things. It started a few years ago. There’s something about being in the public eye. Your life becomes public property. Everyone is criticizing or weighing in or judging. It’s hard for it not to get to you.
Deion Sanders Opens Up About 'Rock Bottom' That Led to Suicide Attempt
Deion Sanders said that the lowest point of his life was the peak of his success, noting that he thinks the darkest point in his life was when he was living the high life and regularly engaging in threesomes.
On Paula Faris' Journeys of Faith podcast, Sanders said that the glitziest moments of his life were the most painful.