My next book is due out within a few weeks. It’s the first full-length biography of Wallace Reid, who was the biggest star in the movies until his tragic death in 1923. His death was caused by a morphine addiction that was caused by his studio – Lasky – giving him too much morphine after an accident on the way to a remote filming location in northern California. Wally went from well-adjusted star loved the world over to a broken-down addict in a padded cell in 2 years. His death rocked the foundations of Hollywood and caused the creation of the Hays Office to control movie content and the birth of the studio system. But the story is more about a wonderful man killed by his studio owners. You can find it at McFarland Publishers and at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
The death of Jean Harlow is one of the great Hollywood stories, with accusations that her Mother’s Christian Science beliefs led directly to her death and that it could have been prevented. Worse, her murdered ex-husband Paul Bern was accused of causing the death after a wedding night beating allegedly inflicted on Jean. Also untrue. Both are unfortunately not the case. Jean likely suffered most of her life a kidney ailment that eventually led to her death. A doctor’s misdiagnosis led to accidently allowing the disease to progress past the point of cure and she tragically died at her house at 512 North Palm Drive in Beverly Hills. The house is going on the market for $4,300,000. For a beautiful look inside and outside of the house you can go to www.512northpalm.com. It hasn’t changed much since Jean lived there with the exception of a second floor addition added in the 1950’s over the right side of the house. Note that Rita Hayworth and others in The Movieland Directory lived in this home.