Bil Browning

Blind items: Place your bets...

Filed By Bil Browning | January 02, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Marriage Equality
Tags: blind items, celebrity gossip, Gawker, gossip, killing, male escort, stage moms

I saw this blind item on Gawker and can't figure out who they're referencing. I know Projectors will probably ferret out the answer within minutes, but I need some help on this one. Who are they talking about?

"This actress was definitely A list back in the day. And by back in the day, I mean prior to television. She was all movies. Our actress came from a very unstable background with perhaps the queen of stage moms as her mother. Our actress was never nominated for any of the big awards but starred in lots of movies. question-mark3a.jpgShe was in and out of marriages frequently and one of the ways she got out of one was by killing her husband. Oh, not the husband everyone knows was found dead by a gunshot. Nope. He is considered her second husband, but in reality was her third. The second husband was a guy in the mafia who had seen our actress on screen and loved her. He wined her dined her and romanced her. Our actress loved it and eloped with him after just a few weeks. Well, at the same time this was happening our actresses career was about to skyrocket because she was moving to a new studio. The new husband wanted her to stay home and be a wife and our actress and her domineering mother wanted the big career. So, one night our actress and the man who would be her next husband and her next victim killed her husband of two months and buried him in the desert. It is said that the reason her next husband was killed was revenge by the mafia but I say it was our actress who saw a future which was brighter with a new man in her life. With divorce not an option, a gun was."

Another blind item about a male movie star who's taken to hiring skinny young male escorts recently after the jump. (And, no, I don't know who that is either, but feel like there's enough clues that I should!)

"After this actor unexpectedly lost his wife, he had a major life change. Now that he's single, he's considered to be a great catch, but it's unlikely that any lucky ladies will "catch" him. That's because he now prefers young men. Particularly slender male escorts between 18 and 21. He cruises the web for young men and calls himself "Leo." If he's VERY interested in someone he will fly the guy to wherever he is. He brings the escorts to his homes in New York and Los Angeles and is always polite and generous. Sorry, ladies."


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At first I was thinking Lana Turner, but Jean Harlow makes more sense. Her husband Paul Bern was found dead by a gunshot (whereas Turner's mafiosi boyfriend was stabbed by her daughter). Any ideas... I hadn't heard the mafiosi part about her before although I know her mom was a psycho stage mom and she came from a rough background.

As to the actor... Van Johnson???

Okay, I got sucked into the game trying to figure out the first part. (It diverted my attention before even reading the second part) But I wasn't able. But it just occurred to me that legally, you cannot liable a dead person, so there's no reason for it to be a blind item. (The consensus seems to be Jean Harlow, although I don't think I buy it. And she's dead) That's a technique used to avoid a lawsuit. So why not just spell it out (I know you didn't write it, Bil), and be done with it! Or if you like the game factor, give more useful clues! (Just had to get that off my chest) Argh.

There's a lot that makes me think it's Harlow, but some things that don't totally add up. Her mom was the one who was involved with a hood, not her. Harlow's first husband was a rich boy who inherited a lot of money and they lived high on the hog, including moving to LA where she first got into movies (with Laurel and Hardy). She married her producer husband, Paul Bern (the one who was shot) not that long after she became well known. (Harlow died when she was only 26). When this mystery marriage happened makes no sense since there is, literally no time for it to have taken place (unless it lasted a week?). I think the story is mixing up her mom's relationship with the hood and projecting into Harlow's life story.

Btw, I remember when I was about 14, they made the Harlow biography with Carol Baker (which was, at the time, viewed as a rather adult film). But my mom actually took me to it. Even though it sucked, I was obsessed with who Harlow was. A few years later, The Queen came out, perhaps the most important trans-oriented film of the 60s (and still the most interesting film about pre-Stonewall Queer life). The main character was gorgeous Rachel Harlow (who took her name from the actress) and was a profound role model/icon for me—a kid who knew I was trans from an early age. It all comes around!

Sorry; I don't have any guesses at all - just this startling observation... When I got done reading this quiz game, I just presumed I would find literally dozens of comments following it - and the correct answers of course. Instead? And after 18 hours of it being online? All I/we get are vague hunches!? I guess our queer culture is not nearly so 'Hollywood-crazed' as the sterotype suggests - and my curiosity be damned! :(

@Jim. Either that, or the story and what it's suggesting isn't totally right. Some of this is generational... a lot of younger queer people probably don't even know who Harlow or Lana Turner are and their idea of 'old Hollywood' is more like John Hughes movies.