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I never really heard about Thomas Ince till after Marion Davies died. The papers were full of this 'scandal' and I asked Betty Blythe about it.


I saw "The Cat's Meow", all about this story and I must say that I loved Jennifer Tilley as 'Louella Parsons' but the rest of them didn't resemble any of the people.


Betty Blythe's explanation was that Ince did have a heart attack on board and died later in hospital. Boring!!

So, everybody went with the shooting scandal.

Even today, because it's been written up in the newspapers, it's the scandal that is believed.

Death by heart attack is just not news!!!!!



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Because I live in Hollywood, I have heard stories about this and how it may involve certain real estate.


The story goes that Hearst shot Ince, thinking it was Chaplin (believing him to be the lover of Davies). Supposedly, to keep it quiet, he built the widow a huge mansion at Franklin and Bronson in Hollywood. (Another story says it is a smaller apartment building at Bronson and Tamarind.)


That's one rumored story.


(That huge home at B&F is now the Scientology Celebrity Centre. Gad!)

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I believe I remember something about the Ince story from Cast of Killers,

the book about King Vidor's theories concerning Mary Miles Minter

and Mabel Normand as they related to the death of William Desmond

Taylor. Correct me if I'm wrong, Larry.

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I think the rumors regained traction and became part of the old Hollywood mythology when Kenneth Anger wrote "Hollywood Babylon". This book while a fun read is filled with inaccuracies, falsehoods and misinformation.


Yet, because it got published and was a best seller people believe it. It was published in the early to mid-1970s, and most of the scandals he writes about were during the golden age of the studios when studio heads and publicists controlled the news of their stars.


Readers were more than willing back then to believe their beloved stars had feet of clay and were just as capable of bad judgement as the rest of us.


Unfortunately, Anger blurred the line between truth and fiction just enough to ensure a best seller and stay out of court.

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True or not, it's a great building and one that looks like it was built for a Hollywood mogul, star or as a bribe.


Gotta love old Hollywood, when scandals were about love, sex, shootings, murder and all that jazz and not about check fraud, embezzlement or what movie just failed at the box office.

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