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What stars disappointed you?


msladysoul
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At another classic movie forum fans were discussing classic stars who disappointed them.

Disappointment meaning you had a image of who you thought a certain star was really like then when you found out who they truly were it disappointed you because they was a far cry of what you thought they would be.

 

Me! I'm disappointed on a daily basis when reading and researching my favorites. It seems most weren't even decent human beings. They look so great, were fooled by those good looks and think they can do no wrong because their looks win over our eyes. Sometimes I find the looks were the only good thing about some.

 

I have such a loooooooooooooooooooong list of disappointments. I've learned to enjoy their work and leave their private lives alone. (But their private life is so fascinating.)

 

Most of all the actresses disappointed me. Haven't you notice that the actresses we dislike so much on today's screen were like many of our classic favorites but Hollywood then hid it?

 

Betty Grable disappointed me. I still enjoy her thought!

Marlene Dietrich disappointed me hugely. She was a great personality and that's it. She taught me that people should love stars for the sides they're seeing and not trying to take a look behind all of it. It only disappoints.

 

Who has disappointed you when you made the mistake of finding out who someone really was like and why?

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You can't tell me you never wondered what some of the beautiful, glamorous, perfect looking stars were really like. Writing books on classic stars is making many rich. People say they don't care but if we truly didn't we wouldn't be reading the books, watching the documentaries and movies made on their lives. Sometimes I don't believe half of what I read but these people are dead and can't defend themselves and people go by what is written. Some writers think they know every detail on the classic stars lives. How? No one remembers every little detail of their lives. How would a stranger know everything who never met a classic star and is just going by research and words? That's why I think it should be a priority for all classic stars to write their life story because someone else will and ruin them. I believe many stars are remembered because of their wild/tragic lives more so then ones who lived good, decent lives because ones who lived good lives are considered boring and the wild ones provide more excitement and gossip/talk to continue forever.

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I am one who does not give a hoot about the personal lives of the movie stars, that is why I won't be watching the Dick Cavett shows when TCM starts that up. I prefer to remember the stars as they were in their prime, not 100 years old talking about their latest hip replacement.

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I'm curious to know who disappointed you and why you felt that way. I generally don't have that big of an interest in their conduct, although I've always despised that famous cowardly chickenhawk John Wayne. Note that I'm using chickenhawk here to mean someone who evades military service while being a big war supporter, not someone who dates people who are younger.

 

In general though, movie stars are people, and I doubt most of us would come off looking perfect if someone chronicled every detail of our own lives.

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Quite a few disappointed me when I made the mistake of getting too deeply involved and maybe even obsessed with some trying to find out their every moment. But that was in my early years when I first discovered classic movies I wanted to know everything. I loved Marlene Dietrich before I read the books on her now I like her but I guess I look at her differently. I read some dirty book on Betty Grable that doesn't seem quite true and I wondered why her kids didn't sue. John Wayne said some things I didn't like on race. I've been staying away from the books though. But sometimes I do wonder about the true personalities of some but I don't want to know about anyone's sex lives. Some are toooo obsessed with that. I know some who do look at their favorites as perfect and in their eyes could do no wrong and make all kinds of unnecessary excuses. I think that's going too far. When I've read the lives of many; their mistakes, short-comings, regrets, and tragedies it made me love them more. Because of their human frailities they remind me in a way their just like me, they don't have it all together but they pull it off so good, even today.

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I am with toomanynotes on this one .I am just trying to survive and bring up my kids while my husband works his tail off to support our familyand the chance to escape and watch a classic is heaven at least for me and to chat on this board once in awhile . I am not disappointed by anyone .Although I don't like that kit kat bars have changed. does that count lol Inglis

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TooMany, I agree with you.

 

One time I got to meet and interview Mel Blanc, the guy who did all the Warner Brothers cartoon voices. He lived in a nice house in Pacific Palisades. He invited me over to his house, and he invited my wife too. He introduced me to his wife, who was a charming lady. Both of these people were very nice, with no scandal associated with them, and they were willing to meet me and my wife, while we were basically low-level nobodies, and that impressed me very much that he treated us like we were equals. That?s the way I would like to think of all Hollywood people, all being nice normal human beings who are kind to those of us who aren?t rich and famous. I don?t want to read any books about any of my favorite film stars being drunks, drug addicts, criminals, wh***s or f**s, or that they beat up their kids, or that they hated everyone, etc., etc. Nor do I want to read such a book about any of my friends.

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How nice that must have been, Fred. Mel seemed to be a genuine human being.

 

I too would rather not see so-called stars making idiots of themselves, but the media insists on playing footage of Tom C. jumping on Oprah's couch over, over and over again.

 

My small story has to do with Captain Jack McCarthy, who was on a local affiliate/station (whatever it was, since I've been drawn and quartered on not knowing the difference) and introduced the Popeye cartoons in an afternoon show. At any rate, I was doing a paper in college (no, it was not rocket science) on the history of cartoons in America and someone suggested I call Jack. He was SO very nice and sent me lots of material on cartoons that was very helpful. If I'm not mistaken, I think I got an 'A' on the paper.

 

It would be sooo nice if the stars of stage and screen realized that their exorbitant pay neither makes them brainiacs suddenly capable of expounding on weighty subjects, nor does it make them exempt from the human kindnesses we all should be extending to each other.

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I?m not really a believer in sin, so I tend to take an interest in my favorite stars? lives on a sort of psychological and objective basis.

 

This is probably a gross overstatement in the realm of armchair psychology, but I've always thought that a great number of show business people were at some time in their lives in desperate need for attention, or found comfort in acting the part of someone more competent than they felt. I'm not throwing any stones here (I like acting and performing on stage myself, if that tells you anything), but I do think it may explain the troubled lives that many of them led.

 

So many stars seemed unable to stick with the challenge of fidelity in marriage (or even just the challenge of marriage's rough spots), and many yielded to the temptation of the colleagues with whom they were acting in romantic scenes.

 

There were insecure people who felt a constant need to prove themselves sexually by running through multiple partners, like Errol Flynn or Marilyn Monroe. Others were warm personalities on-screen, but withdrawn and unable to relate to others as well off-screen (Bing Crosby). I think, too, that the way the movies romanticized marriage and parenthood made many people (even people who weren?t performers) think that these aspects of life were much more of a continuously blissful cinch than they ever truly were.

 

And there were vastly talented and appealing people who, it is now clear, were seriously mentally ill, like Joan Crawford.

 

Lastly there were those unfortunate people who were gay at a time when that was understood as a mental illness or an aberration or both, which made them have to lead their lives in elaborate secrecy, or be protected by their studios if they failed to do so.

 

It?s also important to remember that there were many performers who did live relatively normal lives, especially given that they were living in that abnormal atmosphere that was Hollywood. As you said, Classicblackandwhite, we don?t hear as much about them, because people love to read about scandals. Perhaps, too, it helps people to feel better about their own accomplishments if they contemplate the problematic lives of the rich and famous.

 

So there you are. That?ll be twenty-five cents, please. ;)

 

--"Dr. Constance Petersen"

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Well said, Ayres.

 

I will continue to watch films here in my glass house, sitting in my armchair.

 

People, actors included, have lives in the workplace and outside the workplace. If I want professional colleagues to know about my life outside work, I will welcome them. Actors are in a different position. They do put themselves there, with some knowing the risks going in and others unknowing or naive about the scrutiny that accompanies life under the spotlight. We sometimes enter their lives uninvited, with second-hand information, which should carry its own relative amount of [in]credibility. If actors wants to let me know about their lives, I require a face-to-face invitation.

 

The word "disappointment" seems to imply some degree of value judgement on the part of the person having this sentiment. I don't know who has the right to judge others [if anyone]. It doesn't seem to be a very productive thing to do, to feel disappointed. I try to understand, and help if I can. I am content to sometimes not understand why people do what they do. If I can learn about my own life from the lives of others, and share what I learn with others to the betterment of everyone, I will have accomplished something considerable.

 

Thanks again, "Dr. Petersen", I will leave my $0.25 on the table by the door as I leave...

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It?s also important to remember that there were many performers who did live relatively normal lives, especially given that they were living in that abnormal atmosphere that was Hollywood. As you said, Classicblackandwhite, we don?t hear as much about them, because people love to read about scandals. Perhaps, too, it helps people to feel better about their own accomplishments if they contemplate the problematic lives of the rich and famous.

>>

 

Change the verbs to present tense and I think this paragraph still applies today.

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I was at a classic movie message board once and someone actually asked who all Ginger Rogers slept with because she didn't mention it in her book. I was like wait a minute, what business is that of yours. I'm actually more admirable of someone like Ginger or Myrna Loy who kept that type of privacy to themselves. Some love Marilyn Monroe because they know every aspect of her life. I really don't want to know of her sexual life but people look for that. I feel the stars who didn't have much talent are the ones that people spend the most time writing of their dirty laundry. How many books on Monroe, Crawford, Dietrich and how many of them are more filled with scandal then good?

 

There was a huge debate on Joan Crawford at the Internet Movie Database on whether she abused her kids or not. I don't know but some of her die-hard fans look like they want to kill you if you say something they don't approve of because they have this image of perfection of Joan. I went to the library and saw all these Joan Crawford's men and Lana Turner's men books which basically talks about the men they slept with in life. I was like if these women really slept with all these men they really must be perfect because even then there were diseases and how would these writers know - were they in the bedroom? You have some who wrote a autobiography and let it all out and I have to admit maybe my thought of them changed but then some tragedies made me think and change my life.

 

I don't care much about sin either or whether someone was gay or not or who they slept with, it's their life. I'm a big believer in you do what brings you joy. I feel there's no right or wrong as long as your not hurting anyone. I originally meant I found it disappointing that some were mean and cold in real life but when your watching them you seem to relate to them on every level, their warm, approachable persona wins you over then to find maybe they weren't that way it sucks because in real life you wouldn't like someone like that. I sometimes study the actors/actresses gestures, moves, face on screen, because a little piece of them always show and I think all of them provide a little bit of themselves in each role. I could sometimes look at Bing and tell that he was a little aloof and withdrawn.

 

Ayres, I find it interesting that you say

"There were insecure people who felt a constant need to prove themselves sexually by running through multiple partners, like Errol Flynn or Marilyn Monroe." Can you explain?

I always thought maybe they had many partners because they just enjoyed sex or was living up to their image of being a Sex Symbol. Some people find it hard to believe beauties like Monroe, Rita Hayworth, Crawford and others were insecure, mentally ill, or didn't think much of themselves since we admired them so and want to be them. Why is it some find it hard to believe? Some either thought too highly of themselves or too lowly of themselves which ruined them equally. I suppose Hollywood did a good job of keeping up appearances back then because now most of the movie stars don't surprise me at all when their stuff comes out.

 

I often sometimes wonder if these classic stars came back and saw all the books written on them would they be offended, ashame, happy?

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I originally meant I found it disappointing that some were mean and cold in real life but when your watching them you seem to relate to them on every level, their warm, approachable persona wins you over then to find maybe they weren't that way it sucks because in real life you wouldn't like someone like that.>>

 

But the characters they were able to hide behind allowed them to be (for however briefly) the person they could not necessarily be in real life due to whatever anxieties, self esteem or other problems that prevented them from relating to others the way they would have wanted.

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classicblackandwhite wrote:

> Ayres, I find it interesting that you say

> "There were insecure people who felt a constant need

> to prove themselves sexually by running through

> multiple partners, like Errol Flynn or Marilyn

> Monroe." Can you explain?

 

Well, call me a hopeless romantic, but I secretly believe that everyone wants to find one perfect partner and stay together. When they can't, they sometimes enjoy the life of playing the field... but if that were what they ultimately aspired to, why did each of these stars try marriage so many times?

 

I've heard of several people with whom Ginger Rogers is purported to have had an affair. Like you, I often think, "How do I know that happened? I wasn't there--and it isn't clear to me from just the rumors." But on the other hand, there is a level on which I don't mind; her life was her life, and I don't think she's a bad person because of her love life. When I read books on Marlene Dietrich, I think, "Wow! What an adventurer." I couldn't be happy living like that, but that was her, and it's interesting to me.

 

The thing I DO mind is when certain writers cash in on a series of untruths until the public believes something really evil about a performer--and I'll cite Bing Crosby again, because of the vicious book The Hollow Man, or Marilyn Monroe, about whom so many ridiculous claims have been made by greedy hacks that it's really, really sad. When it comes to Marilyn's life and death, the only writer I've ever believed is Donald Spoto. There is also a fascinating book by an excellent writer named Sarah Churchwell called The Lives of Marilyn Monroe, which is all about why there have been so many outrageous versions of her story, and why so many conspiracy theories have grown up around her death.

 

I guess what I'm trying to say, Classic, is that I don't tend to have the same disappointment you do, even though I know a great deal about the lives of the stars (or at least what has been written about the lives of the stars). I don't accept any of it as gospel--as I've said, there are several books and theories that I believe are absolute BS. I don't condemn you one bit for feeling the disappointment/doubt, but I'm glad I don't dwell on it, because I find the personal lives of performers I like quite fascinating--but at the same time, I'm glad they're human.

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Maybe, I used the wrong wording I should have said disbelief. I'm not entirely disappointment that I'm crying and depressed. With me it's like watching someone and wondering what are they really like then I go into my little research and often is surprised, shocked but fascinated because the true them was opposite from the image I made up in my mind and the one presented to me.

It just goes to show they did their job perfect to make us believe in the illusion, image, and character. That's a true actor/actress!

 

Some people today feel stars are public property. When you get in show business you give up freedom of privacy. Humphrey Bogart once said if you want privacy don't get into show business but he said it in more colorful language. The public feels they got a right to know every detail about public figures. Some stars love dishing about themselves and others which you can't ignore. Books on stars talk more about personal lives then careers and talent. I have read autobiographies and was like why did he or she reveal so much. I guess my perception of many as a person has changed but their talent will always be perfect.

 

I like Bogart because what you see is what you get with him. He didn't make up anything. Others may have hid behind their made-up image but they always got found out in the worse way.

I always will feel what happen to Ingrid Bergman was wrong and unfair. The public just turned on her because she had an affair. They had the image of her as a goody-two-shoes, America's Sweetheart, The Girl Next Door and when she kind of proved them wrong to them it was like betrayal. With movie stars today the badder and the wilder they are the more famous but back then the public took stars images seriously. I'm sure if Tallulah Bankhead or Mae West had an affair, the public wouldn't have cared, they expect that from them. I just became a Nancy Carroll fan and from reading old movie magazines they say she was a tough, tempermental cookie but it's kind of hard to believe since she's so angelic and sweet looking. I'm just learning you really can't type someone by their look.

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I don't know if this book is true but I read some book years ago called the tragedy of the pin-up girl about Betty Grable and the book just degraded Betty. One thing that surprised me was the book said she did some cruel things to her children. I was wondering if it was untrue why didn't her daughter sue.

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