Day 360 of Colourisation Project – May 2
Challenge: to publish daily a colourised photo that has some significance around the day of publication.
Let’s face it, Hollywood would be bland without its gossip columnists. There have been many; Perez Hilton, Sheilah Graham, Walter Winchell, Louella Parsons and then perhaps the most formidable gossip maven of them all, Hedda Hopper. Her ascerbic wit and vicious tongue made her one of Hollywood’s most feared characters. Hopper would mockingly refer to her Beverly Hills mansion acquired from her income as a columnist, as “the house that fear built.”
Looking at today’s picture you’d think butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth, but she could “make or break” Hollywood careers with her popular column.
Love her or hate her, Hopper had a profound and lasting influence on popular and political culture during Hollywood’s Golden Age. Not only was she the voice of small-town America, she was also the voice of political conservativism. An anti-semite and a strong supporter of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), she outed and destroyed the reputations of many actors suspected of having communist sympathies during the infamous “blacklisting” of the 1950’s McCarthy era.
Born this day, May 2, 1885, Hedda Hopper began her career in Hollywood as a chorus girl on Broadway before breaking into silent movies in 1916. Over the next three decades she appeared in over 100 films. It wasn’t until 1938 that she began her gossip column, Hedda Hopper’s Hollywood for the Los Angeles Times. Most of the time it was nothing short of incendiary.
Just as famous for her trademark flamboyant hats (she reportedly bought about 150 new hats a year) and long-running feud with her friend-turned-rival, Louella Parsons, also a notorious gossip columnist, Hopper wrote two best sellers: From Under My Hat (1952) and The Whole Truth and Nothing But (1963).
She continued to write gossip up until her death from double pneumonia in 1966 at the age of 80.
For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Hopper has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6313½ Hollywood Boulevard _____________________________________________________________