Thanks to Slate film critic Dana Stevens for recommending Hairpin’s Hollywood Scandals series on the indispensable Slate Culture Gabfest, one of my favorite podcasts. The scandals seem juicy and glamorous (because they involved movie stars and happened a long time ago) not tawdry (because they involve faux-lebrities who appear on reality shows). Anne Helen Peterson writes about the woman best known for portraying a decadent former star in “Sunset Boulevard” — and for her affair with Joseph Kennedy, father of the future President:
Gloria Swanson wasn’t here to make friends. She wasn’t “just like us.” She didn’t take out the garbage or “wear cotton” or go to the bathroom. Lady had a gold-plated bathtub. She married a Marquis. She was 4’11,” wore a 2 ½ in shoes, and had a waist approximately the size of my neck. She looked most beautiful when frowning. And for a period in the 1920s, she was the biggest star in the world.