Saturday, 14 September 2013

Louis B Mayer: I Would Have Put Nothing Past This Despot


The man was a creep, of this there is no doubting. Each time I research a Hollywood star--Garbo being the latest--Louis B Mayer does not come out of it very well. In his day, everyone was terrified of this tyrant, and anyone who tried to defend themselves against him soon found themselves propelled towards the exit, often never to grace the silver screen again. Garbo and Tallulah were exceptions. He treated everyone else like something he had stepped in.

Today, few would wish to defend him. There is a "grand-niece" who calls herself "The Real Alicia Mayer" and who is as much related to him as I am. Her quest in life is to defend this monster, while her only achievement so far is to make herself look like a prize tit. Just another Twitter Twit with a mouth like a mussel, whose current aim in life is to denounce the author of the above book. So far she has failed majestically. She claims to be writing a book about her "great-uncle". It will never see the light of day.

There is nothing I would not have put past Louis B Mayer. The man had neither heart nor soul. Take for instance his abhorrent treatment of Marie Dressler:

Within a year of finishing Anna Christie, Dressler would be hailed Hollywood's number one box-office draw after Garbo, a position she retained until her death, winning an Oscar for Min & Bill (1931) in which she starred with Wallace Beery, and scored further hits with him inTugboat Annie and Dinner At Eight (both 1933). While working on the latter she was taken ill, and Mayer had her examined by his personal physician. Uncurable cancer was diagnosed, but the news was kept from from her to keep her working. When Dressler finally found out, Mayer offered fake sympathy by imposing a three-hour working day so as not to tire her, and promised her a $100,000 bonus--so long as she promised to "hang on" and complete the three films he had earmarked for her. She did, only to have Mayer go back on his word and pay her just $10,000 shortly before her death in July 1934. Because of this, Garbo is said to have loathed him more than any man on earth.
             
Mayer was also well aware that Francis Spielman, the Archbishop of New York, liked having sex with under-aged boys: 

...in particular Francis Spellman (1889-1967), the Roman Catholic Archbishop (later Cardinal) of New York....A close confidant of President Roosevelt, he was also a hypocrite and a phoney moralist—referred to as “Franny” by intimates—who enjoyed liasons with dozens of young men, mostly altar boys. The journalist Michelangelo Signorile denounced him as, “One of the most notorious, powerful and sexually voracious homosexuals in the American Catholic Church’s history.” His biographer, John Cooney, gleaned much evidence of his secret life from the priests Spellman worked with—one revealing his long term relationship with a chorus boy from the Broadway review, One Touch of Venus.

In the wake of Pearl Harbour, Spellman was more interested in covering his tracks and denouncing the latest Garbo film than he was in comforting his flock--and one person helped him, the horrendously bigoted Mayer, who was different from Spellman only in that HE loved having sex with under-aged girls.


The next day, a Sunday and one of the blackest days of the war, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour, with a loss of 2,350 lives. Archbishop Spellman was less concerned with this than he was attacking Garbo, and this "ninety minutes of filth". Despite his fear of flying, he flew to New York and demanded a meeting with the MGM executives and scriptwriters. The first thing Spellman saw when he marched into Louis B Mayer's office was a huge portrait of himself hanging on the wall--Mayer's way of proving to the outside world that he was on the side of the righteous. Later, he bequeathed Spellman $10 million in his will--for now, the cleric received a hefty pay-off to desist from making any more of a fuss,

So, there you have it. Of all the creeps in Hollywood, Louis B Mayer was the worst. He was the first to step on anyone else for stepping out of line, but did not practise what he preached. The kind of man who would have sold his mother to be a sex-slave if he could have made an easy buck.

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