13 Stars of Old Hollywood Whose Facts Will Make You Question Everything You Used to Know About Them
It’s easy to learn a lot about today’s celebrities — they’re on social media, posting comments and giving interviews. But the actresses of Old Hollywood are frozen in their perfect on-screen image. However, if you dig a little into their biographies, you can learn many things that are new and unexpected. All these details give more personality and life to the great stars.
Grace Kelly’s entire career lasted 5 years.
Grace Kelly was on the silver screen for a very short time. Her entire acting career lasted only 5 years — from a small role in the film Fourteen Hours in 1951 to her last film, High Society, in 1956. What’s more, all of Grace’s films were banned from being shown in Monaco. This was personally ordered by her husband, Prince Rainier III.
Audrey Hepburn was fluent in 5 languages.
Audrey was well-educated and spoke five languages fluently: English, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, and French. She had very high standards for herself and her appearance. For example, she promised herself to never weigh more than 103 pounds. And she always kept that promise, apart from when she was pregnant. Also, the actress was very afraid of water. So when one of the film plots called for her to be dropped into a pool, special divers were present on set to calm her down.
Joan Crawford used to wash her hands every 10 minutes.
Joan was always very stubborn; as a child, she injured her leg and the doctors told her that she would not be able to walk. But the girl dreamed of dancing, so she trained through the pain for six months. And she succeeded. It was precisely while dancing that she was noticed and offered work in the cinema. She signed a very strict contract with the studio, which even regulated the exact time of her bedtime.
The actress was obsessed with cleanliness and washed her hands every 10 minutes. And when she had guests, she would be constantly cleaning up and wiping up after them. Joan preferred showers and never took a bath, as she found it disgusting to be even in her own bathtub.
Vivien Leigh used to prop up the bathroom door with her Oscar.
Vivien became a legendary actress, but in her entire career, she appeared in fewer than 20 films. All due to serious health problems. She won two Oscars for her work. However, she used one of the statuettes to prop up the bathroom door.
Joan Fontaine got an IQ score of 160 as a child.
Joan was the younger sister of the famous actress Olivia de Havilland, but the two of them didn’t always get along. As a child, 9-year-old Olivia made a will under which she left “all her beauty to her younger sister Joan because she has none of her own.” And then, as adults, they could hardly even talk to each other.
Joan was not only a famous actress, but she was also very smart and well-educated. At the age of 3, she took a special IQ test for children and scored 160 points. She later became a licensed pilot, a chef, and a chartered interior designer, as well as an Oscar winner for Best Leading Actress.
Ginger Rogers painted but refused to sell her paintings.
Ginger was not only a great actress and singer, but also a talented artist. In her spare time, she painted and did many sketches but categorically refused to sell them. She also danced in many of her films, as in her youth she had won a dance contest in Texas. The famous dancer and actor Fred Astaire later called Ginger his best partner.
Hedy Lamarr became a recluse.
The actress’ first marriage was very difficult, and she eventually had to escape from her husband disguised as a maid. After that, Hedy went on to conquer Hollywood and was very successful, despite troubles with discipline. She would sometimes not show up for filming or forget to pay for her groceries. She tried to keep her youthful appearance for as long as possible, even resorting to plastic surgery. But at the age of 64, she decided to become a recluse.
Janet Leigh wrote four books.
Janet was very attractive and popular with men. She got married for the first time at the age of 15. She became a real Hollywood star, making an appearance in Alfred Hitchcock films. But she was more than just a talented actress. During her life, Janet wrote four books — an autobiography, two novels, and a book about the making of the famous film Psycho.
Katharine Hepburn wore socks over trainers.
Katharine was well-educated, with a degree in history and philosophy. But as an actress, she gave it her all on set, and she refused to use stuntmen and did all the stunts herself. She acted well into her older years. In one of her final films, Katharine wore only tall white trainers. And when the directors asked her to wear something more fashionable for the shot, she put black socks over the trainers.
Elizabeth Taylor played a grandmother at 23.
Elizabeth was a talented actress. At the age of 23, she managed to play the role of a woman, who, as the plot unfolds, has not only children but also grandchildren. And she did so very convincingly. She was a very loyal friend to actor Montgomery Clift. When he got in a car accident, Elizabeth was the first to run to the scene and got to her friend through the wreckage, saving his life.
Claudette Colbert never showed half of her face to anyone.
Claudette secretly married early on in her career, but the young couple decided to live apart to keep the romance alive. Their marriage lasted for seven years. Meanwhile, Claudette was successfully conquering Hollywood, starring in successful films. But working with her wasn’t easy, as she refused to show the right side of her face in filming. Because of a nose injury on the right side, there was a bump, which the actress tried to hide. Once, the set even had to be rebuilt to please the actress.
She was nominated for an Oscar in 1935, but she was sure she would lose, so she decided to not even show up at the ceremony. And yet she won. To receive the award, she was called to the ceremony from the train station, where she was at the time.
Paulette Goddard got married on a trip around the world.
Paulette was married four times, and her husbands included Erich Maria Remarque and Charlie Chaplin. With the latter, she went on a trip around the world, and they were married in the first week. On their return to Hollywood, they were both gaining popularity as actors; Paulette was even a major contender for the role of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind. However, it was important to the studio that the actress’s marriage to Chaplin was confirmed, and Paulette was unable to do so. Therefore, the starring role went to Vivien Leigh.
Ava Gardner had only read 2 books by the time she was 23.
Ava received a very fragmented education in her youth. By the age of 23, she had only read two books: the Bible and the novel Gone with the Wind. She then bridged the gaps with a lifetime of self-education. For the film The Barefoot Contessa, she learned to dance flamenco and liked it so much that she couldn’t get enough of it.
She was acquainted with many famous people, such as J. R. R. Tolkien. But when they met, Ava didn’t know exactly what he was famous for. And John, for his part, had no idea who Ava was. She was also friends with Ernest Hemingway. And, like many others, called him “Papa.”
Which of these talented women impressed you the most?