Of scoundrels and scandals

May 24, 2015

Bestselling showbiz author James Robert Parish dishes out on the naughty behaviour and wild exploits of some of Hollywood’s most famous leading men in his exposé.

Of scoundrels and scandals

Move over Salman Khan - it’s time fans got a taste of Hollywood’s inherent bad boys, those who have long been the epitome of bad behaviour and even those who fooled you into thinking highly of them. James Robert Parish’s Hollywood Bad Boys: Loud, Fast and Out of Control uncovers every hidden detail of the lives of tinsel town’s most famous rogues, taking readers on a thrilling rollercoaster ride where nothing is what meets the eye.

Be it the great Charlie Chaplin or the quintessential gangster Mark Wahlberg or even the unstoppable saviour Jean Claude Van Damme, each one of them has witnessed a blow in their fascinating, starry lives, including a brush with law, drug abuse and extramarital affairs. Parish dishes out all these salacious details and a lot more that you couldn’t have thought of even in your wildest imagination.

Parish not only unveils lesser-known facts about Hollywood’s current lot of bad boys but also introduces us to the secrets of those past their glory. Did you know that it was Paramount Head Adolph Zukor’s hatred that ensured the downfall of Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle instead of the apparent role of the jury or that for most of his adult life, Jack Nicholson thought that his grandmother was his mother and his mother was his sister? This book will tell you all, digging deep into their lives instead of giving a savvy, tabloid recap. Amongst many other revelations, Hollywood Bad Boys tells us that the notorious Charlie Sheen only decided to become an actor after he failed at everything else (and was rescued by his father Martin Sheen on umpteenth occasions), Ben Affleck’s mother let him smoke in the basement so she could keep an eye on him and that Steve McQueen destroyed his wife Ali McGraw’s career by not letting her work in movies and forcing her to spend time with his friends.

And then there is an endless look into the many celebrity marriages that went on to bite the dust because of more than just irreconcilable differences. For example, before Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart had Mayo Methot by his side who made the handsome hunk’s life a living hell. Kim Basinger married Alec Baldwin only to end up in misery. Actress Meg Ryan was married to Dennis Quaid when her affair with Russell Crowe began on the sets of Proof of Life (while actor John Barrymore got married so many times that he lost count of the Mrs. Barrymores!)

This lively tome of Hollywood’s most infamous is a treasure trove for movie buffs. The writer takes one down memory lane with his zippy, definitive account of these indulgent, royalty-loving criminals that we have all adored on celluloid. A lot of actors, however, shouldn’t have been in this book; they might have been famous in their day but with the passage of time, people have forgotten Rudolph Valentino, Gig Young and many such artists. One hopes that in the next edition of the book, newcomers will find a place and the uninteresting ones will make way for them. And yes, the readers need profile shots of each and every actor mentioned in the book; some of us don’t want to check Google for everything.

10 Interesting facts you never know

* ‑ ‑One actress called Frank Sinatra the ‘Mercedes Benz of Men’.

* ‑ ‑Alec Baldwin was supposed to star in Godfather 3 (the role went to Andy Garcia), The Fugitive, Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger (Harrison Ford).

* ‑ ‑Jack Nicholson was told off after his first screen test, making him feel that it was crazy of him to even think of becoming an actor.

* ‑ ‑British tabloids termed Hugh Grant’s encounter with a prostitute ‘Hugh-militating!’

* ‑ ‑It Happened One Night might not have happened had Clark Gable stayed away from Joan Crawford.

* ‑ ‑The King of Rock & Roll Elvis Presley was born 5 minutes after the death of his twin brother.

* ‑ ‑Four-time Academy Award nominee Montgomery Clift hated his controlling mother.

* ‑ ‑‘Rebel Without A Cause’ James Dean might have been gay or bisexual.

* ‑ ‑During his 10 years in Friends, Matthew ‘Chandler Bing’ Perry was battling drug addiction and weight issues.

* ‑ ‑Actor George Raft turned down Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon whereas Humphrey Bogart became an icon after these two movies. Tough luck.

 Omair Alavi can be contacted at [email protected]

Of scoundrels and scandals