ONTD Original: 5 Classic Hollywood Wild Celeb Deaths Ya Didn't Know About

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Olive Thomas
1894-1920


I think of her as the original manic pixie girl. And she sure went out like one of John Green's fictional girlfriends. Thomas achieved stardom as a Ziegfeld Girl in The Midnight Frolic (suggestive much?). In 1916, she married Jack Pickford, the younger brother of America's Virgin Mary Pickford. After four years of marriage, on the brink of divorce, the couple decided a little vacay in Paris would patch things up. Rumor had it that Thomas previously tried to commit suicide after learning of Pickford's infidelities. Another rumor had it that she tried to commit suicide after learning Pickford gave her syphilis. In the early morning of September 6, 1920, Thomas ingested mercury bichloride, which had been prescribed to Pickford to treat his syphilitic sores. According to reports, the prescription was in French, which some believe is proof that her ingestion was accidental. It took her five days to die from the poisoning. (Could you imagine?) Newspapers had a field day with the story: Some reported that Thomas had been battling severe drug addiction from all the cocaine orgies Pickford and Thomas attended. Others printed that Pickford tricked Thomas into drinking the medication so he could collect insurance money. (Well shit.) Her death was later ruled an accident.

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Albert Dekker
1905-1968


Dekker came to Hollywood in 1937 after majoring in premed in college. He made seventy films during in his acting career and held a California State Assembly seat from 1944 to 46, but he is more well-known for his strange death than his screen presence or political prowess. On May 5, 1968, Dekker was found dead in the bathtub of his Hollywood home. Nude, he was kneeling and had a noose around his neck that was attached to the shower curtain rod. He was blindfolded, his wrists were handcuffed; a ball gag was in his mouth, and two hypodermic needles were inserted in one arm. His body was covered in explicit words and a drawing of a vagina in red lipstick. Money and camera equipment were found missing, but there was no sign of forced entry. His death was later ruled accidental due to auto-erotic asphyxiation. (Sounds like he died during some S/M play. Maybe his partner tried to revive him with injections?)



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Peg Entwistle
1908-1932


So this pic might not be of Entwistle. It doesn't look like any of her other photos, but it could just be the contouring lighting. Entwistle was born in Port Talbot , Wales, to English parents. In 1913, she immigrated to Cincinnati, Ohio, with her father. In 1922, her father was killed in a hit and run accident in New York City. Between 1926 to 1932, Entwistle appeared in many Broadway productions, oftentimes in a comedic role. In 1932, she was cast in her only Hollywood movie: Thirteen Women, starring Irene Dunne and Myrna Loy (such a cute nose!). On September 18, a woman was hiking when she found a shoe, a purse, and a jacket beneath the Hollywoodland sign. Inside the purse was a suicide note: I am afraid, I am a coward. I am sorry for everything. If I had done this a long time ago, it would have saved a lot of pain. P.E. Further down the mountain lay a body. Police were unable to identify the body until two days later when Entwistle's uncle read the suicide note in the newspaper and matched the initials to his missing niece. Police concluded that Entwistle climbed a workman's ladder to the large H and jumped to her death.

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Sal Mineo
1939-1976


Mineo is best known as the ultimate third wheel in Rebel Without a Cause. Born in New York City to Italian parents, he spent his childhood and teen years playing a wide range of delinquent brown boys. Got a Mexican character? He could play it. Got an Indian Character? Sign him up! He also had a successful pop career. By the 1970s, Hollywood had moved on to other slightly dark boys to play poc characters; though Mineo did gain attention when he was one of the first Hollywood stars to come out in the late 1960s. On February 20, 1976, Mineo was stabbed directly in the heart (damn, that's good precision) by an unknown suspect behind his apartment building in West Hollywood. Neighbors said they heard him cry out: "Oh, my God! No! Help me, please!" Rumors ran wild: Some said Mineo was murdered after he propositioned the suspect for sex; others speculated that it was a drug sell gone wrong. Three years later, a pizza delivery guy named Lionel Ray Williams was sentenced to 57 years for the murder. In the 1990s, Williams appeared on Mysteries and Scandals to plead his innocence.

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Thomas H. Ince
1882-1924


At fifteen, Ince made his Broadway debut in Shore Acres. He spent some time doing Vaudeville and other Broadway shows until he made his directorial debut in 1910. In 1918, he created his own film studio, which stayed in business until his death. He became friends with media giant William Randolph Hearst, and was on board Hearst's lavish yacht when it set sail on November 24, 1924. Ince would never step foot on land again. The other passengers included Charlie Chaplin and columnist Louella Parsons. The rumor: Hearst suspected that Chaplin and Davies was having an affair. When he found them in a compromising position on the yacht, he reached for his gun.

(I'm just pasting the next bit from Wiki because there's so much info): "A scuffle ensued, followed by a gunshot, and Ince took the bullet intended for Chaplin. According to Chaplin in his autobiography, he wasn't aboard that day and his friend Elinor Glyn told him that Ince had been merry and debonair, but during lunch had been suddenly stricken with paralysing pain and forced to leave the table. A second version of the story had Davies and Ince alone in the galley late Sunday night. Ince, who suffered from ulcers, was looking for something to ease his upset stomach when Hearst walked in. Mistaking Ince for Chaplin, Hearst shot him. A third version tells of a struggle over a gun below decks between unidentified passengers. The gun fired accidentally and the bullet ripped through a plywood partition straight into Ince's room where it struck him. (LOL WUT?) Chaplin's secretary, Toraichi Kono, added fuel to the fire when he claimed to have seen Ince when he came ashore. Kono told his wife that Ince's head was 'bleeding from a bullet wound.' The story quickly spread among the Japanese domestic workers throughout Beverly Hills. Whether Ince was killed in a fit of jealousy or by accident, the story stuck, and with many believing Hearst used his power and influence to cover up the incident. One month after Ince's death, the rumors ran so rampant that the San Diego District Attorney's Office was forced to take action." But they closed the case after only speaking to one doctor. (Hmm. Suspect.)

Moral of the story: People have always been wild. Don't let anyone tell you life was bland before the 1960s.

Sauces
Thomas: Text | Gif
Dekker: Text | Pic
Entwistle: Text | Pic
Mineo: Text| Pic
Ince: Text | Pic

Phew. My first ONTD Original! I feel so accomplished!

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Mods: I changed the cut. Hopefully it works now!