TDISH: The Scandal that Rocked Hollywood

On September 5, 1921, Hollywood funnyman Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle rented a hotel room in the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco to relax and have some fun with friends. By the end of the night one of those friends, actress Virginia Rappe, fell ill from bootlegged liquor (it was the time of Prohibition) and a previous medical condition.  Two days later, Rappe was dead and Arbuckle’s career was in shambles as he was charged with manslaughter.  Over the next year, Arbuckle would face three trials over the case and charges of killing the young woman and of sexual perversion.  Though he was never convicted, his career was effectively over.  Check out this excellent article in Smithsonian Magazine by Daniel Eagan to learn more about this “first Hollywood sex scandal.”

Featured Image: “Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle.” By Photographer uncredited –, Public Domain.

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