The lights, the glitz, the glamor! When we think of Old Hollywood, we think of blonde bombshells and handsome leading men living an extravagant, amazing life of wealth and celebrity. However, that’s not really how it was. Back then, the major studios ruled Hollywood. They controlled every part of their stars' lives, from what they wore to whom they married. But there’s much more to the story. Here are some of the most outrageous abuses of old Hollywood's studio system.
An anonymous actress once said, “Abortions were our birth control.” That’s how common they were in the time of the classic Hollywood studio system. And most of the time, actresses were forced to get them because of the contract they signed. Studios wanted to keep their sex symbols - well, sexy. So pregnancy and even marriage were often completely off the table.
Studios forced men to cover up their sexuality with sham marriages. Child actors were force-fed uppers to keep them peppy, then given downers to make them sleep. Actors with "ethnic" names or backgrounds were forced to make up entire new identities. The audience just got to see the motion picture in the theater; the literal blood and sacrifice of the actors and actresses on the big screen was all left on the cutting room floor...
Judy Garland Was Forced To Have Two AbortionsPhoto: The Wizard of Oz / Loew's, Inc.
Loretta Young Hid Her Pregnancy, Then "Adopted" Her Own DaughterPhoto: Call of the Wild / United Artists Corp.
Rock Hudson Was Forced To Get MarriedPhoto: Pillow Talk / Universal Pictures
Judy Garland Was Forced To Take Dangerous DrugsPhoto: A Star Is Born / Warner Bros.
Jean Harlow Was Not Allowed To Get Married
Louis B. Mayer Purposefully Ruined John Gilbert's Career