Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Arnold Schwarzenegger And The History Of Career-Killing Hollywood Scandals

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With Thursday's announcement that he'd be putting his Hollywood career "on hold," Arnold Schwarzenegger has left the world to wonder whether there'll ever be another Terminator movie. Certainly plenty of movie stars have weathered scandal in the past, and some have gone on to become even bigger than they were before -- just ask the indestructible Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. Not everyone's fared so well, though. A look back at Hollywood's history reveals that the town isn't always as forgiving as Schwarzenegger might hope.

The history of career-killing scandal goes at least as far back as the early 1920s, when Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, one of the biggest comedy stars of the day, threw a party where a woman ended up dying of a ruptured stomach. The conjecture was that the 300-pound Arbuckle had raped her and crushed her with his weight. He went through three different trials (and was ultimately acquitted) while Hollywood did nothing to support him; the studio heads were angry because he'd gone on a vacation instead of doing promotional work for them, so they made him the scapegoat for a plague of scandal sweeping through Hollywood, and refused to release his movies. He made a slight comeback in the early '30s, signing a new contract with Warner Brothers right before dying of a heart attack at the age of 46.