Today we have the tabloids and even bloggers sharing the latest scoop on the celebs. This is not a new phenomenon. Back in Hollywood hey day they had Hedda and Louella. Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons, rivals in the celebrity scuttlebutt department.
But on December 9, 1972 Hollywood could rest a little easier as Louella Parsons passed on. She died of arteriosclerosis at the age of ninety-one in Santa Monica, California. Her funeral mass was attended by several stars of the movie industry.
In 1918, Parsons began writing a movie column that emphasized celebrity scuttlebutt for The New York Morning Post. Soon, Hearst began syndicating her gossip column nationally, and Parsons’ power in Hollywood grew. She made various radio appearances in the early 1930s and began hosting Hollywood Hotel in 1934, using her considerable power to persuade stars to appear on her program for free. Parsons established herself as the social and moral arbiter of Hollywood. Her judgments were considered the final word in most cases, and her disfavor was feared more than that of movie critics. Her column was followed religiously and thus afforded her a unique type and degree of power. She engaged in a decades-long rivalry with fellow gossip columnist Hedda Hopper.