If you’re a fan of old Hollywood movies but have never heard the podcast, You Must Remember This, then you should really, really check it out. Karina Longworth takes us through forgotten stories of the Hollywood star system with a sympathetic eye and a commendable reluctance to take the salacious details – which normally make the front page headline – at face value.
This week she covered the life and untimely death of Carole Landis. Now I love old Hollywood films, both watching them and reading about them, and I’d never fucking heard of Carole Landis. It’s true to say that she was never a big name, but she was reasonably well known in her day, playing second-fiddle to Bette Grable a couple of times and was Raquel Welch’s role in the original ‘One Million Years BC’. She also had a high profile affair with rising star Rex Harrison, before her suicide at the age of 29.
Carole Landis, used to be famous
I’m not really going to do her story full justice here, but if you’re interested in hearing more, please do check out the podcast.
What struck me though was that not only is Carole Landis pretty much forgotten today, she seems to have been largely forgotten by the time she died. And that set me wondering, in these days when the internet remembers anything, is it possible for an actor or actress whose names make it above the title, to disappear from view.
Two words: Alison Lohman.
Alison Lohman, used to be famous
A decade ago Alison Lohman seemed to be sitting pretty. She’d been in ‘Where the Truth Lies’ which is the kind of indie film which launches young actresses; there she was, above the credits, with Nicholas Cage and Sam Rockwell in ‘Matchstick Men’; and was soon to make Sam Raimi’s ‘Drag me to Hell’, the kind of horror movie which gets a big roll out. She was in short on top of a promising career, a big star in the making.
IMDB tells me that she started working again last year, but there has been a long seven year gap. I could speculate as to the reasons why. (Starting a family? Sabbatical? Stared into the abyss of movie stardom and decided she didn’t want it?) The fact remains that she disappeared from view.
I’m not suggesting that her life is as tumultuous as Carole Landis’s was, and I’m sure any podcast that eventually covers her career will be a more sedate affair. But even in this saturated media ago of ours, a young actress can effectively disappear, and nobody will really notice that she’s gone.
Fancy reading some free FRJ short stories? My collection, ‘Something Went Wrong & Other Strange Tales’ is available here.