Enough of all this Euro-scandal, am I right? Let’s cross back over to the right side of the pond where the condoms are thinner and the divorces are sweeter, and talk about some good, ol’ fashioned American sex-having.
For today’s post, For Shame! returns to one of our most frequent haunts, the Old Hollywood. Full disclosure: this post is not written our resident moving pictures expert, the lovely JAF. Today’s tale of scandal is written by the least-knowledgeable-about-movies for shame biddy, LHB. So don’t expect me to educate you on the finer things like “film” or “art.” This is strictly about illicit interactions between snatches and ding dongs from the days of yore. Got it? Good.
Paulette Goddard was born Miriam Shapiro Blumenberg Rosenthal Yaskowitz in Crown Heights, NY. JUST KIDDING. She didn’t have that big of a nose. But she was named Marion Pauline Levy when she came out of her mother’s treyf vag in 1910 in Queens, NY. This little babushka is only, like, the third Jew we’ve written about on For Shame! and I’m so excited about it, my mezuzah is tingling.
Paulette’s parents got d-i-v-o-r-c-e-d when she was a youngin’ and papa Levy ran away without so much as a “Shalom, y’all.” The little harlot, I mean, starlet, grew up to be a very pretty lady and her great uncle (not weird at all) helped her get some gigs as a fashion model and then later as a Ziegfeld girl in the Ziegfeld Follies. After that, she did a lot of stage acting in NYC, while attending high school in Manhattan. But then in 1926 (when she was SIX-fucking-TEEN), she married an older business man who made his living cutting down wood. They were divorced 4 years later (because of impotency issues? – I‘m trying to make a wood joke, I don’t know how, I’m floundering, help me?) after she moved to Hollywood in 1930.
Let’s recap: she’s 20 years old, already divorced and living in the land of movie milk and honey. I’m 21 and I haven’t even been married, let alone divorced yet! Jesus Christ, Get with it, LHB!
Anyway, now it’s the ’30s and she’s living in Hollywood and acting in as many pictures as her boobies can get her cast in and living in sin with our favorite star of the silver screen, Charlie Chaplin. S’right! Bitch was shacking up with the most famous Nazi-impersonator this side of the Bering Strait. And he never even put a ring on it! I know what you’re thinking. “BFD, LHB. People do anything in California. They marry prostitutes, they get famous for making sex tapes, they run for office when all they’ve ever done is star in action movies and father illegitimate children.” Well, you are right of course. But I haven’t finished my story yet, so sit the fuck down and get ready to be scandalized.
I don’t know if you’re familiar with the year 1939 but it was kind of an important one. It came after 1938 and just before 1940. You probably remember it because that’s when Germany invaded Poland. It was also the year that both Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz were released! Goddard was considered for roles in both – 3rd flying monkey from the left in Oz and Scarlet O’Hara in Wind. FINE I ADMIT IT. That wasn’t exactly true. She was never considered for the role of the third most important flying monkey THAT WE KNOW OF.
But she was one of the last two actresses considered for the part of ScarOHar in the immortal (and super-duper racist) Gone with the Wine, I mean Wind, along with Vivien Leigh. And guess why she didn’t get the part!!! The producers wouldn’t touch her because of her questionable marital status with Mr. Chaplin! Which is kind of bull doody because Vivien Leigh was living with Laurence Olivier and both of them were married to other people who refused to divorce them. Apparently in the eyes of the movie-gods, choosing not to marry someone because you’re against the whole institution is a way sinner-y-er than being married and living with and boning someone else who is also married.
But Paulette got over it and still had a great career (including starring in the original 1939 The Women) and managed to marry a couple more people. Which is ALWAYS GOOD. AM I RIGHT LADIES?!?! She and Charlie split after filming The Great Dictator together in 1940, but were still BFFs forevs. She married Burgess Meredith in 1944 and then got a schmivorce from him in 1949. Then she married the true love of her life, Erich Maria Remarque, in 1958. When he died in 1970, she inherited his vast collection of modern art. (HOW JEALOUS AM I?! SO JEALOUS.) She went on to become one of the richest bitches in the NYC social scene and Andy Warhol’s best friend. She died after a short illness at age 79.
Moral of the story: If you want to be cast in the most famous movie of the century, have your boyfriend put a ring on it before your headshot gets thrown in the trash because the studio thinks you’re a slut face.