Monday, March 10, 2008

Wallace Beery--from Wikipedia

According to E.J. Fleming's book "The Fixers" (about MGM's legendary "fixers" Eddie Mannix and Howard Strickling) Beery, gangster Pat DiCicco, and Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli (who was also DiCicco's cousin and eventual producer of the James Bond films) allegedly beat comedian Ted Healy to death in a brawl. The book went on to claim that Beery was then sent to Europe by the studio for a few months until the heat was off, while a story was concocted for the public that three college students had killed Healy instead. (Immigration records confirm a four-month trip to Europe on Beery's part immediately after Healy's death, ending April 17, 1938.)[1] Oddly, a superb pencil drawing of Beery survives that was drawn on a film set by Healy, an amateur artist as well as the organizer and original leader of the Three Stooges (the act was originally known as "Ted Healy and His Stooges").

At best, Beery seems to have been somewhat misanthropic and difficult to work with, and Jackie Cooper, who worked with Beery in several films, called him in his autobiography "the most sadistic person I have ever known". Child actress Margaret O'Brien also worked with Beery, and ultimately had to be protected by crew members from Beery's insistence on constantly pinching her.

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