Famous Hollywood Sex Scandals

  • The Arnold Schwarzenegger scandal has a lot of startling, sordid details – like his housekeeper lover trying on Maria Shriver’s dresses. But as long as there’s been a Hollywood, there have been cheating stars whose stories can still shock us today. Here’s a hall of shame:

    Clark Gable

    The Gone With The Wind superstar cheated with actress Loretta Young while they were filming Call of the Wild (1935). At the time, Gable was married. When Young became pregnant, she covered it up, going to England for a “vacation” so she wouldn’t ruin her career or Gable’s. After giving birth to her daughter Judy, she put the child in an orphanage for nearly two years and then claimed to have adopted her. When Judy confronted her years later, Young said she was a “walking mortal sin.” Apparently Gable didn’t feel the same way; he visited his daughter just once, when she was a teenager.
  • Gary Cooper The taciturn cowboy star wasn’t shy when it came to women. While married to Veronica Balfe, who remained his wife until Cooper’s death in 1961, he had affairs with Marlene Dietrich, Grace Kelly and, most famously, Patricia Neal. Cooper pressured Neal to have an abortion after she became pregnant in 1950, because, he said, it would ruin his career. She obliged. Years later, Maria, Cooper’s daughter with Balfe, spat at Neal. Maybe she should have done that to Cooper, too.
  • Spencer Tracy He was a great actor, specializing in irascible yet lovable characters, but he’s as well-known for his affair with Katharine Hepburn as he is for any part he ever played. Tracy and Hepburn (who presented herself as the very model of Yankee rectitude) were infamous for their 26-year affair, refusing to talk about it and making no effort to hide it. Throughout that entire time, Tracy was married to Louise Treadwell. A Catholic, Tracy refused to divorce his wife and marry Hepburn because the church forbade divorce. Catholicism also prohibits adultery, but that seems not to have occurred to Tracy.
  • Humphrey Bogart He was 45, Lauren Bacall was 19. But the age difference didn’t seem to bother Bogart, who was married at the time. In fact, he called her “Baby.” The two met while filming To Have And Have Not, a noir film that set the stage for their later movies together. (Bacall always played the dangerous seductress; Bogart was the rough-hewn cynic.) A year after To Have And Have Not, Bogart had divorced his wife and married Bacall. They had two children and remained married until Bogart’s death in 1957.
  • Errol Flynn His autobiography was entitled My Wicked, Wicked Ways, and that’s an understatement. During his career, Flynn, who specialized in swashbuckling roles like Robin Hood, was married three times but had a well-known reputation as a womanizer. However, he didn’t confine himself to women. In 1942, two underage girls accused him of statutory rape, and his friends formed a defense committee called The American Boys’ Club For The Defense Of Errol Flynn. He was acquitted. In his final days, he was involved with a 15-year-old, Beverly Aadland, whom he cast in a movie called Cuban Rebel Girl. Marlene Dietrich nicknamed him Satan’s Angel, which seems appropriate.
  • Bing Crosby The all-American family man? Yes, and his partner is even more shocking: ice princess Grace Kelly. Crosby got involved with Kelly while they were filming The Country Girl (1954), for which she won an Oscar. In the meantime, Crosby’s wife was battling terminal cancer. So much for the family man. The night Kelly won her Oscar was also notable as the night Crosby caught her with Marlon Brando. There was a fight. Brando won.