Although mostly remembered as a Hollywood gossip columnist, Hedda Hopper began her career in show business as an actor. Raised in a strict Quaker household, she left her family quite early to pursue a career on Broadway. She is never praised for her acting ability, but she did get a part on Broadway, where she met and married a popular actor of the period, DeWolf Hopper, who was thirty-two years her senior. The marriage did not last, but through it she was brought to Hollywood and began appearing in films in 1916.
Films did not remain her focus for long. By 1936 her nose for gossip and scandal earned her a stint on the radio reporting the goings-on of the Hollywood set. By 1938 she had her own syndicated column and she was challenging Louella Parsons for the title of Queen of the Gossipmongers.
She created her own larger-than-life persona and established her trademark—outlandish hats. Her favorite thing in the world was a real—or fabricated—feud. She had a long-running one with Parsons and Ed Sullivan, as well as other personalities that she delighted in putting in a bad light.
As her fame and reputation grew, she appeared in films as herself—a representative of Hollywood glamour. She wrote an autobiography titled, The Whole Truth and Nothing But (1963) and followed that up with From Under My Hat (1964). She retired in 1965, and even her enemies admitted that there would never be another to match her. She had been, as one article put it, “alone on the throne.”
|1916||The Battle of Hearts|
|1917||Her Excellency the Governor; Nearly Married; Seven Keys to Baldpate|
|1918||The Beloved Traitor; Virtuous Wives; By Right of Purchase|
|1919||The Third Degree; Sadie Love; The Isle of Conquest|
|1920||The Man Who Lost Himself; The New York Idea|
|1921||Heedless Moths; The Inner Chamber; Conceit|
|1922||Women Men Marry; Sherlock Holmes; What's Wrong with the Women?|
|1923||Reno; Has the World Gone Mad!|
|1924||Gambling Wives; Why Men Leave Home; Happiness; Miami; Sinners in Silk; The Snob; Another Scandal|
|1925||Her Market Value; Declassee; Dangerous Innocence; Zander the Great; Raffles; The Teaser; Borrowed Finery|
|1926||The Caveman; Skinner's Dress Suit; Lew Tyler's Wives; Don Juan; Fools of Fashion; Obey the Law; The Silver Treasure; Pleasures of the Rich; Dance Madness|
|1927||Orchids and Ermine; Venus of Venice; Matinee Ladies; Children of Divorce; Black Tears; The Cruel Truth; Wings; Adam and Evil; One Woman to Another; The Drop Kick; A Reno Divorce; French Dressing|
|1928||Love and Learn; The Whip Woman; The Chorus Kid; Harold Teen; Green Grass Widows; Runaway Girls; Undressed; The Port of Missing Girls; Companionate Marriage|
|1929||Girls Gone Wild; The Last Mrs. Cheyney; Cat, Dog and Company; His Glorious Night; Half Marriage; A Song of Kentucky; The Racketeer|
|1930||Such Men Are Dangerous; Murder Will Out; Our Blushing Brides; Holiday; Let Us Be Gay; War Nurse; High Society Blues|
|1931||The Easiest Way; Men Call It Love; The Slippery Pearls; The Common Law; Mystery Train; West of Broadway; A Tailor Made Man; Shipmates; Rebound; The Prodigal; Good Sport; Flying High|
|1932||The Man Who Played God; Night World; As You Desire Me; Skyscraper Souls; Downstairs; Speak Easily; The Unwritten Law|
|1933||Men Must Fight; The Barbarian; Pilgrimage; Beauty for Sale|
|1934||Bombay Mail; Let's Be Ritzy; No Ransom; Little Man, What Now?|
|1935||One Frightened Night; Alice Adams; Three Kids anda Queen; I Live My Life; Ship Cafe; Lady Tubbs; Society Fever|
|1936||The Dark Hour; Dracula ‘s Daughter; Bunker Bean; Doughnuts and Society|
|1937||Vogues of 1938; Artists and Models; Nothing Sacred; You Can't Buy Luck; Topper; Dangerous Holiday|
|1938||Tarzan's Revenge; Maid's Night Out; Thanks for the Memory; Dangerous to Know|
|1939||Midnight; Laugh It Off; The Women; What a Life; That's Right—You're Wrong|
|1940||Cross Country Romance; Queen of the Mob|
|1941||I Wanted Wings; Life With Henry; Hedda Hopper's Hollywood (No. 1 and 2)|
|1942||Hedda Hopper's Hollywood (No. 3-6); Reap the Wild Wind|
|1946||Unusual Occupations (as herself); Breakfast in Hollywood (as herself)|
|1950||Sunset Boulevard (as herself)|
|1964||The Patsy (as herself)|
|1966||The Oscar (as herself)|
The first person I ever cared deeply and sincerely about was – myself. —Quoted by George Eells in Hedda and...
Noted for her biting wit and flamboyant hats, Hedda Hopper wrote a Hollywood gossip column that was credited, during its 28-year...