Arts and Culture

Assholes of Yesteryear: Hollywood Style!

Updated: Apr 06, 2010 20:17
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John Mayer has certainly made a name for himself as the Asshole Du Jour (that’s Asshole of the Day, for all you Dumb & Dumber fans) in the celebrity dating world of today.  As a reaction to these types of shenanigans (and even just prompted by nothing), the media sometimes has a tendency to romanticize “old Hollywood” celebrities, glamour, etc.  Kind of how conservatives always love to reminisce about how the 1950s were a kinder, gentler time when America really meant something, men were men, and killing American Indians on TV was entertaining, etc.  Here’s the thing: I’m pretty sure that there were a shit ton, if not more public assholes back then compared with now.

Don’t believe me?  Here’s a roundup of just SOME I could think of:

1. Warren Beatty

Ok, I admit, I definitely think he was hot shit back in the day, physically.  But personality-wise?  I shuddered when I heard this tidbit in the LA Times from a new biography coming out.  So, basically, Beatty and Natalie Wood dated for a while and remained somewhat friends after they broke up. When Beatty started dating Maya Plisetskaya, the Bolshoi Ballet’s prima ballerina at the time who, was married and didn’t even speak  English, Beatty would go on double dates with filmmaker Henry Jaglom, who was then seeing Wood.  Because Wood is originally from Russia, she would serve as a translator for Beatty and Plisetkaya.  Here’s the kicker, Beatty would ask Wood things that include but were not limited to: “Tell her how you say, ‘I love you more than life itself.’ ”  Wow.  I bet Natalie really loved that.  And then she fell off a boat, which I’m going to go ahead and indirectly blame Warren Beatty for as well.

2. Jack Nicholson

I don’t think this needs much of an explanation.  Jack Nicholson basically plays himself in almost every movie (including my favorite, The Shining!), the basis of each character essentially boiling down to: entitled asshole .  I remember something about him dating Anjelica Huston for a long time and kinda treating her like shit for most of it.  Something about getting another woman pregnant, was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back.  Also, there’s that quote from As Good As it Gets that Spike TV can’t seem to get enough of about women being irrational– even though that was Nicholson’s character talking, something tells me he’s not all together in complete disagreement with that sentiment.

3. Errol Flynn

Not only was he charged and acquitted THREE TIMES for having sex with 12-14 year old girls and was allegedly a Nazi sympathizer, but he apparently stole the dead body of John Barrymore as a goof.  One night, according to the internet, Errol Flynn and a drunken party posse somehow stole John Barrymore’s corpse. They reportedly took the body and placed it in a chair at Flynn’s house so that when people opened the door they’d be greeted by “John”.  Um, WTF?  I feel like Jesse James definitely took a page from this guy’s book, though.

4. Fatty Arbuckle

Ok, so maybe you probably wouldn’t have wanted to date Fatty Mc Terrifyingface even knowing nothing about his sociopathic personality, but I guess he was in Keystone Cops films, which was a big deal way back when.  According to various internet sources, Fatty Arbuckle weighed 266 lbs and was a lush.  One day at a party, when trying to get it on with another lesser-known actress named Veronica Rappe, he discovered that he had whiskey dick. Rather than taking a rain check, he apparently raped the actress with a  jagged piece of glass, essentially tearing her body up from inside out. The actress died as a result, and three murder trials ensued. Surprise, surprise: Fatty Arbuckle was aquitted, though his career never quite survived.

5. Elvis

I know I’m probably going to get a lot of flack for this, but COME ON, apart from his awesome music, does this guy not seem like a ridiculous person?  Which I know, adds to how awesome his music is, but also, how he was probably a Grade A ASSHOLE.  Now, I’ve never read Elvis and Me or anything (though I really WANT TO), but my impression of him as a romantic interest is that not only was he the type of person to marry a 15 year old girl, but that he thought he could cheat on said wife whenever the fuck he wanted.  If Priscilla wanted some action, though: forget about it.  That seems totally fair– not only have you stolen a person’s golden fucking/dating years, but they aren’t even allowed to cheat on you in return.  This is why I will never understand the logic of marrying young (or marrying at all)– if you’re just going to cheat on them anyway, what was the point again?

6. Sean Connery

There’s a famous excerpt from a Barbara Walters interview in which he says the following:

There are women who take it to the wire. That’s what they are looking for, the ultimate confrontation. They want a smack.

Goodnight Folks!

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Anna G - Caliburg Contributor

Anna G - Caliburg Contributor

Anna G. is a Southern California native living in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn since 2005. Anna is constantly trying to unite her love of CA sunshine and the excitement of the New York urban jungle, all the while trying to keep her unwieldy credit card debt under control, and look fabulous at brunch, no matter how un-showered and hungover.


  1. April 5, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    No dummy, he wanted to take them to S’Mac….

  2. Anna G - Caliburg Contributor
    April 6, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Sean Connery sympathizer! Why don’t you just go unearth Charlton Heston’s corpse and prop him up in your hallway? At least that way, creepy guy upstairs will think twice before breaking any tables and vases.

  3. Craig Oden
    April 26, 2010 at 4:35 pm


    You may be right that Flynn was an a-hole, but your facts are wrong. Flynn did like them young, but the girls in his rape trials were older than the 12-14 years you claim. They were just under the legal age, and they were on the sleazy side. Flynn never stole Barrymore’s corpse. The legend is he was the victim of the prank: his friends stole the body and plunked him on Flynn’s couch, scaring the bejeezus out of Flynn when he walked in. Buster Wiles, Flynn’s stuntman friend, says it was entirely a bogus tale. Nazi? No, but he had poor taste in friends. Hermann Erben was a Nazi, and Flynn did a lot more than he should have to protect a friend from incarceration.

    Try basing your claim on his drug use and kneeing his pregnant wife Nora on board the Zaca in a heroin rage. That’s enough for most folks. Read Errol and Me and you’ll get a factual basis for his a-hole rating.

  4. Ken Stamper
    September 2, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    This really pisses me off. By almost all accounts, Fatty Arbuckle was a kind and gentle man crucified by the yellow journalism of the era, and particularly William Randolph Hearst. The woman in question, Veronica Rappe, almost certainly died from a bladder infection due to substandard care for a UTI greatly exacerbated by her drinking. I’m not expecting dissertation-level research from the Broke-Ass staff, but you could at least look at a Wikipedia page or something.