Credit: Shutterstock/Hedda Hopper

Nobody’s interested in sweetness and light

Everybody who was anybody in the Hollywood of the Forties, Fifties and Sixties knew the name, Hedda Hopper.

Known both for her acid wit and her flamboyant taste in hats, Hedda was more than just a gossip columnist: she was a legend, a powerful woman both respected and feared.

“She looks like she combed her hair with an egg beater,” was one of her famous put-downs. “You had to stand in line to hate him,” was another.

Yes, Hedda was funny – she had once been an actress herself – but she was also dangerous. A few choice words from Hedda could sink a movie or a career. Orson Welles never recovered from the damning review she gave of Citizen Kane, the masterpiece he starred in, co-wrote and directed. “I don’t think it took any great imagination to write the story,” she said.

As Hedda’s portrayals in the film Trumbo and TV series Feud showed, she was not somebody you would want to get on the wrong side of. “I wasn't allowed to speak while my husband was alive, and since he's gone no one has been able to shut me up,” she once said.

Hollywood will never see her like again.