It is absolutely crazy when you think of how famous some of these gossip columnists are and how their names are still recognizable today. Usually people who talk about others and spread rumors are shunned in society.
Walter Winchell was probably the first famous gossip columnists. He became very popular for writing the first syndicated newspaper column, which was called, On Broadway. He had many connections in the government, as well as, in the entertainment industry. He would find out embarrassing or exciting information about well-known people and expose them in his column. He became very powerful and feared and he often used this information to attack the people he didn't like.
Louella Parsons was the very first movie columnist in America. Her columns were syndicated to over 400 newspapers throughout the world and read by over 20 million people.
She began her literary career as a writer for the Dixon Star in 1902. She wrote about the goings on of the Dixon area social elite. In 1914, Parsons began a gossip column dealing with the actors in the new media of films and movies for the Chicago Record Herald. In 1923, she join the New York American, which was owned by William Randolph Hearst. She remained the "Queen of Hollywood" untile Hedda Hopper arrived. She helped Hedda get her start and the two soon became rivals and feuded for years.
Hedda appeared in many movies from 1915 to the mid 1930's, playing small roles, usually as a beautiful and distinguished society woman. As her movie career was coming to a close, she was looking for ways to earn a living and began writing a gossip column in the Los Angeles Times, entitled, Hedda Hopper's Hollywood. Because she had many connections in Hollywood, she had the juiciest gossip and she was very sadistic in her naming of names. She became quite famous for her large, often flamboyant hats; so much so that a song was even written about her in the film Breakfast in Hollywood, which was written by Spike Jones.
She began her career in radio with the old time radio show, The Hedda Hopper Show in 1939. Although she changed networks a few times, she had some form of radio show up until 1951.
Jimmie Fidler was even more feared by the studios that both Hedda Harper and Louella Parsons. A bad box-office review by Fidler meant lost dollars for the film. He started out as a Hollywood publicist and later wrote a syndicated gossip column called Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, which was printed in 187 newspapers.
In 1933, he began a 15 minute radio show on NBC, called Hollywood on the Air. By 1950, his show was broadcast on 486 radio stations and heard by over 40 million people.
He soon became a starmaker in the entertainment business and became one of Walter Winchell's biggest rivals. He soon began doing radio broadcasts of show business news until 1948, when he began the Ed Sullivan Show on CBS. The Ed Sullivan Show was one of the longest running shows on American television, spanning 23 years.
Tex and Jinx
|Tex and Jinx|
The couple had their first radio show, which was aired in the mornings, five days a week on the New York station, WEAF. Hi, Jinx was the name of the show and as its popularity grew, McCrary taught Falkenburg how to interview.
As you know, people still love getting the dirt on famous people. It may be because the public holds these celebrities to a higher standard or it could be jealousy, which makes people happy to see that even the rich and famous have problems. As long as there have been celebrities, there have been others who have ridden on their coattails, either for good or bad, as their claim to fame.