Four Dark Tales From The Golden Age of Hollywood

Old Hollywood was a scary place

Jacob Wilkins
Lessons from History


A photograph of James Dean by an unknown photographer, c. 1953 (Wikimedia Commons)

The Golden Age of Hollywood produced many iconic movies that are still beloved today.

While there’s certainly a magic quality to these classic pictures, the reality of the Hollywood film industry was much darker. Many actors battled against substance abuse, studio manipulation, and the pressures of fame.

When you look behind the curtain, the Golden Age of Hollywood was a pretty frightening place to be.

1. The Tragedy of Bobby Driscoll

A photograph of Bobby Driscoll by an unknown photographer, 1946 (Wikimedia Commons)

Being shoved into the spotlight is always tricky, and it can be particularly tough when you’re a child.

Bobby Driscoll, considered to be Disney’s original child film star, acted in his first film when he was just six years old. He rose to stardom in the 1940s and 1950s, with some of his most well-known films including Song of the South (1946), The Window (1949), and Treasure Island (1950).

But the fairy tale didn’t last long. Driscoll lost his way as an adolescent, falling into a drugged-up lifestyle. He was also arrested for assault…