Hedda Hopper

Hedda Hopper

Highest Rated: 100% Nothing Sacred (1937)

Lowest Rated: 13% The Oscar (1966)

Birthday: May 2, 1885

Birthplace: Not Available

American actress and gossip columnist Hedda Hopper was born Elda Furry, but used the last name of her then-husband, Broadway star DeWolf Hopper, when she launched her movie career in 1915. Never a major star in silent films, Hedda was a competent character actress specializing in "best friend" and "other woman" roles. When she divorced DeWolf Hopper, Hedda found that she had to take any roles that came her way in order to support herself and her son DeWolf Jr. (who later became a film and TV actor under the name William Hopper). Her career running smoothly if not remarkably by 1932, Ms. Hopper decided to branch out into politics, running for the Los Angeles city council; she lost and returned to movies, where good roles were becoming scarce. Practically unemployed in 1936, Hedda took a job on a Hollywood radio station, dispensing news and gossip about the film capital. Impressed by Hedda's chatty manner and seemingly bottomless reserve of "dirt" on her fellow actors (sometimes gleaned from her own on-set experiences, sometimes mere wild-card speculations), the Esquire news syndicate offered Ms. Hopper her own column, one that would potentially rival the Hearst syndicate columnist Louella Parsons. Carried at first by only 17 papers, Hedda did much better for herself by switching to the Des Moines Register and Tribune syndicate; her true entree into the big time occured in 1942, when she linked up with the behemoth Chicago Tribune-Daily News syndicate. Between them, Hedda and archrival Louella Parsons wielded more power and influence than any other Hollywood columnists - and they exploited it to the utmost, horning in uninivited at every major social event and premiere, and throwing parties that few dared not to attend. While Louella had the stronger newspaper affiliations, Hedda was more popular with the public, due to her breezy, matter-of-fact speaking style and her wry sense of humor; she also more flamboyant than Louella, given to wearing elaborate hats which cost anywhere from $50 to $60 each. On the credit side, Hedda touted several new young stars without expecting favors in return from their studios; she'd admit her errors (and there were many) in public, giving herself "the bird" - a bronx cheer - during her broadcasts; and wrote flattering and affectionate pieces about old-time stars who had long fallen out of favor with filmakers. On the debit side, Hedda carried long and vicious grudges; demanded that stars appear for free as guests on her radio program, or else suffer the consequences; and set herself up as an arbiter of public taste, demanding in the '50s and '60s that Hollywood censor its "racy" films. Hedda's greatest influence was felt when the studio system controlled Hollywood and a mere handful of moguls wielded the power of professional life and death on the stars; the studios needed a sympathetic reporter of their activities, and thus catered to Hedda's every whim. But as stars became their own producers and film production moved further outside Hollywood, Hedda's control waned; moreover, the relaxing of movie censorship made her rantings about her notions of good taste seem like something out of the Dark Ages. Also, Hedda was a strident anti-communist, which worked to her benefit in the days of the witchhunts and blacklists, but which made her sound like a reactionary harpy in the more liberal '60s. Evidence of Hedda's downfall occured in 1960 when she assembled an NBC-TV special and decreed that Hollywood's biggest stars appear gratis; but this was a year fraught with industry strikes over wages and residuals, and Hedda was only able to secure the services of the few celebrities who agreed with her politics or were wealthy enough to appear for free. By the early '60s, Hedda Hopper was an institution without foundation, "starring" as herself in occasional movies like Jerry Lewis' The Patsy (1964) which perpetuated the myth of her influence, and writing (or commissioning, since she'd stopped doing her own

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Bombay Mail Actor 2012
13% The Oscar Herself 1966
82% The Patsy Herself 1964
No Score Yet Pepe Herself 1960
99% Sunset Boulevard Herself 1950
No Score Yet Breakfast in Hollywood Herself 1946
80% Reap the Wild Wind Aunt Henrietta 1942
No Score Yet I Wanted Wings Mrs. Young 1941
93% Midnight Stephanie 1939
92% The Women Dolly Dupuyster 1939
No Score Yet Thanks for the Memory Polly Griscom 1938
No Score Yet Maid's Night Out Mrs. Harrison 1938
No Score Yet The Port of Missing Girls Actor 1938
No Score Yet Tarzan's Revenge Penny Reed 1938
100% Nothing Sacred Dowager 1937
89% Topper Mrs. Stuyvesant 1937
No Score Yet Dangerous Holiday Lottie Courtney 1937
No Score Yet Artists and Models Mrs. Townsend 1937
No Score Yet Vogues of 1938 Mrs. Van Klettering 1937
No Score Yet Doughnuts and Society Mrs. Murray Hill 1936
No Score Yet The Dark Hour Mrs. Tallman 1936
55% Dracula's Daughter Lady Esme Hammond 1936
No Score Yet One Frightened Night Laura Proctor 1935
94% Alice Adams Mrs. Palmer 1935
40% I Live My Life Alvin's Mother 1935
No Score Yet Three Kids and a Queen Mrs. Cummings 1935
No Score Yet Little Man, What Now? Nurse 1934
80% Pilgrimage Mrs. Worth 1933
No Score Yet The Barbarian American Tourist 1933
No Score Yet Men Must Fight Mrs. Chase 1933
No Score Yet Speak Easily Mrs. Peets 1932
No Score Yet Skyscraper Souls Ella Dwight 1932
No Score Yet Night World Mrs. Rand 1932
No Score Yet The Man Who Played God Alice Chittendon 1932
86% As You Desire Me Ines Montari 1932
No Score Yet Downstairs Actor 1932
No Score Yet Rebound Liz Crawford 1931
No Score Yet Men Call It Love Callie 1931
No Score Yet The Prodigal Christine 1931
No Score Yet Flying High Mrs. Smith 1931
No Score Yet Mystery Train Mrs. Radcliffe 1931
No Score Yet War Nurse Matron 1930
No Score Yet Let Us Be Gay Madge Livingston 1930
No Score Yet Common Clay Mrs. Claire Collis 1930
No Score Yet Our Blushing Brides Mrs. Weaver 1930
No Score Yet Holiday Susan Potter 1930
No Score Yet The Racketeer (Love's Conquest) Karen Lee 1929
No Score Yet Half-Marriage Mrs. Page 1929
No Score Yet Love and Learn Mrs. Ann Blair 1928
No Score Yet The Dropkick Mrs. Hamill 1927
93% Wings Mrs. Powell 1927
No Score Yet Orchids and Ermine Actor 1927
100% Don Juan Marquise Rinaldo 1926
No Score Yet Skinner's Dress Suit Mrs. Colby 1926
No Score Yet Happiness Crystal Pole 1924
67% Sherlock Holmes Madge Larrabee 1922
No Score Yet Third Degree Mrs. Howard Jeffries 1919
No Score Yet Seven Keys to Baldpate Myra Thornhill 1917


No Score Yet The Beverly Hillbillies
Herself 1964
No Score Yet I Love Lucy
Hedda Hopper 1955
No Score Yet Playhouse 90
Maizie Weldon


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