Students of Hollywood spin should perhaps study the influence and power of Hedda Hopper. Perhaps not as potent as Louella Parsons, she certainly made her mark during the Golden Age of Hollywood. Hedda, along with Louella Parsons raised the gossip column to an art form and had the power to make or break careers. Louis Mayer helped the failed actress get the gig, which rapidly made her name as well made her enemies. Her moniker sent the publicity folk in Hollywood into apoplexy.
The late Hollywood gossip columnist cut quite a swath for many years with her spy-hole journalism but she often came unstuck. In 1963, she brought out a book “The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth.” British born actor, Michael Wilding, did not believe the suggestion of the title, and alleged that Hedda had told a few things about him that were not the truth. Wilding figured that he should get 3 million dollars for the damage done by Hedda’s venture into the realm of The Truth. He sued and according to his legal council, he received more than $100,000 in an out of court settlement. The Truth and Nothing But the Truth!