images of Virginia Rappe




I remember first hearing of starlet Virginia Rappe and her death connected to silent film comedian, Roscoe Arbuckle, in a communications class at Auburn University. It was fascinating stuff, the kind of material that made you sit up and actually listen. As the story went, this waif of a woman was brought into a wild Hollywood party and crushed by the man called “Fatty” by millions of fans. Well . . this wasn’t really the truth. But I guess you need to read Devil’s Garden if you want to find out the real story. One of the many things during my research into her death that fascinated me was that most books about her only showed one image — a pretty old-fashioned-looking photo of her wearing a big hat and looking like an old Victorian woman . . . it was that image that always gave me trouble trying to relate to her and the times . . . the dawn on the Jazz Age. I could not marry the image of the woman with the time. Thanks to the internet and original newspapers from 1921, I was able to locate dozens of photos of Virginia Rappe. She wasn’t a spinster looking broad, but rather a very beautiful woman who’s now best remembered as the victim in the first scandal in Hollywood history. I found this video on youtube that is a pretty good slide show of Virginia if you’re interested.

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