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Laura Jane Atelier

Old Hollywood’s Most Tragic Screen Sirens

Old Hollywood Tragic Screen Sirens, Tragic Old hollywood Actresses, Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, Hedy Lamar

Here are some of the most well-known actresses that ended in tragedy:

1. Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe is a legendary actress, model, singer and became one of the most prominent sex symbols of the 1950s and early 1960s. With undeniable beauty, she was the face of the era’s sexual revolution. All thanks to her humorous “blonde bombshell” roles and had films grossed to over $200 million during her early 20’s.

She quickly rose to fame when an army photographer named David Conover took a photograph of her while visiting the factory she worked in. Since then, she became a model signed with The Blue Book Modeling Agency. And she quickly became one of the agency’s most successful models. 

Later on, many industry leaders in the entertainment industry were captivated by her beauty and talent. She landed many roles, and by 1953, Marilyn Monroe was one of Hollywood’s most marketable stars. She was even seen dating Joe DiMaggio, Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Elia Kazan, and President John F. Kennedy. 

However, Marilyn Monroe’s extraordinary life was short-lived. While she rose to fame, her personal life was filled with turbulence. She would go through at least three miscarriages and failed marriages. Marilyn Monroe showed evidence of mental illness and began to succumb to exhaustion, emotions, despair, and stardom as the years passed.


In 1950, Marilyn’s boyfriend, Johnny Hyde, died. And that was one of the triggers to Marilyn’s dark road. Marilyn had consumed a mouth full of sleeping pills. She passed out, with her face pale one time.

In 1956 Marilyn married American playwright, Arthur Miller and their marriage emphasized her insecurities. On occasion, people would see her pouring the contents of pills into her champagne.

Her addiction to pills continued, and that she eventually succumbed to treatment in the Payne-Whitney Hospital. However, she took to the psychiatric ward, threatened with a straight jacket, and placed in a cell. She was there for three days before her ex-husband and love of her life Joe DiMaggio, demanded that Marilyn be released.

Something’s Got to Give. As time passed, Marilyn Monroe seems to be trying to put her life back together in August 1962. She had recently purchased her first home for $75,000 in California’s Brentwood district, appeared on the cover of Life magazine, and had recently been rehired on the film. However, what people saw was just an exterior of happiness.

Marilyn Monroe was discovered dead in her house at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive on August 5, 1962. She was lying face down with a phone receiver in her hand and no clothing on. An empty pill container, which had formerly carried 50 pills of Nembutal, a sleeping medicine, sat by her side.

Monroe’s climb to stardom from an orphaned youth to movie star royalty had a tragic finale, a real-life Cinderella story. Although her death at the age of 36 was declared a suicide.

Despite her terrible circumstances, Marilyn Monroe’s gorgeous smile, sensuous form, and gentle attitude charmed hearts worldwide. She will be remembered for her grace and charm for the rest of Hollywood history.

2. Hedy Lamar

Hedwig Eva Kiesler- also known as “Hedy Lamar”- was born in 1914.

Hedy Lamarr is known as an actress and inventor. In her early years, she loved to invent. She was always fascinated by tinkering and pondering technological and chemical issues. She once attempted to create a tablet that dissolves in carbonated water.


She was also interested in performing. When she was 12 years old, she won a beauty pageant in Vienna. By 16, she played blockbuster movies such as “Money on the Street” and “Ecstasy.”

Years after her screen career ended, she recognized herself as a noted inventor of a radio communications device known as Wifi. She persuaded Howard Hughes that airplane wings should be oriented backward, and she devised a torpedo navigation system. Unfortunately, she received no acknowledgment or compensation for her inventions during her lifetime because she was a woman. Aside from that, she was fascinated by the Second World War, notably missiles.

Her career was on the decline by 1958. In her final years, she withdrew into solitude, seeing almost no one in person and only chatting to individuals on the phone. She died of heart illness in the year 2000, at the age of 85.

Fourteen years after her death, Hollywood acknowledged her work and career by inducting her into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014.

3. Olive Thomas

Olive Thomas was born in 1894, and she wasn’t made out for a life of 16-year marriages and gingham sales. She left Pennsylvania for New York City not long after she married and decided that she would never return. 

She entered artist Howard Chandler Christie’s competition to be discovered New York’s Most Beautiful Girl in 1911. She soon found herself posing naked for some of the era’s most prominent artists and signing a movie deal. 

Along with her rising fame as a silent cinema actress, she earned a reputation as the industry’s wild child. This reputation only grew more infamous when news of her marriage to Jack Pickford surfaced. Their marriage was tumultuous, and they went to Paris for a second honeymoon in 1920, following another controversy.

Linked by tragedy, Olive Thomas was suffering from a headache. So, she drank from a bottle she thought contained aspirin when they stayed at The Hotel Ritz. However, the bottle she thought she drank was aspirin.

Minutes later, she became blind, and her vocal cords were shredding. By the time she got to the hospital, it was discovered that she accidentally drank mercury bichloride, a topical syphilis treatment her spouse was using. She died five days after the incident, at only 25 years old. 

4. Rita Hayworth

Rita Hayworth, a Latin bombshell, became one of the biggest stars of the 1940s and one of the most popular pinup ladies of WWII, thanks to her sensual dances and exotic beauty. Rita Hayworth had it all: she was a successful dancer before she became an actress.

Hayworth was nicknamed the “Great American Love Goddess” by Life magazine after co-starring with Carrey Grant in the 1939 picture. She was seen kneeling on the bed in black lingerie in a Life magazine photo was a startling image, and it became the most popular pinup image of the day. 

Rita married many times. However, she never really found her match made in Heaven. After four failed marriages, she was diagnosed with substance addiction and with Alzheimer’s at 61. In 1987, she at the age of 67.

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