Corinne Griffith. Image Source: Find a Grave.
Today, I continue with occasional remarks on Hollywood. On finishing Kenneth Anger's trashy Hollywood Babylon, I came across a remarkable passage about ageing in relation to one of the greatest stars of the silent era, Corinne Griffith (1894-1979). Wiki comments that she is "widely considered the most beautiful actress of the silent screen." You can see news articles about her from that period here.
Perhaps given her memories of the Roaring Twenties, she might be forgiven for the wildest lie about her age ever formally made by a woman, in Hollywood, or anywhere else. Anger writes (pp. 402-403 Dell paperback ed., 1975):
Wiki notes that her testimony contradicted testimonies on her identity and her age from Betty Blythe and Claire Windsor, contemporary actresses who had both known her since the 1920s: "In 1974, Adele Whitely Fletcher, editor of Photoplay, said Griffith was still claiming that she was her own younger sister."In 1966 ... Corinne Griffith, the famed actress who married actor Danny Scholl on Valentine's Day 1965, asked for an annulment on the grounds the marriage was never consummated. ... [T]he highlight came when Corinne Griffith (who indisputably was Corinne Griffith) said that she had been merely a stand-in and had assumed the identity of Corinne Griffith when Corinne Griffith had died. In 1966 Corinne Griffith was seventy-one years old and her non-consummated mate was forty-four. The "stand-in" said she was "approximately fifty-one." The insanity of this case, in which inveterate lying-about-age became destruction of identity, has never been equalled.
See all my posts on the Fountain of Youth.