Dark side of Hollywood’s golden age – murder, teenage wives and X-rated movies

They appeared the perfect loving couple – whose wacky antics enthralled millions in 1950s sitcom I Love Lucy.

But behind the scenes, the real-life marriage of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz was nowhere near as happy, with cheating, violence and eventually divorce.

Now Nicole Kidman is playing the redheaded comedian and actress in a new Amazon Prime film – Being The Ricardos, which is available to stream on Amazon Prime from December 21.

And Hollywood hunk Javier Bardem will star opposite her as Desi Arnaz.

But many stars from Hollywood’s golden age hid secrets and scandals, as Daily Star reveals…

Lucille Ball: 'Nightmare' marriage

By the time I Love Lucy premiered in 1951, Arnaz and Ball had been married for almost 11 years, having eloped six months after meeting in 1940.

But most of those years had been rocky, with Lucille branding the marriage a “nightmare”.

Heavy-drinking band-leader Arnaz cheated on her, while Ball’s hot temper led her to once knock Arnaz unconscious with a hammer.

Lucille eventually led for divorce in 1960 – but the pair later became good friends and both found love again.

Cary Grant: 100 acid trips

Bristol-born Archie Leach transformed himself into Cary Grant, the suave star of classic films such as North by Northwest and Bringing up Baby.

But in the late 1950s, at the height of his fame, Grant set off on a trip to “find” himself.

He began dropping acid and claimed to have found inner peace, helping him get over an unhappy childhood and failed relationships.

It’s estimated he took LSD 100 times between 1958 and 1961.

But the five-times-wed star later said it was an “utterly foolish thing to do.”

Lana Turner: Daughter murdered mobster boyfriend

Known for her femme fatale roles in films such as The Postman Always Rings Twice, Turner’s life was just as filled with intrigue.

In 1958, her abusive boyfriend Johnny Stompanato, a known mobster, was found stabbed to death in her home.

Turner’s 14-year-old daughter Cheryl Crane, admitted the murder, claiming she took a butcher knife to Stompanato’s gut to protect her mother.

But some believed Crane was in love with Stompanato, while others suggested Turner killed him and forced her daughter to take the rap.

Charlie Chaplin: Teenage brides

The Great Dictator star claimed to have bedded 2,000 women – but the four women he married were all far younger than him.

He was first wed to 16-year-old Mildred harris at 29.

Then at 35, he dated 15-year-old actress Lita Grey.

She fell pregnant and fearing being charged with sex with a minor, the pair wed in Mexico to avoid California’s statutory rape laws.

She later branded him a “human sex machine” who romped six times a night.

At 47 he married actress Paulette Goddard, who lied and told him she was 17 – she was really 22.

His final marriage was to Oona O’Neill when she was 18 and he 54.

They remained together until his death and had eight children.

Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich: Lesbian affair

For most of their careers, the two actresses claimed never to have met each other – even down to Dietrich denying she starred in the 1925 silent film The Joyless Street alongside Garbo.

But film historian Diana McLellan studied the surviving footage and is convinced both were there.

According to her, the two actresses had a lesbian fling which left 19-year-old Garbo infatuated with 23-year-old Dietrich.

But it wasn’t reciprocated – Dietrich later described Garbo as an unintelligent “Scandinavian child” who wore dirty underwear.

Errol Flynn: Rape trial

In 1943, Errol Flynn, the swashbuckling star of films such as Robin Hood, stood trial for statutory rape.

Once quoted as saying: “I like my whisky old and my women young,” he was accused of sleeping with two 17-year-old girls.

He denied the charges and was acquitted, but it permanently damaged his reputation as a leading man.

It didn’t put him off younger women though – when he died in 1959 aged 50, he was dating a 17-year-old.

Humphrey Bogart: Bedded women to prove he wasn’t gay

Silver screen icon Bogart had three unhappy marriages before he married the love of his life, Lauren Bacall, in 1945.

But before that he bedded an estimated 1,000 women including Bette Davis, Jean Harlow and Ingrid Bergman – but still feared he might be gay.

The claims were made in a 2010 biography which also suggested his worries over his sexuality even drove him to consider suicide.

Bogart and Bacall stayed together until his death in 1957.

Joan Crawford: Starred in adult films

Notorious for her feud with Bette Davis during their 1962 film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Crawford campaigned against her rival when she was nominated for an Oscar.

She adopted five children and one, Christina, published tell-all book Mommie Dearest in which she exposed Crawford as a cruel, abusive alcoholic who had a meltdown over wire hangers.

Crawford also starred in at least two erotic films before her days in Hollywood.

In the years since her death in 1977, it’s been reported she was bisexual and had a fling with Marilyn Monroe.

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