Hollywood Myths by Joe Williams, Voyageur Press, 240 pages, $23.99.
Scandal and sensationalism have been the twin supports of Hollywood's reporting for years. The insatiable appetite of the public for gossip about the movers and shakers of the entertainment industry has lead to many rumours being accepted as truth.
Author Joe Williams has gathered a wide selection of myths and exposed them for the fabrications they really are but at the same time has also pointed out the truth behind many of them.
A classic story is that Rock Hudson and Jim Nabors were secretly wed. The truth lies in the later years when Hudson's secret gay lifestyle came out and his friendship with Nabors became suspect but there was never any proof of a secret arrangement between them.
The wealth that George Lucas received from making Star Wars was only partially from the films because in what was likely one of the shrewdest deals ever made, Lucas retained the rights to the merchandise and ultimately made millions and millions of dollars from toys.
Stars from Hollywood's early days like Charlie Chaplin and Rudolph Valentino are included alongside John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, Woody Allen and Tom Cruise.
Williams divides his subjects into five categories: Legendary stars, Odd Couples, the Final Curtain, Mythic Movies, and the Movie Industry. He settles on 56 subjects and provides detailed background information as well as examining the myth in his search for the truth.