Deadly Illusions: Jean Harlow and the Murder of Paul Bern
Deadly Illusions Jean Harlow and the Murder of Paul Bern Author:Samuel Marx, Joyce Vanderveen The death of Hollywood producer Bern has remained a mystery since his nude body was found near his swimming pool in 1932. MGM's Louis B. Mayer's declaration that Bern had committed suicide because he was impotent and could not satisfy his young wife, Harlow, was echoed in the official finding. MGM story editor Marx, one of the first people on th... more »e scene, and actress-ballerina Vanderveen here present their version of what happened. Interviewing those who knew the victim, Harlow and Mayer, and researching grand jury files, they conclude that Bern was murdered by a former lover, Dorothy Millette, and that Mayer covered up the crime to protect Harlow's career.« less
Hannah R. (harlowish) reviewed Deadly Illusions: Jean Harlow and the Murder of Paul Bern on
"Deadly Illusions" was a very good read with some interesting insights. Although I tend to think that David Stenn's recreation of Paul Bern's death in "Bombshell" is more believable than Marx and Vanderveen's murder theory, this book did a good job of dispelling some of the myth surrounding Paul Bern's suicide, such as his alleged impotence. It also sheds some more light on Bern and Dorothy Millette, both rather shadowy figures in Harlow's history. Whether you do or do not believe the authors' murder theory, this is a worthwhile book because of the insights it gives us into the characters of key Hollywood players and kingpins in the early '30s.
This is a decent Hollywood true mystery book. In 1932 in Beverly Hills, film producer Paul Bern lay dead. Hollywood kingpins Louis B. Mayer and Irving Thalberg arrived even before the police. Because Paul Bern wasn't just any producer. He was the husband of Jean Harlow, MGM's rising star, and the studio would protect her-at any cost.