Wikipedia: Murder and Myth — Part 18

Wikipedia -- Wallace Beery

In case you just tuned in, I am using the Wikipedia entry on Wallace Beery — alleging that he was involved in the death of Ted Healy — as a way to explore Wikipedia’s fundamental problems with accuracy and delve into Hollywood myths.

Thanks for sticking with this, as I said when I began, this is always a tedious process.

I have found one earlier published account of the Ted Healy incident. However, this one does not involve Wallace Beery. Unless someone finds an earlier incarnation, the “Wallace Beery beat Ted Healy to death” yarn first saw print in Jeff and Tom Forresters’ “The Three Stooges,” then spread to E.J. Fleming’s “The Fixers” and then to Wikipedia.

Wikipedia: Murder and Myth: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17

This version appears in Michael Fleming’s “The Three Stooges: An Illustrated History,” published in 1999.

Unfortunately, there are no footnotes in this book, either

stooges_illustrated_page50
“The Three Stooges, an Illustrated History,” Page 50-51.



And here we find the genesis of the beating “dished out by an anonymous trio.” No source is cited beyond “according to reports.”  Whose reports? We will never know.

stooges_illustrated_page50
stooges_illustrated_page51
Ah! Notice that in this version, Dean — who appeared with Healy in the 1935 Jean Harlow film “Reckless” — has replaced “Jack Antler” in the three friends listed in news accounts who helped Healy. And in this version, Healy wants them to return to the Trocadero for revenge.

And no, there isn’t a single news story that says anything like this.

And here’s Broccoli’s account. But from where?

stooges_illustrated_page51
This is simply bizarre. We find Albert Broccoli’s first-person account, except that it’s not a precise quote of what appeared in the Los Angeles Examiner nor of what was published in the Herald-Express. As far as I can determine, no other newspaper had Broccoli’s version of what happened. Because there are no footnotes, we don’t have a clue as to the source.

A dead end.

To be continued.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1937, Film, Hollywood and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Wikipedia: Murder and Myth — Part 18

  1. Pingback: Odds and Ends: Wallace Beery Under the Stars With More to Come | Immortal Ephemera

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