The entertainment industry is packed with cautionary tales of excess, from Robert Downey Jr. to Lindsay Lohan to Robert Downey Jr. again. It's almost as if being rich and famous enough to do literally anything and get away with it has some sort of negative impact on one's restraint. But this is not an invention of modern Hollywood. This kind of thing has actually been going on forever. For example ...
5Cary Grant Cut Back On Booze By Switching To LSD
RKO Radio Pictures
In the 1950s, screen legend Cary Grant decided that his alcoholism was probably a bad thing, and sought the help of a psychotherapist. This being the 1950s, the psychotherapist in question introduced him to an experimental but promising young drug called "LSD."
Grant would later go on to become acid's greatest public champion, claiming he was "born again" from the experience, and called the doctor who recommended it "my wise Mahatma." Of course, there are some downsides to enlightenment. When you let go of all worldly concerns, few pause to consider that also means "control of your butthole." According to Grant, "we are all unconsciously holding our anus. In one LSD dream, I shit all over the rug and shit all over the floor."
National Police Gazette
Cary In The Sky With Charmin
Here's another tale from Grant at the edge of nirvana: "I imagined myself as a giant penis launching off from Earth like a spaceship ... I seemed to be in a world of healthy, chubby little babies' legs and diapers, smeared blood, a sort of general menstrual activity taking place." That was a positive thing, he presumably assured his terrified listeners.
United Press International
"You did hear the part about the giant penis, right? Ladies?"
Grant's LSD habit wasn't all sunshine and dismembered babies and space penises. His wife went on to report that he became physically abusive to her during this phase -- in part because she refused to take it with him. For some strange reason, the bloody space wang story did not convince her.
Others did see the appeal, though. Judy Balaban, the daughter of longtime Paramount president Barney Balaban, became hooked on the drug after Grant showed her how rad it was. Quoth Judy Balaban: "I figured if it was good enough for Cary Grant, it was good enough for me!"
"Four out of five old-timey doctors recommend LSD. The fifth was too busy
slap-fighting eight-eyed zombie unicorns to offer an opinion."
If LSD hadn't been declared a Schedule 1 narcotic in 1970, they probably would have put that endorsement on the packaging.
4John Huston Was A Giant-Donged Drunken Testosterone Monster
John Huston directed such classics as The African Queen and The Maltese Falcon, but carving his name into cinema history took a distant third to his two favorite pursuits: drinking and screwing.
According to the (many) women with direct experience, the only thing longer than Huston's filmography was in his pants. At least, on the rare occasion that it was in his pants. Even his daughter, actress Anjelica Huston, waxed poetic about it in her memoir. "He was extremely well-endowed, but I tried not to stare or betray any interest in what I was observing," she wrote, in a passage which should have set alarms off in the CPS cold case department.
Nothing in this picture isn't the creepiest thing of all time.
Whenever Huston wasn't swinging his pendulous junk around in front of his kids, he was making good use of it. He was married five times, and reportedly cheated on every one of his wives. In addition to carrying on the most poorly-concealed extramarital affairs this side of JFK, Huston made his mark on Hollywood by churning out classics, often while so drunk that he would frequently doze off in the director's chair.
During the filming of The African Queen in Uganda, Huston's herculean boozing may have saved his life, as well as the movie. He and leading man Humphrey Bogart decided to abstain from the local water and drink only Scotch, thus avoiding the dysentery that laid up Katharine Hepburn and much of the crew. According to Bogart, "Whenever a fly bit Huston or me, it dropped dead."
Pictured: Bogart, about to perform all his own stunts.
That's probably comedic hyperbole. But we wouldn't dare call it a lie, for fear of getting dong-whipped by Huston's angry drunken ghost.