Anne Helen Petersen Is Here to Talk Scandals of Classic Hollywood!

Illustration for article titled Anne Helen Petersen Is Here to Talk Scandals of Classic Hollywood!

Gather round, star watchers, and ready all your questions about celebrity, Golden Age Hollywood and Rudolph Valentino's taste in interior design because Scandals of Classic Hollywood scribe Anne Helen Petersen is here to answer them.


You probably know Petersen from her series at the Hairpin, where she dug deep into the backstories of stars like Errol Flynn, Ingrid Bergman, and the incomparable Gloria Swanson (so fascinating she required two articles). She got a PhD in the history of the gossip biz from the University of Texas, then said fare-thee-well to academia for a job at BuzzFeed, where she's written about Jennifer Lawrence, Cool Girl; the massive beast that is TMZ; and most recently, the trailblazing Anna May Wong.

Now she's written a book, Scandals of Classic Hollywood: Sex, Deviance and Drama from the Golden Age of American Cinema, which retraces some of the territory she covered in her column but in much more depth. Gable and Lombard! Bogie and Bacall! Mae West!

Starting at 2pm, Petersen be answering questions about stars, scandals of the past and present, writing a book while living her life, sources used—whatever strikes your fancy. Let's hear it.

UPDATE: And that's a wrap! Thanks so much for stopping by, AHP, and thanks everybody for the great questions.

Illustration by Jim Cooke.


Kate Dries

Hi Anne, thanks for joining us! It's pretty clear that you love the old movies you write about, but does your line of work ever make it hard for you to relax and just enjoy watching them without thinking about all the gory details you know about the actors themselves? (I ask partially because I have this issue with stars of today sometimes; watching old movies or TV shows with less famous people in them sometimes feel like more of an escape.)