Hedda Hopper

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hedda Hopper (1929)

Hedda Hopper , née Elda Furry , (born May 2, 1885 in Hollidaysburg , Pennsylvania , USA ; † February 1, 1966 in Hollywood , USA ) was an American actress who became a well-known and influential society columnist in the 1930s Hollywood became.


Hedda Furry was born in Pennsylvania as the daughter of a butcher. She came to New York at a young age, where she worked on Broadway with rather modest success . From 1913 until her divorce in 1922, she was married to the stage actor DeWolf Hopper. The actor William Hopper , born in 1915 and known as a cast member on the television series Perry Mason , was the son of Hopper. After the divorce from her husband, whose last name she kept, she moved to Hollywood with her son. In the 1920s and 1930s Hedda Hopper first worked as a supporting actress in films, for example in Alice Adams with Katharine Hepburn and Wie Du michst with Greta Garbo . In her films, she was often committed to the role of the respected high society lady, but she could not assert herself as the leading actress. Dissatisfied with the course of her career, Hopper decided to switch to journalism in 1936. Hopper established herself alongside her competitor Louella Parsons as a leading social columnist in the country. For many years she reported from Hollywood for a wide audience in newspapers, short film reports and, from 1939, on her popular radio program The Hedda Hopper Show . She subsequently appeared occasionally as a film actress, in the final scenes of Billy Wilder's Boulevard of Twilight Hopper played himself in a guest appearance.

Hedda Hopper was known for her sometimes extravagant hats and her many years of public arguments with Elsa Maxwell , actress Constance Bennett and her competitor Louella Parsons. She was not squeamish when it came to discrediting people she disliked. A preferred target of her was Orson Welles and especially his film Citizen Kane , which she violently attacked on behalf of William Randolph Hearst , for whose magazines she wrote some exclusive columns. During the McCarthy era , Hopper is said to have accused numerous actors of so-called "un-American activities", for example Charlie Chaplin, who was suspected of being a communist, was one of the favorite victims of her columns. Hedda Hopper was a member of the Republicans . Quite a few sources claim that she leaked information to the then FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover . Hopper claimed to have convinced Claudette Colbert to play the leading role As you said goodbye in 1944 . In his autobiography, David Niven wrote that even one criticism of Hopper in her column could have shaken an actor's career. Although she had a significant position in Hollywood, her actual influence, like that of her colleagues, cannot be overestimated overall. The studios protected their stars from the release of really explosive revelations.

Most of Hopper's stories revolved around fashion issues and more or less made-up romances. When Hopper once wrote about an alleged love story between Joseph Cotten and Deanna Durbin , she met Cotten in the evening at a dinner party, whereupon he kicked her. However , Hopper was also well known to some Hollywood stars like Joan Crawford , so they passed her many 'exclusive' stories. Their influence began to wane in the late 1940s. A new, much more aggressive journalism, as embodied in the magazine 'Confidential', quickly replaced the traditional, meditative, but mostly empty stories from Hollywood. Nevertheless, she remained a well-known personality until her death. In 1966, she died of pneumonia at the age of 80.

Filmography (selection)

Representation in art and pop culture

Hedda Hopper has been portrayed in the film by various actresses over the years:

In 2002 Hopper was portrayed by Ingrid van Bergen in the WDR radio ballet Der Mann im Mond by Evelyn Dörr , where Hedda Hopper is satirically portrayed in connection with Charlie Chaplin's life story. The radio ballet was also released in a stage version for acoustic stage in 2008 .


  • Jennifer Frost: Hedda Hopper's Hollywood: Celebrity Gossip and American Conservatism. NYU Press, New York 2011, ISBN 978-0-8147-2823-9 .

Web links

Commons : Hedda Hopper  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files


  1. according to Findagrave: 1890
  2. http://classicmoviechat.com/tag/who-were-louella-parsons-and-hedda-hopper/
  3. http://classicmoviechat.com/tag/who-were-louella-parsons-and-hedda-hopper/