I was watching an episode of Frasier the other morning before work, as you do and it was one of the early ones. Roz mention a little myth about the actress Lupe Velez, i had never heard of her before, it was about how she tried to remain as beautiful as possible when she killed herself, immaculate make-up, flowers, her hair perfect but when she came to take the sleeping pills she neglected to remember the previous nights spicy food and got up to vomit in the toilet and thats where she died, her ass in the air and her head in a toilet, not the perfect ending she wanted. I was really intrigued and wanted to know more about her; turns out she was a really enigmatic character whose finals hours weren’t quite as the legend makes it out to be.
Born in 1908 in Mexico, she caught her big break in the movie Sailors, Beware! with Laurel and Hardy and quickly progressed from short silent films onto all-talking picture Tiger Rose in 1929. She was often named the IT girl of the time, alongside the likes of Clara Bow, she was named The Mexican IT girl.
She soon found her niche in comedy, playing beautiful but volatile characters in such films as The Half-Naked Truth, Palooka, Strictly Dynamite and Laughing Boy.
Vélez, who nearing 30, had not become a major star was disappointed, so she left Hollywood for Broadway, but she soon returned to take part in the comedy Stardust. However it was her personal life that most interested Hollywood.
A five-year marriage to Johnny Weissmuller and a series of romances with figures like Gary Cooper, were highly publicised. However it was her suicide that made it into the urban legends of Hollywood. Like i said above, the legend has it she was found with her head in the toilet after vomiting up the sleeping pills and drowning herself; this story was first heard from Kenneth Anger in his book “Hollywood Babylon” but was later discredited when finally, some 60 years after her death, crime scene photos were found of her death, showing that actually, the legend was a load of crap and Lupe was as beautiful as ever when she died. Sorry Kenneth and Frasier, looks like you were wrong.