Maureen O’Hara’s “Confidential” Life: Recycling Hollywood Film Stars in the 1950s through Scandalous Gossip and Moral Biography
2015. "Maureen O’Hara’s “Confidential” Life: Recycling Hollywood Film Stars in the 1950s through Scandalous Gossip and Moral Biography", Recycled Stars: Female Film Stardom in the Age of Television and Video, Mary R. Desjardins
Download citation file:
This chapter explores how television and scandal magazines of the 1950s competed and converged through their use of stars whose personas had been established by the film industry. The recyclings of Maureen O’Hara through the moral biography of This Is Your Life and the scandalous gossip of a Confidential magazine article complicated the exclusivity of the truths that television and scandal magazines promised to tell about the stars, revealing the complex multiplicity of publicly available images of sexuality. Both television’s moral biography and scandal magazines’ gossip relied on revelations of the private behind the public face, with the private usually associated with the sexual. Using Foucauldian theory and the case study of Maureen O’Hara, this chapter demonstrates that an incitement to sexual discourse, while explicitly pursued by scandal magazines in their titillating topics, was also operative in This Is Your Life’s strategic silence about sexuality.