Louella Parsons (6 August 1881 – 9 December 1972) was an American entertainment columnist, who for many years was the arbitrator and the influence of the traditions of Hollywood, often feared and hated by the people, especially the actors whose career she could negatively impact of its programme of radio and newspaper columns.

Early years

Louella Rose Oettinger born in Freeport, Illinois, the daughter of Joshua Oettinger and Helen Stein, both Jews. She had two brothers, Edwin and Fred and a sister, Rae. In 1890, his mother, widow, married John H. Edwards. They lived in Dixon, Illinois), later hometown of Ronald Reagan. While in high school Parsons got his first job in a newspaper as editor of drama for the Dixon Morning Star.

She and her first husband, John Parsons moved to Burlington (Iowa). His only daughter Harriet who grew it became film producer was born there. Burlington was that Parsons saw his first film called The Great Train Robbery film of 1903.

When her marriage ended Parsons moved to Chicago where he started writing screenplays for films for Essanay Studios, once home of Charlie Chaplin. His young daughter, Harriet, was presented as “Baby Parsons” in several films, including La wand (1912 film), written by Louella Parsons. She also wrote a book entitled How to Write for the Movies.


In 1924 Parsons begins to write the first column of gossip in the United States for the Chicago Record Herald. William Randolph Hearst bought the newspaper in 1918 and Parsons was dismissed from his employment since Hearst not discovered yet films and personalities of them were news. Parsons moved to New York and began working for the New York Morning Telegraph writing a similar column, which attracted the attention of Hearst in 1922, after a shrewd bargaining by the parties she signed a contract and he joined the New York American Hearst newspaper.

In 1925 Parsons contracted tuberculosis and told him that his remaining six months of life. She moved to Arizona for the dry and then to Los Angeles, California, where he decided to stay; with the disease in remission, he returned to work becoming a syndicated columnist Hollywood for Hearst. While she and mogul publications developed a strong relationship as steel, his column in the Los Angeles Examiner arrived to appear in more than 600 newspapers from around the world, with an audience of more than twenty million readers and Parsons he gradually became one of the most powerful voices in the film with his daily allowance gossip industry. According to the lover and protected Hearst, Marion Davies in memoir published posthumously The Times We Had, Parsons encouraged his readers to “give him a chance this girl” while the majority of critics despised Davies, based on this Hearst hired Parsons.

Initiated 1928, she led a weekly radio program with interviews with movie stars sponsored by SunKist. A similar programme was sponsored in 1931 by Charis Foundation Garment. In 1934 she signed with Campbell Soup Company and began to present a program entitled Hollywood Hotel featuring the stars in the scenes of her upcoming films.

Parsons was especially known for his amazing ability to take earlier than their competitors the most juicy exclusives and know many of the secrets of the celebrity. It was associated with several firms Hearst for the rest of his career. Parsons was seen as the social and moral arbiter of Hollywood. His judgments were considered the last word in many cases, and his disadvantage was feared by many more than the of the critical film. His formidable power remained intact until 1937, when Hedda Hopper, a character from the time of silent cinema, with whom Parsons had been kind and time when mentioned in his column, and had returned the favour to give him information of others, actress was hired to be one of the rival newspapers Hearst gossip columnist. Parsons and hopper then became rivals.

Parsons also numerous appearances as herself in movies, including Hollywood Hotel in 1937, Without Reservations of 1946 and Starlift in 1951.

In 1941, he wrote his memoirs, published by Doubleday, Doran and Company, which became a bestseller, The Gay Illiterate was followed by another volume in 1961 Tell It To Louella, published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

Personal life

Parsons was married three times, first with Agent real estate Dement’yevskiy John Parsons, whom he married in 1905 and divorced in 1914. She married her second husband, John McCaffrey, Jr. in 1915. The couple later divorced and Parsons was married with the surgeon Henry w. Martin (whom he called “Docky”) in 1926. They remained married until the death of Martin in 1964.

Last years and death

By the 1960s the influence of Parsons had vanished. She officially ceased to write her column in December 1965, which was taken by his assistant, Dorothy Manners, who said that had been her writing more than a year.

After his retirement, Parsons lived in a home nursing home where he died of atherosclerosis on December 9, 1972, at the age of 91. As a convert to Catholicism, wrote a mass at his funeral attended by a few people the industry of cinema, with whom he had maintained genuine friendship. She was interred at Holy Cross cemetery in Culver City, California.

Louella Parsons has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California, a cinematography 6418 Hollywood Boulevard and other radio in 6300 Hollywood Boulevard.