Obsessing Over Hollywood Crime

As Labor Day approaches, my mind turns to Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, who during that holiday weekend in 1921, may or may not have caused the death of 25-year-old Virginia Rappe. 99 years later, any time I pass San Francisco’s St. Francis hotel I still think about the case. 99 years later, we’re also still arguing over Arbuckle’s conviction.

There’s something about actors that makes crimes they’re involved in just a bit more fascinating than crimes that involve normies like you and me. Sometimes I wonder if I’d as readily know who Bernie Madoff is if he hadn’t snagged Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick in his scheme (and when I see a direct-to-streaming Bacon property, I do sometimes think “oh, Bernie.”)

Have there been allegations against an actor you were particularly loath to believe? (Or that you found especially easy to believe?) Are there actors you believe got an unfair shake in court because of their on-screen persona? And why do you think it’’s so fascinating when a Hollywood figure makes headlines for swiping something other than an undeserved Academy Award nod? Let’s hash out our favorite Hollywood crimes and see if we can figure out the strange intersection between acting for work and acting to avoid a prison cell. — EB