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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 03/ 6/2007

Celebritology 101: Celebrity Secrets Revealed!

By Liz Kelly

(Courtesy Simon & Schuster, Inc.)

Thanks to the proliferation of breathless blogs covering the sort of things we here in Celebritology 101 use as our primary syllabi material, we live in an age of instant gratification when it comes to getting a fresh whiff of the dirty laundry generated by our celebrity lab rats.

One can hardly turn on a cable news channel or even safely check one's e-mail box without learning -- seemingly within hours, if not minutes -- that Britney Spears has whaled on a SUV with an umbrella, that Paris Hilton reportedly accessorizes her bathroom with big piles of "white powder" or that Scientology (as practiced by celebrities) is, like, weird.

One almost forgets that there was a time when the Hollywood spin machine was able to keep scandalous revelations -- like sexuality, child abuse, substance abuse and even run-of-the-mill partying -- far away from the ears of consumers. This climate allowed for delayed revelations, like Rock Hudson -- whose homosexuality was kept out of the headlines for decades -- or Cary Grant, who wrote in his autobiography that LSD brought him inner peace during the early 1960s.

In his new book, "Celebrity Secrets," author Nick Redfern (who usually writes about UFOs and ETs) has used the Freedom of Information Act to mine government records on stars. Despite rehashed tales about Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra, the book does offer some interesting details about the real lives of some larger-than-life names of yesteryear.

A few of the more interesting tidbits:

-- According to J. Edgar Hoover, comedian Lou Costello reportedly kept a "massive porn stash" and had extensive ties to the mob.
-- Jimi Hendrix was discharged from the Army for, among other things, mastering failing to master his own domain.
-- The FBI took a special interest in Rock Hudson because of his plans to play an FBI agent on film.

If you're interested in the above or finding out why the government was interested in folks like John Denver, Lucille Ball, John Wayne and Sonny Bono, read the book.

By Liz Kelly  | March 6, 2007; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Celebritology 101  
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Love the post, Liz. However, you are misusing the phrase "mastering his own domain." In the Seinfeld episode, you were "master of your domain" if you had the willpower to avoid engaging in a certain activity. If Hendrix was dismissed for said activity, he must NOT have been the master of his domain!

Posted by: CC | March 6, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

very true CC...hahaha

Posted by: bored... | March 6, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I love the pictures Britney opening a can of whup a@# on K-Fed's car. Outside the birth of her children, it was probably the most real moment she had in a long time.

Posted by: Lisa | March 6, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Come on Liz you should know the proper usage of Master of Domain, I think it has been improperly used like 500 times in Genes chats and someone always writes in to correct it. ;)

Posted by: Rob | March 6, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Suggested amendment:

"-- Jimi Hendrix was discharged from the Army for, among other things, wailin' on his Strat."

Posted by: byoolin | March 6, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Liz, I know this is off-topic, but over in the Achenblog they're asking when Gene is coming back. You should tell 'em what you know and alleviate some anxiety.

Posted by: byoolin | March 6, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Weird that you'd mention Lou Costello. Birthday was 101 years ago today.

Heyyyyy, Abbotttt!

Posted by: byoolin | March 6, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I wish the Gene whiners would give it up already. Someone seems to crop up in every WaPo chat with a comment about him. Not everyone thinks he was that funny. Reliable Source and Achenbach eat his lunch every time.

Posted by: Cubeland, MD | March 6, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Besides the "master of his own domain" mistake, Liz also makes a mistake when she says, ". . . scandalous revelations -- like sexuality, child abuse . . .". I'm sure people already knew that celebrities were not asexual creatures. In fact, studios played up stars' off-screen romances to stimulate interest in upcoming movies. I think Liz may mean "homosexuality".

But, seriously, Liz, how could you mess up the "master of his own domain"? We trust you to know these things!!! ;)

Posted by: Ryan | March 6, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Geez. I hear you. I goofed. I will fix now, then slink off to lick my wounds for a while.

Posted by: Liz | March 6, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Those were the days! All that messy stuff like shaving your head, attacking cars with umbrellas and "losing" pet dogs is swept under the rug!
I think celebrities had a little more class when they were going nuts back then, though.
I would love to read the book. Thanks, Liz.

Posted by: Barb | March 6, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

"If you're interested in finding out why the government was interested in folks like John Denver, Lucille Ball, John Wayne and Sonny Bono, read the book..."

I'm still wondering why ANYONE would be interested in folks like John Denver, Lucille Ball, John Wayne and Sonny Bono...

Posted by: Margo | March 6, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Because we grew up in the 70's!!
My god,think of it, if they kicked everyone out of the military for flogging the monkey, there'd be no one left to fight our wars! Maybe we should start a movement.

Posted by: Barb | March 6, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Um, hendrix was discharged from the military because he voluntariyl confided in his superior officers that he was a homosexual, and couldn't restrain himself from masturbating to fellow soldiers. This was a sure fire way of removing himself from service. Hendrix was not actually homosexual, though who knows if he was a "try"sexual.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Cubeland, MD, I totally agree. Weingarten is an a** and he is not funny. His followers must have a mighty boring life.

Posted by: Comment | March 7, 2007 8:27 AM | Report abuse

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