Fatty Arbuckle is legendary Hollywood. Although he is recognized for his achievements as an actor, he is best-known for a scandal in 1921 involving actress Virginia Rappe when the popular actor signed an unprecenedted contract for $1 million dollars. Arbuckle celebrated his Hollywood success with a party on the twelfth floor of the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco (rooms 1219, 1220, and 1221). Virginia Rappe, a beautiful young starlet and fiancee of Henry Lehrman, attended the party. During the wild 3-day party Arbuckle and Rappe escaped into a bedroom.
When the 250-pound Arbuckle emerged from the bedroom he requested that Rappe be taken to the Palace Hotel to recover from a night of heavy drinking and wild sex. Rappe was stark naked on the floor, agitated and convulsing. Four days later she died from internal bleeding and a ruptured bladder. Arbuckle was charged with manslaughter and accused of having sexually assaulted Rappe in a bizarre and unnatural manner.
The Arbuckle trial became a Hollywood sensation. Arbuckle was found not guilty by the jury, but he was blacklisted by the studios and his unreleased movies were suppressed from public view. Despite attempts at directing and and a stint as actor in Europe, his career as an entertainer could not be revived. Finally, in 1933, Warner Brothers featured Arbuckle in a comedy that Arbuckle commented was the happiest day of his life. The next morning Arbuckle died in his sleep of a heart attack. Arbuckle was only forty-six years old. The Arbuckle scandal is one of the best know of Hollywood scandals. Ironically, Arbuckle lived in a section of Los Angeles as a next-door neighbor of Edward Doheny, another personage caught-up with scandal in the Tea Pot Dome affair.
The original Arbuckle check was handwritten by Arbuckle to Charles D. Pike. This Roscoe Fatty Arbuckle autograph reproduction would make a great addition to a collection of Hollywood memorabilia.
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