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The Whole Truth and Nothing But Author: Hedda Hopper and James Brough

 The Whole Truth and Nothing But Author: Hedda Hopper and James Brough



Transcriber’s Notes
Punctuation, hyphenation, and spelling were made consistent when a predominant preference was found in the original book; otherwise they were not changed.

Obvious typographical errors were corrected; unbalanced quotation marks were remedied when the change was obvious, and otherwise left unbalanced.

All of the photographs are in one section, as they were in the original book. Originally, the section followed the first page of Chapter Ten, but to avoid disrupting the flow of reading, in this eBook, that section has been moved to precede Chapter Ten.

In the original book, there usually were 2-4 photographs per page, with descriptions for all of them in the middle of the page. Here, the photographs are separate and contiguous with their descriptions. References such as left/right/above/below have been removed from those descriptions, as they are not needed here.


THE WHOLE TRUTH
AND NOTHING BUT
The Whole Truth
and Nothing But


HEDDA HOPPER
and
JAMES BROUGH

DOUBLEDAY & COMPANY, INC.
GARDEN CITY, NEW YORK

COPYRIGHT © 1962, 1963 BY HEDDA HOPPER
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

DEDICATION

To my son, Bill, who never took
any sass from his mother
and never gave her any.

7

I’m told that when you write a book with a title like this, you must let your readers know something about your life. Well, I was born into the home of David and Margaret Furry, one of nine children. Seven of us grew up. Three of us are still here, including my sister Margaret and brother Edgar, who played a good game of football when he attended Lafayette quite a while back.

I first saw the light of day in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, a beautiful suburb of Altoona, which used to live off the Pennsylvania Railroad and its affiliates. Since railroads have fallen on lean and hungry years, I don’t know what’s feeding the place today.

My mother, an angel on earth whom I worshiped, named me Elda, from a story she was reading at the time. Years later, after I’d married DeWolf Hopper, a numerologist changed Elda to Hedda. My husband, Wolfie, was much older than my father and had been married four times before. The8 wives’ names all sounded pretty much the same: Ella, Ida, Edna, and Nella. His memory wasn’t as sharp as it had been, and he couldn’t always remember that I was Elda.

As time went on, this started to irk me, so the numerologist came up with Hedda Hopper. I asked how much. “Ten dollars.” That’s exactly how it happened; it changed my whole life. It was the best bargain I ever made. Wolfie never forgot it, and I’ve never regretted it.

My sister Margaret was my father’s pet. He and I didn’t get on well. He thought women should be the workers; I believed my brothers should share the burden. Mother was ill for six years after Margaret’s birth, and I took on her duties as well as my own, since my older sister Dora had married. I had to catch a brother by the scruff of the neck to get any help, but they all helped themselves three times a day to the meals I prepared. I also did the washing, ironing, cleaning, and helped Dad in his butcher shop.

When I couldn’t take it any more, I ran away—to an uncle in New York. I found a stage door that was open, walked in, and got a job in a chorus, which started a career.

My family now consists of my son Bill, who plays Paul Drake on the “Perry Mason” TV show without any help from me. When he went off to war, he’d already attained stature as an actor. On his return—with a medal for valor which I’ve never seen—not one soul in the motion-picture industry offered him a job. Hell would have frozen over before I’d have asked anyone for help for a member of my family.

So Bill went to work selling automobiles for “Madman” Muntz. One day he woke up to the fact that he was an actor, got himself a part with director Bill Wellman in The High and the Mighty—and asked Wellman not to tell anybody who his mother was. Bill has a beautiful daughter, Joan, who’ll be sixteen next birthday.

I don’t like to dwell on death, but when you reach my age (and I’m still not telling) you realize it’s inevitable. I’ve left instructions for cremation—no ceremony—with my ashes sent to an undertaking cousin, Kenton R. Miller, of Martinsburg,9 Pennsylvania. I’d wanted a friend to scatter them over the Pacific from a plane, but California law forbids that. You have to buy a plot.

A salesman from Forest Lawn told me they’d opened a new section and I could rest in peace next to Mary Pickford for a mere $42,000. “What do I get for that?” I asked.

“Well, a grave, picket fence, and a golden key for the gate.”

“How do you figure I could use it?”

“Oh, Miss Hopper, that’s for the loved ones who will mourn you.”

That’s when I decided on my cousin.


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