Greatest Dead Angelenos #6: Howard Hughes

hhughes.jpgIn 1930 a notable Angeleno made the most expensive motion picture to date with $3.8 million out of his own pocket – and turned a profit with a box office total of $8 million.

During World War II, a notable Angeleno designed and built the world’s largest aircraft for the US Army. It was a failure and flew only once.

On July 7, 1946, a notable Angeleno crashed a small aircraft into a Beverly Hills residential neighborhood, destroying several houses and breaking all of his ribs.

A notable Angeleno owned TWA and RKO, as well as his own Aerospace Company and a Medical Research Institute.

A notable Angeleno was in his lifetime romantically linked to Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Ava Gardner, Olivia de Havilland, Joan Fontaine, Jean Harlowe, Jane Russell, and Gene Tierney, among others.

A great Angeleno did all of these things. Though he was born and is buried in Houston, Texas, he accomplished truly magnificent and terrible things in Los Angeles. Obsessive-compulsive and filthy rich, he never stopped thinking and spent his life trying to improve everything he came into contact with. He was investigated on suspicion of being a Communist. He was a womanizer, a germophobe, and later a recluse. He’s been portrayed on film by Leonardo DiCaprio, Jason Robards, and Terry O’Quinn, among others.

He was Howard Hughes.

The 25 Greatest Dead Angelenos can all be found right here.

One Reply to “Greatest Dead Angelenos #6: Howard Hughes”

  1. For those too lazy to look it up in the IMDB, Tommy Lee Jones also played Hughes in a TV movie. It was, in fact, what made him a star.

    My favorite Howard Hughes performance is still Dean Stockwell in “Tucker: The Man and His Dream.”

    Nice succinct entry for such a storied character!

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