His wooden airplane,
his aviation successes,
and his women... lots of them!
Forget about the false rumors...
Howard Hughes was into women and only women.
He was like a kid in a candy store...
Terry Moore said those words.
"He'd have his hands full, (with one or two beautiful women)
and he'd see someone else and want her also."
Terry knew what she was talking about.
She had been married to him. However, if you look at the official record,
her name is not mentioned as
one of his two wives.
Howard had married her on his boat (the captain officiated)
and the records were
thrown overboard, or at least were never seen again.
She later sued his estate and won a large settlement.
She was a devout Mormon.
She had told Howard she would not go to bed with him unless they were married.
Columnist James Bacon said he believed Terry when she said she had married Howard.
Howard was obsessed with her. He wanted her young pretty body in his bed.
Bacon said, "Howard would do anything to get Terry into bed."
He was 6'4" and good looking.
He was also America's first billionaire.
He was in love with Faith Domergue.
She was fifteen when they began their relationship.
Mamie Van Doren was sixteen when she met Howard...
She had won a beauty contest at the Chi Chi club in Palm Springs.
Howard was in the audience. Shortly later, she received an invitation to come to RKO.
She said one of the first things Howard asked her was if she was a virgin.
He also asked if her
breasts were real.
She was put under contract and began a sexual relationship with Howard.
This lasted until
she was eighteen.
She jokingly says that maybe she had gotten too old for him.
In 1948 Howard bought RKO film studios, for 22 million dollars.
After the buying of RKO, Howard jumped his womanizing into high gear.
Bob Maheu said it didn't matter to Howard if the studio made money or not.
Every year there was another 50 million dollars profit being spit out by Hughes Tool.
He would see a photo of a beautiful woman and would try to get her a contract.
He would lease a home and put the young starlet and her parents into it.
Sometimes, her parents would be given a new home.
Other women were put into a bungalow or room at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Sometimes he would have three girls stashed away in different parts of the hotel.
He would periodically date these young women. Yes, their parents were always taken good care of.
But Howard would do everything he could to try to make these women into good actresses.
He would put them under a contract and pay them a hundred dollars a week.
He would pay for their acting classes, voice and diction lessons.
He would pay for them to be groomed in how to walk and talk, how to dance, ride a horse and sing.
But the bottom line is...
he promised to try to make them into good and successful actresses,
and he definitely kept his word.
Most of them never succeeded, perhaps for want of talent,
but Howard did give it an all American try.
Besides women, Howard loved airplanes...
This is the famous Spruce Goose with Howard at the controls.
He flew the plane only one time.
He said it needed further development.
The wooden airplane, made of birch and not spruce, never flew again...
This is a great photo of the Spruce Goose.
He had great success in aviation, he owned Vegas casinos,
he made movies, he had immense power...
and he had women. He had lots of them...
He dated some of the most beautiful women in the world.
Women liked him. He was a good looking guy with charisma and a fantastic dancer.
He and Marilyn Monroe did the jitterbug like crazy.
He dated Rita Hayworth. He was in love with Ava Gardner.
He dated Bette Davis and Ida Lupino (Ida wasn't interested in
a romantic relationship).
Later on, Howard helped Ida become the second woman to join the Director's Guild.
He dated Debbie Reynolds but probably never got serious.
He was dating Olivia de Havilland and got caught making a play for her younger sister, Joan Fontain.
He would offer women a tray of beautiful diamond necklaces, brooches and rings.
Some of the women would take the jewelry.
Actress Kathryn Grayson, one of the more attractive women
in the movies... took the tray.
Ginger Rogers... turned the tray down.
Reportedly, he once offered Elizabeth Taylor one-million dollars, tax free, if she would marry him.
He was in love with Lana Turner. She loved him back.
He was in love with actress Linda Darnell, who was one of the more attractive sultry actresses in films.
In 1946, Howard's film 'The Outlaw' was finally released.
Originally scheduled to be released in 1941, the movie had become a major mind hassle.
The Director of the Production Code Administration wrote Howard a letter
that said the picture was in
violation of the Code and would not be issued a certificate.
"Throughout almost half the picture,
the girl's breasts,
which are quite large and prominent, are shockingly emphasized..."
When it was finally released in 1946, it was a big hit.
The Hollywood Reporter wrote in 1968 that
'The Outlaw' ended up making 20 million dollars.
The movie itself... was terrible.
In 1955, after seven years, Howard sold RKO.
The studio had lost millions under Howard's leadership.
Howard didn't care.
Film historian Betty Lasky called Howard's relationship with RKO a systematic seven year rape.
In 1947, Howard appeared before the Senate for an investigation of wartime contracts.
His favorite movie was 'Ice Station Zebra'.
His favorite actor was Robert Mitchum,
who appeared in ten films that Howard was involved in.
He also liked the James Bond films.
One of the characters in 'Diamonds are forever'
was based on Howard.
He cheated on every woman he ever dated.
But he soothed their feelings by being
extremely generous with
diamonds and expensive jewelry.
He had been in several bad airplane crashes.
He had always beaten the odds. The odds were about to catch up, big time.
In 1946, Howard was piloting an experimental plane for the military.
Something malfunctioned and a thrust reverser was activated.
The plane tore the roof off a home in Beverly Hills and crashed on the country club grounds.
He was hurt really badly. He was expected to die.
Somehow, he survived. While recuperating, he invented the electric hospital bed.
He also became addicted to the pain killer codeine...
He used it for the rest of his life.
There is the theory that he suffered from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
They didn't know what that was back in 1946,
but some theories put forward today are that
codeine amplifies this condition
and that's what might have lead to his eventual decline into
Actress Mamie Van Doren believes she was one of the last people to see him (in public).
She said, "He was acting weird. He was different... not the same."
Faith Domergue, like many women, never criticized Howard.
She said, "All my memories of Howard are good ones.
He was a nice man and made great contributions to his country.
His life has been so maligned
and that's sad to me."
His aviation successes, Vegas casinos, his movies, his power, his downfall... and his women.
This novelette tells you everything you need to know about the life of Howard Hughes.