I must admit that I owned a copy of Anger’s book and took each word as gospel including Velez’ s death. I suppose I can be excused as I was a 14 year old kid and the internet and snopes weren’t around. Thankfully the record is set straight. More importantly I wish there was even examination of Velez’s career and what she faced in Hollywood.
Ask the average person about Lupe Vélez and you’ll probably be met with a blank stare. But query those same folks as to whether or not they’ve heard of the classic film star who “drowned in the toilet,” and they’ll likely perk up with smirking recognition.
We have Kenneth Anger’s book Hollywood Babylon to thank for that.
Of course, there are other (perhaps unwitting) accomplices: The Simpsons, wherein guest John Waters joked about the store where Vélez bought her toilet in the 1997 episode Homer’s Phobia; Frasier, in which Lupe is said to have been “last seen with her head in the toilet” in the 1993 pilot; and Andy Warhol, whose 1966 film LUPE depicts the popular Mexican actress facedown in a toilet, dead.
But the apocryphal story of the tragic demise of Lupe Vélez, who took her own life with a barbiturate overdose in 1944 at the…
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