She was born Ruby Stevens and grew up in a poor Irish immigrant family in a tough part of Brooklyn. It was the Roaring Twenties and Ruby and her friend Joan Crawford found work in the New York speakeasies, with bootleg booze, gangsters, short skirts and low necklines, not to mention sugar daddies, but this was only the start. Ruby wanted to hit the big time as an actress so she changed her name to Barbara Stanwyck and headed for Hollywood. In a remarkable year career she fought her way to the top of the movie business standing among the most glamorous and successful performers of her generation; Rita Hayworth, Katharine Hepburn, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Bette Davis and Ava Gardner. She made more than 80 movies and despite never having had an acting lesson was nominated for four Oscars. She possessed an inborn talent and her life revolved around her acting ability rather than her glamour.
The threat of exposure was real and ever-present for these entertainers. Per Tyrnauer, studio contracts contained so-called "moral clauses" that could instantly vaporize a lucrative career. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Police Department's vice squad were all too willing to bust celebrities, often working in cahoots with the press in their quest to hobble reputations. Here's a roundup of Old Hollywood stars who were reportedly gay.
However, her list of romances and hot hook-ups with women is nearly as long. It seemed that Marilyn accepted love wherever she could find it—from her fans, from men and from women. She oozed with sexuality, so even women found her irresistible.
Born on July 16, , in Brooklyn, Barbara Stanwyck appeared in more than 80 films, portraying a variety of strong-willed women. Her movies include Stella Dallas and the film noir classic Double Indemnity , in which she defined the femme fatale character. She received an honorary Academy Award in and died in She had a troubled childhood, having become an orphan at the age of 4 after her mother was pushed off of a moving streetcar and killed. Her father failed to cope with the loss of his wife and abandoned his five children.