Houston Matters

Book Uses Howard Hughes To Illustrate Women’s Plight In Early Hollywood

Karina Longworth discusses her book Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood.

Jane Russell, Jean Harlow, and Ava Gardner
Actresses Jane Russell, Jean Harlow, and Ava Gardner are among those whose stories are told in Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood.

Seduction - Howard Hughes BookA new book tells the struggles many women faced in the Golden Age of Hollywood, and it uses Houston-native oil magnate turned aviation pioneer turned filmmaker Howard Hughes to illustrate that.

In her book Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood, writer and podcast host Karina Longworth focuses on ten different actresses from the first half of the 20th century and uses Hughes obsession with – and manipulation of – them to illustrate what things were like back then.

Howard Hughes
Howard Hughes posing with his Boeing 100 in the 1940s.

Some of the stars are familiar names, like Jean Harlow, Ava Gardner, and Katharine Hepburn. And others are less so, like Terry Moore or Billie Dove. But, through their stories, we find that Hughes was obsessed with sex, power, and publicity.

In the audio above, Longworth, the creator of the podcast You Must Remember This about the Golden Age of Hollywood, tells Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty how Hughes pursued many of these actresses relentlessly and – in many cases – both made and destroyed their careers.

Longworth will appear at a Brazos Bookstore event at Rice Cinema on Wednesday night at 7.

Karina Longworth
Karina Longworth is the creator of the podcast You Must Remember This and author of Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood.

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the Senior Producer for Houston Matters. He has a degree in journalism from Abilene Christian University and has served as news director for NPR and PBS stations around Texas and The West, including: KUNR-FM in Reno, Nev.; KNPB-TV in Reno, Nev.; and KWBU-TV/FM in Waco, Texas. He...

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