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Hollywood's most bizarre conspiracy theories

Steve Charnock
Yahoo UK Movies Features
2 December 2011


The lovely Michelle Williams can currently be seen wowing cinema audiences with her unnervingly accurate portrayal of one of the world's biggest ever stars, Marilyn Monroe. In ‘My Week With Marilyn’, the ‘Some Like It Hot’ star is seen spending seven days discovering England and enduring a tense film shoot with Sir Laurence Olivier. The film doesn't involve itself in perhaps the most intriguing episode of Monroe's life, however – her untimely end.

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Her sad death has had Hollywood's conspiracy theorists whispering in corridors since her drug-filled body was found in her apartment in August 5th 1962. Did the CIA kill her because she was too close to President John F. Kennedy? Were the mafia responsible because of her in-depth knowledge of JFK's mob links? Who knows. All we know for certain is that Tinseltown is jam-packed with whispers and controversial ideas about all sorts of things. Let's run down some of the more bizarre conspiracy theories...

The Star Whackers?
Randy Quaid claims that there is a Hollywood hit squad touring LA, knocking off movie stars in order to get to swindle them out of their cash. Paranoid Quaid even emigrated to Canada to avoid their clutches. He reckons that 'The Star Whackers' are responsible for the deaths of Heath Ledger and David Carradine and claims that Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and Mel Gibson are at risk. He also says that his brother Dennis Quaid is in danger. Dennis (perhaps wisely) says that Randy should 'seek therapy'.




Errol Flynn a Nazi?

Apparently, recently declassified CIA files from the 1930's revealed that famous movie swashbuckler and legendary womaniser Flynn was a Nazi sympathiser who had met with Adolf Hitler and carried out tasks on behalf of the Führer… according to one biographer, Charles Higham, anyway. He said: '[Flynn] was first noticed for his violently anti-British and pro-Nazi views as early as 1934 and there is little doubt his work for the Nazis resulted in people being killed'. However, subsequent biographies reject Higham’s claims as pure frabrication, and state Flynn was actually very left-leaning.
 
James Dean killed by CIA?
The rebel without a cause died in an auto accident in San Luis Obispo County, California in September 1955. He was speeding in a Porsche 550 Spyder when he had a head-on collision with another vehicle. His injuries were so bad, he died only ten minutes after the crash. The conspiracies started when investigators recreated the scene and discovered that the extent of the damage to both cars suggested the impact happened at a much slower speed. A speed that would have be unlikely to kill the ‘East of Eden’ actor. Some theorists suggest that he had faked his own death to escape the spotlight of fame. Others reckon the CIA were behind the crash, looking to eradicate the 'dangerous leader' of the '50s teenage rebellion movement. And of course, the more hardcore theorists out there blame the mysterious Illuminati. Like they do for everything. Which brings us too…

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Moon landings were directed by Stanley Kubrick?
We've all heard of the theory that the Apollo 11 mission being a hoax, but how many of you have heard the rumours that ‘The Shining’ director was involved...? His realistic space film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ was in post-production in 1968 and NASA officials were so impressed, they drafted Kubrick in to help out with the filmed staging. Apparently.




The Illuminati runs Hollywood?
The Illuminati is, according to conspiracy theorists, a secret society that runs almost everything on Earth. They pull the strings of world banks, governments and even show business. You may recognise their name from the shadowy goings-on in ‘The Da Vinci Code’. Apparently, they have been slowly pushing movies with an occult theme to younger audiences (Disney’s ‘Fantasia’ being a famous example), to get them used to the idea of black magic and to promote the rejection of organised religion. Stop laughing at the back.

Andy Kaufman faked his own death?
On May 16th 1984, one of America's funniest and most cutting-edge comedians died of lung cancer. Or did he? A popular rumour in the entertainment biz at the time was that the ‘Taxi’ star's death was a fraud. Kauffman was notorious for taking roles very seriously and blurring the line between performance and reality. Shortly before his death he had been planning to make a movie about a star who fakes his own death and then reappears thirty years later. If the theory is correct, we can expect Andy's return in only three years.

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Who killed Ronni Chasen?
In 2010, one of Hollywood's most successful publicists, Ronni Chasen, was gunned down in her car in  Beverley Hills after a 'random robbery', according to police. Theories about her untimely demise are rife, though... Was her death a hit from a Russian gangster who was unhappy at the poor performance of a film that he had invested in on Chasen's advice? Was it an intentionally high profile local gang initiation? Or – and this is the one LA gossipers love – a hit paid for by a fellow Hollywood publicist, jealous at Chasen's continued Oscar success?

Marissa Tomei won Oscar?
Speaking of Academy Award wins, there's always been plenty of hushed, elaborate ideas about how Marissa Tomei bagged the '93 Best Supporting Actress statuette for her role in ‘My Cousin Vinny’. It wasn't a massive film and she was a relative unknown in Hollywood at the time. Some people claim that it was an error from the 'drunk' presenter of the award, Hollywood tough guy Jack Palance, who couldn't read the autocue and just repeated the last name on the nomination list. The Academy of course, denies this.

Think we've missed out a juicy – and totally nuts - conspiracy theory? Let us know below...

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