Many thanks to Stephanie Nolasco and Fox News for the opportunity to discuss Barbara La Marr and my biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood. The write-up may be viewed here.
On this day, May 5, in 1923, tall, handsome, red-headed actor and stuntman Jack Daugherty arrived at the Whitley Heights home of screen siren Barbara La Marr for a dinner date and received one of the shocks of his life. “You’re going to be married tonight,” Barbara informed him when she greeted him at the door. Her declaration rendered him virtually speechless; “Huh!” he exclaimed. Jack later confessed to being so “insane about Barbara” after meeting her through their respective film work in 1921 that “I couldn’t even think of the [films] I was doing—and was desperately trying to marshal up enough courage to propose.”
True to Barbara’s word, she and Jack were wed the evening of May 5 in Ventura, California, at the officiating reverend’s home. A Los Angeles Times reporter, somehow learning of their sudden, secret elopement, was in attendance alongside Barbara’s mother and brother, and writer, director, and producer Paul Bern (Barbara’s friend and Jack’s best man). “At noon today,” Barbara proclaimed to the reporter, “I had no more idea of marrying [Jack] than—well—than of marrying you. Then—well—I just decided.”
Barbara would soon speak to other reporters of the considerable heartbreak, scandal, and scathing publicity she had endured while searching for her ideal man—including serial relationships and marriages, a bigamous marriage, and the bitter dissolution of her affair with homosexual actor William Haines three days before her marriage to Jack. Reminded by one newsman of her oft-repeated avowal that she would never marry again, Barbara declared, “Any woman who says she won’t marry again is just a plain fool—of course she will, when something like Jack’s adorable hair strikes her.”