“Passed around by dozens of Hollywood leading men over a decade,” says the Mail, the model “had become damaged goods. When she turned 30 in 1974 her star had faded and she felt used, abused and unwanted by the Hollywood establishment.”
That’s when Young took her own life, but in a way she “thought would send a powerful message to the men who she believed had tormented her for so long.”
So on Palm Sunday of that year, Young shot herself in the head with a .38. Except she supposedly did it lying on a bed draped in an American flag, with a pentagram drawn on the floor.
It’s a scene so utterly “1970s” it sounds like something out of Russ Meyer’s freakazoid anti-Valentine to showbiz, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970). Which is particularly noteworthy because the Mail‘s source is, coincidentally, someone named Melanie Myers.
Myers, a friend and neighbor who”d been on the scene, says Young’s bedroom wall was covered with “news clippings, magazine articles, everything you could think of [about the Playboy mogul]. Written across it was something like: “Hugh Hefner is the devil.””
Young’s suicide note, this friend continued, singled out Hefner and her former lover, director John Huston, but Myers is quick to include the currently headline-making Cosby as one of those who “used and spat out” her late friend.
Now, admittedly, Myers is, we”re informed, currently employed as an astrologer. And this is the Daily Mail we”re talking about. So maybe Young’s frankly awesome suicide never caught on as Hollywood Babylon lore because it didn”t really happen that way.
Or maybe no one was quite ready to call the party off as early as “74.
In November 1968, when Young’s Playboy spread appeared, not even a couple of assassinations and other major bummers had been quite enough to harsh the West’s mellow quite yet.
In the obligatory interview that accompanied her pictorial, Young describes herself as a struggling painter. She dreams of studying in Paris. She lists her “main weakness” as her “desire to be alone,” adding, “It’s probably selfish.”
Her successor, Dorothy Stratten, was also asked about her goals (“To become a successful actress and do a lot of traveling”), as well as her astrological sign (“Pisces”) and her “turn-ons” (“Life, love, poetry and little animals”).
Under “turnoffs,” she topped her list with “jealous people.”
Daily updates with TM’s latest