Hollywood scandals are as old as Tinseltown itself, but lately the headlines are thriving with outrageous tales of stars gone wild. Charlie Sheen is the latest off-kilter celebrity to make a splash with his nonsensical TV interviews, radio outbursts, drug benders and violent porn star soirees. While Sheen is winning "most quotable" this year, last year Mel Gibson's racist remarks -- and crazypants stare -- made waves around the world. Lindsay Lohan wasn't too far behind Gibson when she ducked in and out of jail and rehab, causing her to lose several casting spots that could have reinvigorated her career.
While we're presently wagging our tongues over these juicy transgressions, generations down the line will surely be revisiting several of these scandalous stories on the big screen. Real life spectacles don't always translate to successful screen translations (take 'The Black Dahlia,' for example), but some screenplays based on the shocking exploits of Hollywood stars have achieved critical and financial acclaim.
Until Lindsay Lohan makes an acclaimed porn version of a movie, based on a porn, based around a dead porn star, satisfy your taste for the terrible with a few of these gems after the jump. Share your picks below.
The Scandal: When CBS execs made the sweep to revamp their lineup in 1971, the war sitcom 'Hogan's Heroes' was given the axe. Unfortunately, Bob Crane -- who played Colonel Robert E. Hogan -- was never able to duplicate his success following the show's cancellation. Although he made a couple of minor TV and big screen appearances, he ended up touring dinner theaters in the late '70s. After a few extramarital affairs, Crane's penchant for a playboy lifestyle seemed to increase. He befriended video salesman John Carpenter and the duo started taping their exploits with strippers and other naughties. In 1978, Crane was found brutally murdered -- bludgeoned until barely recognizable. During the investigation, his seedy, secret life unraveled. Crane's killer remains a mystery to this day, but authorities tried and acquitted Carpenter for the crime before he died in 1998.
The Film: Paul Schrader's 2002 film, 'Auto Focus,' follows Crane's life from radio host and drummer to sitcom star and Hollywood has-been -- peeling back the layers on this supposedly clean-cut family man. Greg Kinnear delivers a subtle and creepy performance as Crane, who sabotages what's left of his career with sex addiction. Willem Dafoe is the smarmy electronics shark who aids and abets his downfall.
The Evidence: 'Auto Focus' had a fairly limited release, never playing on more than 461 screens in one weekend -- grossing a total of $2,063,196 during its US run. It became a cult hit on DVD and cable. The film received positive reviews for its performances and ability to capture the vibe of the era.
The Scandal: Joan Crawford -- one of Hollywood's biggest and best paid stars at the height of her career -- was accused of child abuse, alcoholism and bizarre behavior by her daughter Christina in the 1978 tell-all memoir, 'Mommie Dearest.' The starlet's daughter claims that Crawford abused her family in other ways by terrorizing them with her violent obsessive-compulsive ways, using them as publicity pawns to further her own career and exposing them to a series of endless "boyfriends" and other affairs.
The Film: It wasn't the best-selling book that made the famous "wire hangers" line one of the greatest rants ever. It was Paramount's 1982 film starring Faye Dunaway in the role of Joan "Eyebrows" Crawford. There's a lot of scenery chewing, but the movie's over the top performances are legendary.
The Evidence: Faye Dunaway received a Razzie for her performance as Crawford -- a part she would later regret taking. She wasn't the only one to earn one of the dubious awards, though, as the film earned the Golden Raspberry in several other categories. Her startling physical transformation into Crawford, however, won her several accolades. The film was a commercial success, grossing $19,032,261 in the US. Cable played the heck out of the movie, and its campy reputation followed it from the theater and later onto DVD.
The Scandal: Producer, director and money-maker Howard Hughes was plagued by a severe obsessive-compulsive disorder and other forms of mental illness -- particularly surrounding his fear of germs. His struggles eventually seeped into his professional life, where uncomfortable moments on set -- including paranoid memos to his staff and unpredictable mood wings -- made interactions extremely awkward. In 1947 he locked himself away in a film studio for more than four months where he lived off chocolate bars and milk, organized Kleenex boxes, wrote strangely detailed letters and continuously watched movies. In his later years, he became a recluse, addicted to codeine until his death in 1976.
The Film: Leonardo DiCaprio starred as Hughes in Martin Scorsese's 2004 bio-drama, based on Charles Higham's 1993 biography, 'Howard Hughes: The Secret Life.' The film focuses on his successful film and aviation career, through to his downfall. The all-star cast includes Cate Blanchett as actress Katharine Hepburn -- one of the many women Hughes had a relationship with.
The Evidence: The film won tons of praise from critics for its sympathetic and honest portrayal of the eccentric billionaire. It was also nominated for 11 Academy Awards, winning five, including Best Supporting Actress for Blanchett. 'The Aviator' grossed $102,610,330 domestically.
The Scandal: Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten was never able to enjoy a long film career. The model/actress was murdered by her husband and manager, Paul Snider, who killed himself immediately after the shooting. Snider had become embittered by Stratten's modest success. His paranoia reached an all-time high when he began to desperately try to control the actress and hired a private investigator to follow her. The drama surrounding Stratten's life continued after her death when filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich -- who was dating Stratten during the time of her death -- wrote 'The Killing of the Unicorn.' Playboy founder Hugh Hefner sued Bogdanovich for his negative portrayal of the Playmate in his book. To add insult to injury, Bogdanovich eventually married Stratten's 20-year-old sister shortly after her death.
The Film: Like the tragic events surrounding Stratten's life, Bob Fosse's 1983 movie, 'Star 80,' also had it's share of off-screen drama. The death scene was filmed in the same house that the real murder-suicide occurred. The movie was based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Village Voice article by Teresa Carpenter, 'Death of a Playmate,' which criticized Hefner and Bogdanovich for victimizing Stratten as much as Snider did. Hefner in turn sued 'Star 80's' producers. Mariel Hemingway -- who starred as Stratten in the movie -- was rumored to have gotten breast implants for her role, which she denied.
The Evidence: Eric Roberts' intense performance as Snider was applauded. The film received mixed reviews, but the box office proved more positive. 'Star 80' only opened in 16 theaters eventually grossing $6,472,990 in the US, with 502 theaters being its widest release.
The Scandal: George Reeves was the star of the 1950's TV series, 'Adventures of Superman.' In 1959, the actor was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head in his home. Shaky witness testimony and a crime scene investigation concluded the death was a suicide, but rumors about Reeves' demise being part of a revenge plot by former lover Toni Mannix abounded (she was married at the time). After Mannix's death in 1983, publicist Edward Lozzi claimed Mannix made a murder confession on her deathbed. Nothing has been proven definitively.
The Film: Diane Lane plays Mannix in Allen Coulter's 2006 film, which dramatizes (with liberties) the investigation of Reeves' death, lead by investigator Louis Simo (Adrien Brody). The film spends time positing that Mannix's husband Eddie (Bob Hoskins) may have been ordered by the actress to shoot Reeves (played by Ben Affleck).
The Evidence: Affleck was nominated for a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Reeves. Critics gave nods to Hoskin's and Lane's performances as well. 'Hollywoodland' grossed $14,426,251 domestically, and DVD sales have pushed the film into higher ranking spots.