What? Paris Hilton Not An Original?

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This news comes as rather shocking considering Paris Hilton is associated with custom anything and everything.

However, is seems her most recent headline grabbing antics and the possibility that she just may have a not so custom suite in the LA Jail House Hilton Hotel … has, shockingly,  all been done decades before.   

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The Los Angeles Times has had their fun reporting the court room details, as well as Hollywood’s “been there, done that” stories.

But columnist Patrick Mott tells it best in the Orange County Metro.  The story goes like this:

Bebe Daniels set the stage – OC had its own Paris Hilton-goes-to-jail’ moment back in the early ’20s.

“As horribly as it makes my fingers cramp to type the words Palfisg Hlighet … Pwelgsil Hbugleq…Paris Hilton (thank God for muscle relaxants), and as much as making reference to the heiress’ recent legal adventures may seem like going brook trout fishing with hand grenades, I’m going to do it anyway.

Why? Because it’s fun.Actually, there’s another reason: whatshername’s approaching 45-day jail sentence gives me – and all of us who live in Orange County – yet another chance to one-up those jurisprudential sissies in L.A. who think they’ve just unleashed the biggest dog-and-pony show since O.J. They have obviously never heard of Bebe Daniels.

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Bebe Daniels was a popular silent film actress who had starred opposite Harold Lloyd, and later been further promoted by Cecil B. DeMille. She was young, talented, charming and loved to drive her Marmon automobile as fast as possible.

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She was doing just that in the spring of 1921, flogging the Marmon past 55 mph on a lonely road through south Santa Ana. In the car were her mother and Jack Dempsey, the heavyweight-boxing champion whom Daniels was dating. They were headed for San Diego.

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She was pulled over by a pair of motorcycle policemen and cited. At the behest of her lawyers, she requested a trial by jury, believing her star power would win her a favorable verdict. 

Her lawyers pleaded for mercy for “this poor little girl who has been subjected to so much.” Instead, Judge John Belshazzar Cox, a genuine eccentric and a lover of the spotlight, who was apparently delighted with a courtroom packed with press and Hollywood hangers-on, sentenced her with a flourish to 10 days in the Orange County Jail.

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Sheriff Theo “Budge” Lacy Jr. and movie star Bebe Daniels at the time of her 1921 arrest for speeding in Santa Ana.

Daniels was nonplused. “I suppose if you live in a small town you get like that,” she reportedly said after the sentencing. “I bet 56 miles per hour sounds awfully fast if you’ve never driven anything faster than a plow.”

What followed became early Orange County legend.

Almost immediately after Daniels checked in (there’s no other term for it) to her jail cell, movers from a local furniture store arrived to furnish it with rich carpeting, chintz curtains and a bedroom suite with bedding to match the curtains.  

Local florists sent vases of fresh-cut flowers daily.

The best Santa Ana restaurants and hotels competed with each other to deliver specially prepared meals directly to her cell, where she constantly received friends and visitors from Hollywood, including Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle.

Her mother was also allowed to stay with her in the cell.   And at night Abe Lyman and his Coconut Grove Orchestra set up beneath her barred window and serenaded her with the “Rose Room Tango,” a specialty number she had once danced with Rudolph Valentino.

It wasn’t until her cell door was finally shut at the end of each day that she realized (as she later wrote) “how awful it was to be locked in a cell.”

Bebe Daniels was granted a day off for good behavior, and when she emerged from jail, glamorously dressed, she was met by none other than Judge Cox, who presented her with a bouquet of flowers.

She solemnly announced that she had learned her lesson, and immediately left for Hollywood, where she went straight to work on a new film, which was released that fall.

It was called The Speed Girl. ”  

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It’s going to be interesting to see how Paris follows this act.  Knowing Hollywood … they’ll come up with something.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Bebe Daniels had more style in one eyelash than Paris Hilton has in her entire bank account

  2. Bebe Daniels was a gorgeous and talented actress. One of her best performances was in Counselor at Law — I highly recommend the film!


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