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Gossip Girls: Louella Parsons And Hedda Hopper (Sex and Shame in the 1950s, Episode 7)

The 1950s were a decade of massive contradictions in terms of national and cultural attitudes towards sex. As Louella Parsons struggled to keep up with these rapid changes -- and to compete with her bolder, bitchier rival Hedda Hopper -- she reflected and steered the sexual panic through her coverage of two stories: Rita Hayworth’s marriage to a Muslim prince, and Ingrid Bergman’s “illegitimate” pregnancy. Plus: the emergence of Sheilah Graham, the international woman of mystery who would eventually beat the gossip girls at their own game.

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