Independent researcher, Joan Myers, tells us of her findings from her search for information regarding the silent film actress, Virginia Rappe — mainly known in film history as the woman who “destroyed” Arbuckle’s career through her death following a party in his hotel room. Myers examines the received history of the subsequent trial(s) investigating Rappe’s death (and Arbuckle’s participation/responsibility) and the factors that contributed to how we understand those events today. A non-canonical reading of silent film history, Myers’s account is an important one for feminist scholars.
You can read more from Myers on Virginia Rappe and the Arbuckle case in the collaborative Feminism 3.0: Archives site with her two articles, “The Case of the Vanishing Juror” and “Minta Durfee and the Last of the Terrible Men.”
Many thanks to Joan Myers and Marilyn Slater for their photos/materials used in the interview. The interview is from July 1, 2009.