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20 General Hollywood Facts for the Curious Mind

Ranking Fact is a home for Hollywood Facts. We deliver articles that present a great insight into the United States Film Industry and the people associated with it. Before getting started, let’s give you 20 Fun Hollywood Facts you never knew existed.

  1. The 40th President of the US was an actor before leaving the profession and actively venture in full-time politics. Reagan once auditioned for the role of president in a movie called “The Best Man” in 1960. The makers of the movie though he didn’t look presidential enough to play the role.
  2. The name ‘Hollywood’ originated in 1886 by the real estate developer Hobart Johnstone Whitley while having his honeymoon.
  3. Hollywood (a neighbourhood in the central region of Los Angeles, California) came into existence in 1887 with the initial idea of it being a religious community. The Prohibitionists who govern the neighbourhood banned liquor from the town and offered free land to anyone who was willing to build a church in that area.
  4. The huge and popular ‘Hollywood’ sign was put up in the year 1923. Back then, it originally spelt out the word ‘Hollywoodland’ and the letters were originally 50ft high. The final four letters ‘land’ were removed in 1949 when the sign got rebuilt to have 45ft-high letters.
  5. The Hollywood sign was originally intended to last only a year. The sign existed for long and was accepted as a historical landmark in 1973.
  6. Angelina Jolie once attempted hiring a hitman to end her life. This is because she felt a murder would be easier on her family than knowing she had committed suicide. Thankfully, the hitman she was about to hire talked her out of it, advising she waits for a month.
  7. In 1932, British stage and screen actress Peg Entwistle committed suicide by jumping off the letter H of the Hollywood sign.
  8. That famous ‘HOLLYWOOD’ sign came about when a real estate agent called Harry Chandler decided to advertise properties he managed in the locality. It cost him $21,000 to raise the initial ‘HOLLYWOODLAND’ sign, which was meant to stay up for 18 months.
  9.  The name “Hollywood” is often applied to films or TV production location within Greater Los Angeles, and not only those physically located within Hollywood.
  10. In 1904, voters of Hollywood decided, with a majority of 113 to 96, to banish the sale of alcoholic drinks in the town, except those for medicinal purposes.
  11. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966) holds the record as the most expensive black-and-white movie ever made. Production costs of the movie totalled $7.5 million due in huge salaries paid to two of its stars, Richard Burton and Liz Taylor.
  12. The largest number of deaths ever recorded in film production came during the 1931 shooting of Viking. A record number of Twenty-seven people died, including the director and cinematographer. The ship they were shooting from exploded in the ice while it was off the coast of Newfoundland.
  13. Former-U.S. cavalryman Frank Hanaway became the first Hollywood stunt man. The actor was the cast in The Great Train Robbery (1903). Hollywood applauded him for his ability to fall off a horse without hurting himself.
  14. In the 1985 horror film titled Day of the Dead, zombies did feast on turkey legs barbecued to look like human flesh.
  15. With a budget alleged to be around $280 million, Avatar became one of the most expensive movies of all time.
  16. The word avatar is an Indian language for “incarnation”. It is used in Hindu scripture when referring to the human incarnations of God.
  17. Back in the days, the term “movies” did not mean films. Hollywood locals originally used it to define the people who made films.
  18. Around 1989, Brad Pitt nearly got himself beaten up by Mike Tyson when he dating the Boxer’s estranged wife, Robin Givens. Mike Tyson once says in his book, Undisputed Truth stated that he once saw a man whom he thought was a woman getting out of his ex-wife’s car. The blond man was none other than Brad Pitt, who begged the Boxer saying… “Dude, don’t strike me” with fear written all over his face.
  19. According to Vanity Fair magazine, Michael Jackson once contacted a witch doctor in Mali (West Africa) to finish off his perceived enemies. Among those enemies include David Geffen and Steven Spielberg who had reportedly denied him a role in his unsuccessful 1991 film titled Hook.
  20. Filmmaker and actor Nicolas Cage and his wife wanted the name of their son to look good, unique and very American. They agreed to name him Kal-el after Superman.

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