One of the two most feared women in Hollywood during its Golden Age, Hedda Hopper first made a name for herself as an actress, typecast as society women in such features as "Holiday" (1930), "Alice Adams" (1935) and "Dracula's Daughter" (1936). As her workload inclined more towards Poverty Row than the big studios, Hopper gambled on a career change from actress to gossip columnist for the Esquire Feature Syndicate. Her insider knowledge and roster of highly-placed confidantes paid off in an instantly-popular platform, published by <i>The Los Angeles Times</i> in 1938 and syndicated nationally. An interest in the private lives of public figures won Hopper the enmity of such secretive stars as Spencer Tracy, Cary Grant, Joseph Cotten, and Katharine Hepburn, while most of Tinseltown endeavored to keep on her good side in a bid to stay out of print. By widening her range to radio and television, Hopper cornered the gossip market and eclipsed the celebrity status of longtime rival Louella Parsons. During the anti-Communist purges of the Fifties, she advocated traditional American values, aligning herself with such staunch Hollywood conservatives as Ronald Reagan and Howard Hughes and counting as allies red-baiting Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. Hopper's death in 1966 paralleled the demise of the studio system, while her devotion to laying bare the intimate secrets of Hollywood stars presaged the rise of such culturally entrenched scandal sheets as <i>The National Enquirer</i> and TMZ.