WILLIAM DESMOND TAYLOR, 1922

A HOLLYWOOD WHODUNIT

It was a thriller plot fit for the movies: A famous film director mysteriously murdered in his home. For extra glamor, some of the suspects were genuine stars of the silver screen. For extra spice, William Desmond Taylor had a secret past…

The name William Desmond Taylor is no longer familiar to modern moviegoers, but in the 1910s and 20s, he was a prolific director whose name routinely appeared in gossip columns alongside that of one beautiful actress or another. He worked with legends of the silent film era—Mary Pickford, Myrtle Stedman, and Wallace Reid—and lived in a stylish bungalow in a sought-after Los Angeles “movie colony” neighborhood. To his Hollywood friends, William Desmond Taylor ...

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