Students of the history of Hollywood might know the name William Desmond Taylor, the Irish-born American actor and director who helmed and appeared in a number of films in the 1910s and early 1920s. His career abruptly came to an end in February 1922, when he was found murdered in his Los Angeles apartment. The case was never solved.
In the new book “Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood,” veteran Hollywood chronicler William Mann brings together a cast of characters that may or may not be involved in the crime. Ostensibly a true-life whodunit, the book is also a portrait of Hollywood in its infancy.
William Mann, biographer, movie historian and author of “Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood" (Harper/HarperCollins, 2014)