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Eric Stonestreet To Play Fatty Arbuckle In Barry Levinson Directed 'The Day The Laughter Stopped'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 22, 2011 7:38 AM
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  • 1 Comment
In the history of salacious Hollywood trials, none have matched the infamy of Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle's battle against charges that he raped actress Virgina Rappe at a boisterous Hollywood party (who died shortly afterward of peritonitis caused a ruptured bladder). It was essentially the first showbiz trial, one that found Arbuckle prosecuted in the press -- and later in court -- thanks to the relentless tabloid journalism of William Randolph Hearst's chain of newspapers, which painted the silent comedian as a lecher who used his girth to overpower women sexually. After three trials -- in which it became apparent that evidence was being manufactured and witnesses were being told to lie in an overzealous pursuit to find him guilty -- Arbuckle was eventually acquitted, though his career was in ruins and fearing government intervention in the industry, most of Hollywood refused to work with him. However, in the dawn of the talkies, Warner Bros. signed up him for some two reel shorts and their success led the studio to sign Arbuckle for a feature film. Unfortunately, he would suffer a heart attack and die before he could start work on the project.

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