Esteemed wrestling historian J Michael Kenyon points out that there’s a substantive, as well as a punning, link between the titles WRESTLING BABYLON and Hollywood Babylon. The latter is Kenneth Anger’s underground classic on the seedy underside of the film industry.
One of Anger’s A-list exhibits is the mysterious 1935 death of movie star Thelma Todd. She was found dead in her car of carbon monoxide poisoning in a garage near a popular cafe she owned. A grand jury ruled Todd’s death a suicide, but an ongoing cult of speculation persists that it was murder. (The scenario vaguely parallels the current movie Hollywoodland, about disputed circumstances of Superman TV star George Reeves’ apparent suicide.)
Back to wrestling maven Kenyon. “Patrick Finnegan — who wrestled as Lord Lansdowne — was alleged to have been an escort of Thelma Todd’s on the night of her (still unsolved) death,” Kenyon wrote to me.
Where’s Jimmy (Superfly) Snuka when you need him?