This Was Hollywood

Forgotten Stars and Stories


By Carla Valderrama

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$37.00 CAD

In this one-of-a-kind Hollywood history, the creator of Instagram’s celebrated @ThisWasHollywood reveals the forgotten past of the film world in a dazzling visual package modeled on the classic fan magazines of yesteryear.


From former screen legends who have faded into obscurity to new revelations about the biggest movie stars, Valderrama unearths the most fascinating little-known tales from the birth of Hollywood through its Golden Age.

The shocking fate of the world’s first movie star. Clark Gable’s secret love child. The film that nearly ended Paul Newman’s career. A former child star who, at ninety-three, reveals her #metoo story for the first time. Valderrama unfolds these stories, and many more, in a volume that is by turns riveting, maddening, hilarious, and shocking.

Drawing on new interviews, archival research, and an exhaustive library of photographs, This Was Hollywood is a compelling and visually stunning catalogue of the lost history of the movies.

  • "Carla Valderrama genuinely loves Hollywood history, as you can tell from every page of this book. Her enthusiasm is matched only by her determination to back up her stories with good, old-fashioned research. I learned a lot from This Was Hollywood and you will, too."
    Leonard Maltin, film critic and historian
  • “Valderrama resurrects the golden age of Tinseltown in all its splendor and silliness.... For the cinephile on your list, This Was Hollywood will be a treat.”
    Kirkus Reviews
    “[T]his isn’t your typical stocking-stuffer novelty item.... Valderrama’s secret history of the film industry keeps it classy even when she’s airing decades-old dirty laundry. This Was Hollywood is laid out in the style of a vintage fan magazine, featuring bold graphic design backed by meticulous research that brings silver-screen icons, both immortal and largely forgotten, to life once again on the page.”
    AV Club
  • "Come for the history lessons, fascinating backstories, historical ads and images; stay for Puzzums, ‘the cat who conquered Hollywood.'"
  • "Carla Valderrama knows how to make something look good."
    Entertainment Weekly
  • "Carla Valderrama took her popular This Was Hollywood account and turned it into a new book, digging deep into the Golden Age of film.... The book is packed with photos and Valderrama's research takes its own spotlight with a unique visual treatment modeled after golden age periodicals."

On Sale
Nov 17, 2020
Page Count
240 pages
Running Press

Carla Valderrama

About the Author

Carla Valderrama is an author, Hollywood historian, and the creator of the Instagram accounts @thiswashollywood and @thiswasfashion. This Was Hollywood is her first book. She lives in Los Angeles, where she can be seen wearing heart-shaped sunglasses and heard laughing anywhere within a five-mile radius.

Author Photo by: Zack Munson

Learn more about this author