Eccentric entrepreneur who turned to film production in the early 1920s. In 1930 Hughes launched the career of Jean Harlow—the first of many ingenues he would find and promote—with “Hell’s Angels”, which he both produced and directed. Following a brief interruption in his film career (during which he embarked on a new trajectory as an airplane designer and pilot), Hughes sparked a furor with the appearance of "The Outlaw (1943), initially withdrawn from theaters thanks to the conspicuous cleavage of Jane Russell.
In 1944 Hughes formed a production company with Preston Sturges, and four years later he obtained a controlling interest in RKO, which he mismanaged from a distance for nearly ten years. Despite the studio’s loss of $20 million by 1953 and bankruptcy by 1957, he managed to sell it to a subsidiary of the General Tire Company for a $10 million dollar profit. Hughes was a recluse for the last ten years of his life, managing his business interests from a Las Vegas hotel… read more