See how the stars of Hollywood compare to their real-life counterparts
While many of the characters in Hollywood are invented for the new Netflix series, there's also plenty of familiar faces from the silver screen. From central characters Rock Hudson (Jake Picking) and Henry Willson (Jim Parsons) to cameos from the likes of Vivien Leigh (Katie McGuinness), the real stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood make their mark. Click through to see all of the show's star alongside their real-life classic counterparts.
Rock Hudson (Jake Picking)
A star of classics like Magnificent Obsession and Pillow Talk, Rock Hudson shocked the world when the long-closeted actor revealed his AIDS diagnosis in the 1980s. Here, he's offered a glimmer of a life different from a tragic existence caught between a rock and a hard place. Picking felt a "level of obligation and gravity" portraying him, given Hudson's place in Hollywood history. "I just found myself falling in love with Rock," Picking says. "I just wish he was alive and well so he could see the social progress [and] open-mindedness we've adopted."
Hattie McDaniel (Queen Latifah)
As the first person of color to win an Oscar for her role in Gone With the Wind, Hattie McDaniel made Hollywood history. But she still endured racism and intolerance, and was forced to sit at a segregated table at the ceremony. While she succeeded on both radio and the silver screen, McDaniel was never able to transcend the domestic roles she was relegated to. Here, Queen Latifah honors her legacy.
Henry Willson (Jim Parsons)
Behind every star is a star-maker, and manipulative, abusive agent Henry Willson was one of classic Hollywood's most notorious. With discoveries like Rock Hudson and Tab Hunter, he popularized the "beefcake" craze among male stars. "He was creating his own role in this society and new business," Jim Parsons explains. In reality, Willson died penniless, in an unmarked grave, partly due to the vast amounts he invested in developing his stars. But Hollywood has a different path in mind for Willson.
Anna May Wong (Michelle Krusiec)
The first Chinese-American movie star, Anna May Wong built a career that spanned from silent films to her own television show. Perhaps best known for her role opposite Marlene Dietrich in Shanghai Express, Wong made an indelible impression. Hollywood features the true story of her greatest career disappointment, losing a leading role in The Good Earth to a white woman in yellow face. While the real-life Wong retreated to television after that, this series gives her a second chance at glory.
Susan Hayward (Marie Oldenbourg)
Five-time Oscar nominee Susan Hayward makes a brief appearance in Hollywood. She pops up at the 1948 Oscars, where she was nominated for her first Academy Award for portraying an alcoholic in Smash-Up, the Story of a Woman. A renowned dramatic actress, Hayward built a career playing women in tragic circumstances, ranging from plane crashes to being sentenced to death row.
Hedda Hopper (Holly Kaplan)
Ryan Murphy immortalized Hedda Hopper previously in Feud: Bette and Joan with the great Judy Davis playing the notorious gossip columnist. She has a smaller role here, appearing as a reporter at the 1948 Oscars. Murphy admits he briefly contemplated having Davis reprise her role, but ultimately wanted to shake things up.
Loretta Young (Ashley Wood)
Loretta Young is another one of the Golden Age stars to get a brief cameo at the 1948 Oscars. In real life, she won the Academy Award that year in a surprise victory for her work in The Farmer's Daughter. Audiences today might know her best for her work as the titular role in Christmas classic The Bishop's Wife.
Vivien Leigh (Katie McGuinness)
Gone With the Wind star Vivien Leigh has a few choice appearances in the series, both at the 1948 Oscars and earlier at a pool party at George Cukor's house. Murphy questionably chooses to portray Leigh as a nymphomaniac, though the Oscar-winning star did struggle with mental illness. Leigh gave life to two of the screens most iconic Southern belles: Scarlett O'Hara and Blanche DuBois from A Streetcar Named Desire.
Guy Madison (Ryan Taylor)
Guy Madison was another one of the beefcake matinee idols that Henry Willson turned into a star. Though he never quite broke big in the movies, he played Wild Bill Hickok in The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok, a TV Western series that ran for seven years. In Hollywood, Madison gives Rock Hudson a glimpse of the abuse and physical expectations that come with being a star.
George Cukor (Daniel London)
One of the greatest directors of the studio era, George Cukor helmed such classics as The Women, The Philadelphia Story, A Star Is Born (1954), Gaslight, and My Fair Lady. Cukor's sexuality was an open secret in Hollywood, and he was known for hosting parties for closeted celebrities to be themselves, one of which is depicted frankly in Hollywood.
Luise Rainer (Camille Natta)
Luise Rainer was the first actress to win back-to-back Academy Awards. She took home gold for The Great Ziegfeld and The Good Earth, portraying a Chinese woman in the latter. Though the actual Rainer was a star in her own right, in Hollywood we only see her briefly as the woman who stole Anna May Wong's Oscar-winning role.
George Hurrell (Aidan Bristow)
The glamour photography of classic Hollywood has a distinctive look to it, and much of that is owed to renowned photographer George Hurrell. Throughout his career, he created striking portraits of stars ranging from Joan Crawford to Norma Shearer to Clark Gable. In Hollywood, the impact and allure of a Hurrell image is demonstrated when he's chosen to photograph the series' rising young stars.
Tallulah Bankhead (Paget Brewster)
Tallulah Bankhead was one of the most notorious actresses of the Golden Age era, famous for her bawdy sense of humor and promiscuous lifestyle. Bankhead had relationships with both men and women, which is a feature of her storyline in Hollywood. Audiences today likely know her best from her role in Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat or her guest starring appearance as herself on I Love Lucy. Here, we see Bankhead, played by Paget Brewster, romantically paired with Hattie McDaniel, a long rumored relationship amidst Bankhead's many affairs. "I'm as pure as the driven slush," she supposedly famously quipped.