He was one of America’s most beloved entertainers. As a star of radio, TV and film, his legacy has endured for the best part of a century. The holiday period just wouldn’t feel complete without hearing his perennial classic “White Christmas.” But entertainer Bing Crosby apparently harbored some pretty dark secrets. FBI reports, in fact, reveal some shady links to the Mafia.
A picture-perfect veneer
Bing Crosby’s illustrious career was rooted in wholesome family entertainment. The hefty PR machine surrounding him did a great job of painting the singer and actor’s life as that of a loving husband and doting father.
But the reality playing out behind the scenes wasn't all as it was being engineered to look to Crosby’s legions of fans. Behind the glossy veneer, something more human was at play.
Anyone with an in depth knowledge of Crosby will be aware of his nefarious past. Like the time he was arrested for drunk-driving when he was just 16 years old.
But many believed that the crooner had left his wild ways in the past, particularly after his first marriage to Wilma Wyatt, better known by her stage name, Dixie Lee.
Dixie and Bill
The budding young couple met when they were just 20 years old. In a whirlwind romance, Lee and Crosby married just as the latter’s career was starting to take off.
And since his new wife’s own career was already well established, the pair soon became darlings of the media across the United States. But scratch the surface, and not everything was picture perfect.
Painted as a villain
Just six months after their wedding, Lee requested a divorce on the grounds of “mental cruelty.” The story rocked Hollywood, not least because the details painted Crosby as the villain.
But the conflict was short lived, and the newlyweds reconciled just one week later. Any hopes for a wholesome, all-American family image, however, appeared to be damaged beyond the point of repair.