Eddie Mannix, a ‘Fixer’ of Old Hollywood, Couldn’t Fix His Connections to Suspected Murders

The world of celebrity true crime is a twisted one, and with the popularity of podcasts and television specials, more people than ever are getting invested in the tales of murder and mayhem that spring from Hollywood circles. One of the industry’s darkest stories is the tale of Eddie Mannix, a Hollywood insider who left a long trail of intrigue and mystery in his wake. For Mannix, who inspired a popular Coen brothers movie, the darker side of human nature was a regular occurrence, and he was tied to several murders over the course of his lengthy career in the business. 

(L-R) Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Eddie Mannix exchanging an award
(L-R) Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Eddie Mannix | Archive Photos/Getty Images

Who was Eddie Mannix?

RELATED: 11 of the Best True Crime Documentaries You Could Ever Watch

Eddie Mannix was born in New Jersey in 1891. Mannix developed a reputation as a “tough guy” early in his life, working as a bouncer and then as a treasurer of the Palisades Amusement Park. After earning enough renown, Mannix was hired as MGM’s general manager — but Mannix did a lot more than manage books and balance ledgers. Mannix was known as a “fixer,” a man who was hired to disguise the often-colorful personal lives of movie stars on the MGM payroll, hiding the sordid details of their behavior from fans, and those who might balk at buying movie tickets if they knew the truth.

Mannix earned the nickname “The Fixer,” and many stars went out of their way to avoid ending up on his bad side. Mannix reportedly had ties to criminals and the world of organized crime, which made him a somewhat intimidating figure in Hollywood, in spite of his working-class origins. 

The suspected murder of George Reeves

RELATED: The Best True Crime Shows on Netflix Right Now

Over the course of his time in Hollywood, Eddie Mannix was tied to several high-profile crimes. In 1937, Mannix’s wife, Bernice Fitzmaurice petitioned for divorce, claiming that Mannix abused her and had numerous affairs throughout their marriage. Shockingly, before Fitzmaurice had time to officially file, she died in a car accident. Her sudden death caused raise eyebrows, with some suspecting that Mannix could have played a role in her death.

The death of his wife was not the only tragedy that Mannix was connected to. According to The Guardian, in 1959, George Reeves, television’s original Superman, was found dead in his home. While many believed that Reeves died by his own hand, theories sprung up in the days and months following the discovery of his body, some theories that tied Mannix to his death, according to Biography. Sleuths have pointed to the fact that Reeves was involved in a long-term affair with Mannix’s second wife, former showgirl Toni Mannix, and that Mannix could have possibly ordered Reeves’s death. No evidence has surfaced that ties Mannix to the death of George Reeves — but for those who dig deep, the coincidences are undeniable. 

The complicated legacy of Eddie Mannix

RELATED: 5 Lesser Known Murder Cases That Deserve a True Crime Docuseries

Suspicious deaths were not the only crimes that Eddie Mannix was associated with during his years in Hollywood. Over the years, Mannix was reportedly guilty of helping to cover up brutal sexual assaults, as Slate reported, and other scandalous behavior on the part of film studio executives. In 1963, Mannix died of a heart attack, bringing an end to a long, less-than-illustrious career in the film industry. In the years since his death, Mannix has been portrayed in several major Hollywood movies, including by Josh Brolin in the Coen brothers movie Hail Caesar! and by Bob Hoskins in the 2006 movie Hollywoodland. Mannix’s career was much more complicated than any Hollywood movie could accurately portray — and when he passed away, he left behind a legacy of mystery and fear.