Hollywood legend Barbara Stanwyck hid the shocking heartaches she endured in real life while reigning as Queen of Tinseltown. In a blockbuster new biography, “A Life of Barbara Stanwyck Steel-True, 1907-1940”, author Victoria Wilson reveals the horrors the “Stella Dallas” star endured but kept from her fans.
She was a victim of teen rape, a botched abortion, beatings and financial ruin.
“My father loved my mother madly and when she died, he went gypsy,” said the actress, who was born Ruby Stevens in Flatbush, Brooklyn, N.Y.
“I was raised by strangers, farmed out. So I really didn’t have any family.”
At age 14, she was raped by the son of a couple who were being paid $5 a week to give her room and board.
Badly shaken, she determined to make her own way in the world. Eventually, she landed a job as a nightclub dancer, working her way up to the famed Ziegfeld Follies.