Dark secrets of Christmas movies – cursed flick, racy blunder and tragedies

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    There's nothing more joyful than settling down to watch a classic feelgood Christmas film like It’s A Wonderful Life.

    Millions across the globe will settle down on the sofa in front of their telly's over the festive period after eating and drinking too much.

    While streaming services continue to release new Christmas flicks every year, some people just can't get enough of the classics blockbusters.

    READ MORE: Gogglebox star unrecognisable as she shows off dramatic transformation at Christmas bash

    But many of the most famous have scandals and tragedies associated with them – from curses, to death and crime.

    Here Daily Star reveals the dark secrets of the festive flicks.

    It’s A Wonderful Life

    Aged six, Karolyn Grimes played James Stewart’s cute daughter Zuzu who has the famous line: “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings."

    But in reality, the 82-year-old actress has been dogged by tragedy.

    She was orphaned in her teens – her mother had Alzheimer’s and died when Karolyn was 14, shortly followed by her father who perished in a car accident.

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    Sent to live with her aunt, she suffered mental abuse claiming her new foster mother would send her into the basement of the house where there were snakes – Karolyn was terrified of the creatures.

    She was divorced from her first husband Hal Barnes who later was killed in a deer-hunting accident and second husband Mike Wilkerson died from cancer. In 1989 tragedy struck when her 18-year-old son John killed himself.

    Karolyn said: "Life continues to be difficult. It always will be because that’s just life."

    Home Alone

    The classic starring Macaulay Culkin has been called "cursed" due to the misfortune which has befallen the cast since it hit cinemas in 1990.

    Culkin "divorced" his parents in 1994 to take control of his fortune out of their hands and the same year quit acting after growing "tired" of it.

    He was a character witness at the trial of Michael Jackson in 2005 and insists he was never abused by the troubled singer.

    In 2004 he pleaded guilty to a drugs charge and was given a one-year suspended sentence, while his half-sister died from a drug overdose and his sister Dakota died when she stepped in front of a car in Los Angeles.

    John Heard, who played Kevin’s dad, was married three times including to Superman star Margot Kidder for just six days but they all ended in divorce.

    His son Max died in his sleep aged 22 in 2016 while John himself died from a heart attack in 2017, aged 71

    .In August it was reported Devin Ratray, who played Kevin’s bullying older brother Buzz, was being investigated for an alleged rape in New York.

    Ratray, 45, denies the allegation

    The Santa Clause

    An X-rated error made its way into 1994 kids’ classic The Santa Clause – a sex hotline.

    In one scene, Tim Allen’s character Scott, below, jokes about dialling the number “1-800-SPANK-ME”.

    The line is a gag but children started dialling the number when the film was released on VHS – and it turned out to be a premium adult line.

    The scene was removed from the DVD release of the movie in 1999 and from the Disney+ cut, with the number changed in other versions to “1-800-POUND”

    Elf

    Will Ferrell’s lovable Buddy the Elf is appearing in this year’s Asda Christmas ad.

    But in the 2003 film, the actor was left with agonising headaches and insomnia as a result of the character’s love of maple syrup and sweets.

    Will, 55, said: "That was tough. I ingested a lot of sugar in this movie and I didn’t get a lot of sleep."

    Actor Faizon Love, who played the toy store manager, was arrested for assault in 2017 after a bust-up with an airport valet – video showed him grabbing the man by the neck and throwing him on the ground.

    Love was fined and received a suspended jail sentence.

    The actor has also controversially tweeted in support of disgraced comedian Bill Cosby.

    Love Actually

    As Emma Thompson’s cheating husband Harry, Alan Rickman played one of the least-liked characters in the 2003 film.

    And while he went on to have huge success in Harry Potter flicks, he died from pancreatic cancer in January 2016, aged 69.

    Other stars also struggled in the wake of the hit movie – Martine McCutcheon, who played sweary aide Natalie, failed to find great acting success, filed for bankruptcy in 2013 and has battled debilitating health issues including ME, Lyme disease and fibromyalgia.

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