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Howard Hughes Was ‘Slowly Deteriorating’ In Tragic Final Days

Howard Hughes’ Health Slowly Deteriorated In Last Days
Source: Getty Images

Mar. 28 2019, Updated 2:46 p.m. ET

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Renowned film director, pilot, and business magnate Howard Hughes died on April 5, 1976, at age 70. For decades he was a major name in America and the world known for founding the Hughes Aircraft Company and dating Hollywood’s most gorgeous starlets.

His crowd consisted of beauties like Katherine Hepburn and Ava Gardner,

but despite being one of the richest and most successful men in the world,

Hughes turned recluse in the last 20 years of his life. As he disappeared from the spotlight, his health slipped away from him. Now, REELZ’s new docuseries, Autopsy: Howard Hughes is exposing details from Hughes’ autopsy and showing viewers the real reason for his mysterious death.

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On April 1975, the business mogul checked into the Xanadu Princess Hotel in the Bahamas. Now increasingly immobile at the age of 69, he spent his time alone, watching films and sleeping.

howard hughes health deteriorated last days featured

“He would sometimes watch movies over and over again, five or six times in a 24-hour period, never leaving that room” says Hughes’ biographer, James B. Steele.

The star became “more and more detached from his business operations” and shut himself off to his legacy, his loved ones and the world.

“After Hughes broke his hip, he never walked again. He wasn’t drinking liquids, he wasn’t eating right, he wasn’t getting exercise. He was slowly deteriorating, and he developed bed sores as a result, so the pain was multiplying,” says Hughes biographer Geoff Schumacher.

He died of kidney failure one year later.

Autopsy: Howard Hughes airs Sunday, March 31 at 8 ET / PT on REELZ.

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