|McCoy ca. 1899|
Outside the ring, McCoy was a flamboyant character with an eye for the ladies. He routinely carried up to $40,000 on his person and, though married ten times (including three times to Julia Woodruff Crosselmire), had no children. Shortly after retiring, the former fighter was arrested in Britain in 1912 on suspicion of stealing jewels from an Austrian princess in Belgium. Though the charges were eventually dropped, McCoy's reputation was permanently damaged. His post-fight career was filled with various unsuccessful business ventures. McCoy briefly opened a bar in New York City (where be befriended future film directors D. W. Griffith and Mack Sennett), entered the diamond business, ran a detective agency, and launched a car dealership. In 1917, McCoy was cast as a detective investigating a jewelry robbery in The House of Glass, a silent film shot in New York by French film pioneer Emile Chautard. In 1919, D. W. Griffith picked the retired pugilist for the role of a prizefighter in the director's masterpiece Broken Blossoms. McCoy also appeared in The Fourteenth Man (1920) directed by Griffith assistant Joseph Henaberry, followed by The Great Diamond Mystery, released in 1924 shortly after McCoy had been arrested for murder.
|McCoy at the LA Jail in 1924 (UCLA Library)|
|Hotel Tuller (Burton Historical Collection)|
Cantwell, Robert. The Real McCoy: The Life and Times of Norman Selby. Princeton, N.J.: Auerbach Publishers, 1971.