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When Hollywood Studios Married Off Gay Stars to Keep Their Sexuality a Secret


During the Golden Age of Hollywood in the 1920s, actors and actresses shot to fame—but only if they tailored their images to the demands of the big studios. For LGBT actors, that often meant marrying a person of the opposite sex.

The early 20th century represented a unique time for LGBT people in the country. Throughout the Roaring Twenties, men dressed as women and gender non-conformity and queerness weren't as taboo in big cities as they would be years later.

Queerness could be appreciated on stage, but in the every day lives of major stars it was often hidden in sham unions known as "lavender marriages," according to Stephen Tropiano, professor of Screen Studies at Ithaca College and author of The Prime Time Closet: A History of Gays and Lesbians on TV.

These marriages were arranged by Hollywood studios between one or more gay, lesbian or bisexual people in order to hide their sexual orientation from the public. They date back to the early 20th century and carried on past the gay liberation movement of the 1960s.

Lavender marriages were a solve in part for “moral clauses” issued by big studios at the time. The clauses, first introduced by Universal Film Company, permitted the company to discontinue actors' salaries "if they forfeit the respect of the public.” The kind of behavior deemed unacceptable ranged widely from criminal activity to association with any conduct that was considered indecent or startling to the community. The clauses exist to this day.

“We have to remember that a lot of these decisions that were being made, they were economic decisions,” says Tropiano. “It was about a person holding on to their career.”

One of the earliest speculated lavender marriages was the 1919 union of silent film actor and early sex symbol Rudolph Valentino and actress Jean Acker, who was rumored to have been lesbian. On the couple’s wedding night, Acker apparently quickly regretted the marriage and locked her new husband out of their hotel room, according to the The New York Times. Soon after, they got divorced.

Valentino also married costume designer Natacha Rambova in 1923, at a time when his career was starting to take off and the roles he played were seen as less typically masculine, such as in the film “Monsieur Beaucaire” in 1924. His marriage to Rambova ended in 1925, which left some speculating that the marriages of the “pink powder puff” (a nickname Valentino acquired after playing effeminate roles on screen) were coverups to keep the sex symbol’s reputation intact.

Identifying how many Hollywood couples tied the knot to cloak their sexuality is, of course problematic since it’s primarily based on speculation.

“I think the hardest thing for a historian is to kind of sift through what the rumor [is] and what is actually factual," says Tropiano.

One commonly cited source for speculation is the memoir of Scotty Bowers, Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars. Bowers’ account details sexual encounters, gay and straight, that he claims he both arranged and took part in, beginning in 1946.

Bowers wrote that he had been sexually involved with leading actor Cary Grant and his roommate, Randolph Scott, for more than a decade. At the time, Grant was cycling through five marriages with women. Grant’s daughter, Jennifer Grant, has disputed the allegations, through her spokeswoman, saying in 2012 that her father as “very straight,” according to The New York Times.

Grant died in 1986, and many of the subjects whose lives Bowers describes are also deceased. Some have questioned whether Bowers' accounts in the autobiography, and the corresponding 2017 documentary Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood, are accurate. But the self-proclaimed “fixer” includes details and photographs that he argues back up his claims.

Among the most speculated lavender marriages was between the famed actor Rock Hudson and his secretary Phyllis Gates. They married in 1955 and separated two years later, after rumors of his homosexuality and infidelity began to pile up.

Waves of rumors and speculation around Hudson’s affairs became so widespread that they even helped foster the growth of celebrity tabloid journalism. The publication Confidential became popular in the mid-1950s by featuring salacious celebrity news. The tabloid outed popular figures like Hudson before outing was even a thing. Despite the coverage, Hudson never addressed his sexual orientation publicly before he died of AIDS in 1985.

Some gay actors chose to live openly, despite the risk. In the 1930s, actor William Haines refused to hide his relationship with his partner. Haines was contracted with MGM in the 1920s and ‘30s, while also living with a former sailor named Jimmy Shields.

Even with the common—yet unspoken—knowledge that the two men were romantically involved, Haines’ popularity didn’t take a hit until years later. That’s when he was given an ultimatum, either get married to a woman or he would be dropped by MGM, according to Tropiano.

“[Haines] had to make a choice between getting rid of his male partner and having a career,” says Tropiano. “And he actually chose the male partner.”

Haines then left the silver screen behind to create a successful interior design business with his partner. He’s now often considered one of Hollywood’s first openly gay stars.

Lavender marriages became less prevalent in the 1960s and ‘70s as the gay rights movement gained momentum following the Stonewall Riots of 1969.

Although representation in film and on television was still scarce, the actual lives of the stars on screen—straight, gay or bisexual—weren’t dictated by studios as much as they had been in the past.


The Secret History Of Gay Hollywood Finally Gets Its Movie

Matt Tyrnauer was at Gore Vidal’s home in the Hollywood Hills a few years before his death when Vidal suddenly proclaimed that he wanted to see someone named Scotty.

“I said to him, ‘Who is Scotty?’” Tyrnauer told me. “And he said, ‘Scotty was my pimp.’”

Tyrnauer, a longtime writer for Vanity Fair who has directed multiple movies, said he asked Vidal to elaborate. Vidal started to describe a gas station on Hollywood Boulevard when Tyrnauer realized he had heard about Scotty before ― and about the gas station.

“Wait a minute, this is the gas station that was a brothel?” he remembers asking Vidal.

Scotty, whose full name is Scotty Bowers, a former Marine, earned the title “Pimp to the Stars” in the years after World War II, when he ran a sex operation out of a trailer behind the gas station. The trailer came to serve as an escape for gay and bisexual members of Hollywood during an especially homophobic period in their industry.

“If you were gay or bisexual and a prominent person in Hollywood in the period after the Second World War, you were prohibited from living an authentic life in public or, in many cases, in private, because there were so many hazards,” Tyrnauer said.

Throughout his career, the eccentric Bowers, now 95, provided services to the likes of Cary Grant, Cole Porter and Katharine Hepburn, he says, accruing a covert reputation in Hollywood and out as an unprejudiced, sex-positive procurer. He developed friendships with cultural giants like sex researcher Alfred Kinsey and Vidal, who eventually introduced Bowers to Tyrnauer.

The result of that meeting is “Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood,” an unabashedly salacious documentary that hit theaters this month. In Bowers’ life story, Tyrnauer found a way to extoll a less straightwashed, sub rosa version of the golden era of Hollywood. Though most of Bower’s alleged clients are dead now and thus incapable of verifying or denying his accounts, Tyrnauer believes Bowers’ alternative tales are valuable ones, which bite back against the prudish, heterosexual narrative of midcentury LA.

Last week I spoke with Tyrnauer about making the film, getting to know Bowers and the titillating side of Hollywood that has remained closeted for so long. That conversation, reproduced below, has been edited and condensed for clarity.

This movie focuses on a time in Hollywood when it was more acceptable to be adulterous than gay, there were morals clauses [that made it a firable offense to be gay] and vice squads and magazines outing people. Then in walks this guy Scotty Bowers. Someone in the film says they were just waiting for someone like him to come along. So who was Bowers? And what service, exactly, was he providing to these people?

Scotty Bowers was a very handsome Marine who came out of the South Pacific in World War II, ended up in Los Angeles at the age of, I think, 22 and quickly found two kinds of work.

One was as a gas station attendant at Richfield Oil station at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Van Ness. The other type of work Scotty did was provide sexual services to members of the elite cast of Hollywood.

He’s sometimes referred to as the “Pimp to the Stars,” although I think “pimp” is a harsh term that leads to automatically pejorative thoughts. Scotty really is a much more positive figure who allowed stars ― who were really the victims of restrictions imposed on them by the studios through morals clauses ― to lead authentic lives.

The studios themselves were self-policing and through the morals clauses had a tight grip on the movie stars. Then there was the vice squad run by the Los Angeles Police Department, which was tantamount to a sexual Gestapo, persecuting people who had anything other than heteronormative relationships and often colluding with the press to frame, extort and humiliate people who were just trying to live authentic lives.

What drew you to Bowers’ story?

I saw an opportunity to make a movie about the alternate history of Hollywood or, in fact, show the alternate history of Hollywood through a single protagonist who is still alive at 95. The fact that he was sort of the mayor of the covert sexual world of this very significant city makes him an extremely important protagonist for a film that wants to fill in the blanks and show, before it’s too late, a full picture of exactly what was going down in the golden period of the studio system.

You follow him after he has written this book about his life. He says at one point he wrote the book to show that some of these people in Hollywood are just people ― fleshed-out, fully formed people, like anyone else. Did you make this film for a similar reason?

I viewed the film from the outset as a political film. Hollywood and Los Angeles aren’t just big famous cities or famous places. Starting 100 years ago, the studio system created the American myth, and that myth then spread all around the world. And at a certain point, the narrative that Hollywood insisted on producing was one that portrayed white, heterosexual lifestyles as the only moral option for living a decent life. This was very purposeful and, in the end, quite corrupt.

That there was more than meets than eye to the company town that produced these enduring myths is, I think, important.

Bowers’ book names names, and he goes into detail in your film about the particular sexual preferences of some of these celebrities. It had me thinking a lot about the politics of outing the dead. It’s addressed in your film a little bit. There’s a clip of women on “The View” discussing it, and some people ask him about it at some of his book signings. Was that something you grappled with at all?

I think Scotty puts it best in the film when someone confronts him and says ― I’m paraphrasing ― “Didn’t you feel guilty about writing a tell-all book? What if someone in your book’s grandkids finds out?” Scotty responds, quite sensibly, “What’s wrong with being gay?”

These are public figures, and some of them are extremely important public figures. They hold a unique place in the old psyche because of the power of Hollywood. If we’re going to have many biographies of Cary Grant, to have them all be straightwashed accounts of who Cary Grant was is not only dishonest but perhaps harmful. I would pose this question: Is it not relevant to know that Michelangelo was gay? If you’re doing a biography of Michelangelo that portrays him as a heterosexual male, I think that that’s doing a disservice to the reader, to say the least. So why wouldn’t we want to know the full spectrum of historic figures’ private lives when we’re so granularly studying these people almost 100 years after the prime of their fame?

Bowers also seems to have put a lot of time and thought into that as well. He said it might have been a secret to people outside Hollywood. But inside their social circles, many people knew these people were not wholly heterosexual, even if they were not publicly out.

He says also very wisely, “I wanted to show people that people are still people,” and that’s his way of making the point as well. Why put a movie star such as Cary Grant or Katharine Hepburn on some sanitized pedestal and insist on worshipping an artificial image that was burnished by a publicity machine? If you care so much to know the details of the lives of Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant and Tyrone Power and all the other great figures of the period, why not know the full spectrum? Why insist on continuing to perpetrate a straightwashed version of their biographies? It just doesn’t make any sense to me, and I think it’s really a form of homophobia.

The footage inside his homes is very interesting. It becomes obvious that Bowers is something of a hoarder. What did you take away from that?

Well, he’s a hoarder, to say the least, and I’m a neat freak, so to be filming in a hoarder’s world for two years was interesting for me. It had its disturbing elements ― because I find hoarding disturbing, as do a lot of people ― but also had its advantages as a filmmaker because he didn’t throw anything out. We were able to excavate in some of his storage units some very compelling proof of his existence of as the male madam of the gas station, including scores of photos from the period that he hadn’t seen since the time they were taken.

As to what Scotty’s hoarding means, I present it unvarnished in the film. I leave it to the interpretation of the viewers and the psychiatric community to say precisely what it symbolizes. If I had to guess, and this is an unqualified guess, I think it points to a lot of loss in his personal life, because he did have that. Starting with World War II and the death of his brother, also a Marine, on down to the death of his daughter from a botched abortion in the late ’60s, there’s been a lot of painful blows.

It seems that on top of the personal tragedies he has faced, his time in the war really affected him for the rest of his life.

He’s really the all-American boy of the 20th century. He’s just much more candid than most of them, so he’s telling you the parts that many left out.

Kinsey and Bowers were friends, right? That, to me, was one of the most interesting characters to enter the film. Do you know anything about that friendship and what drew Kinsey to Bowers?

Yes, I do. I called the Kinsey Institute at [Indiana University in] Bloomington, and I spoke to one of the researchers there, who said he was very familiar with Scotty Bowers because there was a very big file on Scotty in Dr. Kinsey’s personal archive, including correspondence, postcards and letters written from Scotty to Dr. Kinsey. Scotty was a major source and resource for Kinsey ― source because he was interviewed by Kinsey for the data pool for his groundbreaking book [Sexual Behavior in the Human Male] , which really changed the whole equation for sex and sexuality worldwide when it was published.

Kinsey sought Scotty out as a subject because he attempted to find certain sexual unicorns who could show him spectrums of sexuality that were never discussed and inaccessible to medical research up until that point. Scotty was one of those people, according to him. Kinsey wanted to know about Scotty’s activities, and Scotty being an open book ― at least in that period to a doctor who was willing to work to him confidentially ― told him everything, then helped him with this research by introducing him to worlds that Kinsey would not normally have access to, which were the hidden worlds of same-sexuality in Los Angeles at the time.

This gets to one of the major points in the movie, which is that the gay world in Hollywood had to be a secret because the consequences of being open were just too dire. You would be fired if you worked for a studio, or you could be arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department’s vice squad, or you could be simply humiliated or ostracized. It was not an easy time to be gay, especially in a city that had so many spotlights on its population and its environment. So Scotty introduced Kinsey to Rock Hudson and many other people in the city who were keen to meet the person who showed them perhaps for the first time that they were not degenerates or freaks or sexual outlaws but that they were normal human beings.

Someone in the film says he thought Bowers was almost something of an urban legend for a while, but you obviously got significant access to him. Was he open to the documentary from the start? What was your relationship like with him?

The person who said that was William Mann, who is a very esteemed historian and Hollywood biographer. He was saying that sources told him for years that you have to talk to Scotty Bowers to confirm a lot of the information about the unknown or previously untold sexualities of key figures in the movie colony, and he jokes, “I began to think Scotty was an urban legend because I heard about him so much but I could never figure out how to find him.”

So I figured out how to find him through Gore Vidal, who introduced me to him. I had heard about him for years from sources in Hollywood and subjects of articles I had written about. The person to tell me about Scotty was, in fact, Merv Griffin, who mentioned the gas station. He didn’t mention Scotty, but he said there was a gas station on Hollywood Boulevard where you used to go to get into trouble, which was his euphemism for same-sex activity, I gather.

At the time, I was a full-time writer, editor-at-large for Vanity Fair magazine, and I began to make notes about this mysterious gas station that seemed to be a kind of significant untold story about the secret world of gay Hollywood. One day, I was sitting with Gore Vidal in his living room in the Hollywood Hills, and he blurts out of nowhere, “I want to see Scotty.” I said to him, “Who is Scotty?” And he said, “Scotty was my pimp,” and I said, “Well, tell me more.”

He said, “We had a gas station on Hollywood Boulevard,” and then immediately I bolted up in my chair and said, “Wait a minute, this is the gas station that was a brothel?” And he said, “Yes, I met him there in 1948,” which Scotty confirmed for me. He had reconnected with Scotty in the last five years of his life. Next time I went to Gore’s house, Scotty was there. That’s how I met him and because of the endorsement of Vidal, I really had Scotty’s trust from the outset.

It’s amazing what a Gore Vidal endorsement will do for you, you know?

Well, in that area it was the ultimate. I’ll give you a line that I haven’t given to anyone else: Friends of Gore speculated to me when Scotty’s book was published that this was Gore’s ultimate “Fuck you” to Hollywood.

Really? Why do you think that was?

Because Vidal was a very brave, out gay man, and he, I think, knew all the secrets of Hollywood — or most of them. He thought that it was ridiculous that they were so protected and very hypocritical, and I think he knew who to go to to blow the lid off. He indeed did help Scotty get the book published just a few years before [Vidal’s] death.

This movie left me thinking about the politics of being gay in Hollywood today. By comparison, where do you think Hollywood is in 2018?

Like any big city, things are much better. There have been extraordinary strides in the abilities or people with sexual identities other than hetero to thrive and find acceptance. But there’s still a ways to go. In the movie business in particular, there’s a conundrum, which is that it’s thought that the success of many films depends on the sexual fantasies of the viewer, and it’s presumed that frequently those fantasies are heterosexual, and I suppose the fear is that if the leading man or leading woman is known to the viewer to be interested in the same sex in their offscreen life, the scenario onscreen might not work for them.

I’m guessing that’s why there aren’t a lot of out leading men and leading women, but that’s just a guess on my part, and I’m sure as the culture progresses and the embracing of looser sexual identities and sexual fluidity continues among younger, wiser generations that those individuals will be making these decisions one day and won’t be as strict in their tribal beliefs about cookie-cutter sexual identities.


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Some of the Golden Age of Hollywood's brightest stars were suspected to have been in "lavender" marriages—for the sake of their careers. During the Golden Age of Hollywood in the 1920s, actors and actresses shot to fame—but only if they tailored their images to the demands of the big studios. For LGBT actors, that often meant marrying a person of the opposite sex. The early 20th century represented a unique time for LGBT people in the country. Throughout the Roaring Twenties, men dressed as women and gender non-conformity and queerness weren't as tabooin big cities as they would be years later.

Queerness could be appreciated on stage, but in the every day lives of major stars it was often hidden in sham unions known as "lavender marriages," according to Stephen Tropiano, professor of Screen Studies at Ithaca College and author of The Prime Time Closet: A History of Gays and Lesbians on TV. These marriages were arranged by Hollywood studios between one or more gay, lesbian or bisexual people in order to hide their sexual orientation from the public. They date back to the early 20th century and carried on past the gay liberation movement of the 1960s.

Lavender marriages were a solve in part for “moral clauses” issued by big studios at the time. The clauses, first introduced by Universal Film Company, permitted the company to discontinue actors' salaries "if they forfeit the respect of the public.” The kind of behavior deemed unacceptable ranged widely from criminal activity to association with any conduct that was considered indecent or startling to the community. The clauses exist to this day. “We have to remember that a lot of these decisions that were being made, they were economic decisions,” says Tropiano. “It was about a person holding on to their career.”

One of the earliest speculated lavender marriages was the 1919 union of silent film actor and early sex symbol Rudolph Valentino and actress Jean Acker, who was rumored to have been lesbian. On the couple’s wedding night, Acker apparently quickly regretted the marriage and locked her new husband out of their hotel room, according to a November 8, 1991 The New York Times article. Soon after, they got divorced. Valentino also married costume designer Natacha Rambova in 1923, at a time when his career was starting to take off and the roles he played were seen as less typically masculine, such as in the film “Monsieur Beaucaire” in 1924. His marriage to Rambova ended in 1925, which left some speculating that the marriages of the “pink powder puff” (a nickname Valentino acquired after playing effeminate roles on screen) were coverups to keep the sex symbol’s reputation intact.

Identifying how many Hollywood couples tied the knot to cloak their sexuality is, of course problematic since it’s primarily based on speculation. One commonly cited source for speculation is the memoir of Scotty Bowers, Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars. Bowers’ account details sexual encounters, gay and straight, that he claims he both arranged and took part in, beginning in 1946. Bowers wrote that he had been sexually involved with leading actor Cary Grant and his roommate, Randolph Scott, for more than a decade. At the time, Grant was cycling through five marriages with women. Grant’s daughter, Jennifer Grant, has disputed the allegations, through her spokeswoman, saying in 2012 that her father as “very straight,” according to The New York Times.

Cary Grant died in 1986, and many of the subjects whose lives Bowers describes are also deceased. Some have questioned whether Bowers' accounts in the autobiography, and the corresponding 2017 documentary Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood, are accurate. But the self-proclaimed “fixer” includes details and photographs that he argues back up his claims.

Among the most speculated lavender marriages was between the famed actor Rock Hudson and his secretary Phyllis Gates. They married in 1955 and separated two years later, after rumors of his homosexuality and infidelity began to pile up. Waves of rumors and speculation around Hudson’s affairs became so widespread that they even helped foster the growth of celebrity tabloid journalism. The
publication Confidential became popular in the mid-1950s by featuring salacious celebrity news. The tabloid outed popular figures like Hudson before outing was even a thing. Despite the coverage, Hudson never addressed his sexual orientation publicly before he died of AIDS in 1985.

Some gay actors chose to live openly, despite the risk. In the 1930s, actor William Haines refused to hide his relationship with his partner. Haines was contracted with MGM in the 1920s and ‘30s, while also living with a former sailor named Jimmy Shields. Even with the common—yet unspoken—knowledge that the two men were romantically involved, Haines’ popularity didn’t take a hit until years later. That’s when he was given an ultimatum, either get married to a woman or he would be dropped by MGM, according to Tropiano. “Haines had to make a choice between getting rid of his male partner and having a career,” says Tropiano. “And he actually chose his male partner.” Haines then left the silver screen behind to create a successful interior design business with his partner. He’s now often considered one of Hollywood’s first openly gay stars.

Lavender marriages became less prevalent in the 1960s and ‘70s as the gay rights movement gained momentum following the Stonewall Riots of 1969. Although representation in film and on television was still scarce, the actual lives of the stars on screen—straight, gay or bisexual—weren’t dictated by studios as much as they had been in the past.


Old Hollywood Stars Who Were Secretly Homosexual

We often think of Hollywood as being accepting of homosexual men and women. After all, we have Alan Cumming, Neil Patrick Harris, Jodie Foster, and Ellen DeGeneres who are out and proud. Hollywood has also given us great films about same-sex relationship and gay rights such from Brokeback Mountain to Milk.

But there was a darker time in Hollywood when homosexual stars had to keep their sexuality as private as possible. Society wasn’t as tolerant and Hollywood had no interest, at the time, in challenging society’s norms.

Many film studios had “moral clauses” in their contracts. These would threaten a star’s career if they were found to have relations with the same sex.

The studios were happy to assist the LAPD’s vice squad to hunt down these stars. In turn, the LAPD was happy to assist the paparazzi to expose these stars and ruin their careers overnight.

One of the great icons of early Hollywood was James Dean. He won over the hearts of many American women with his portrayal of Jim Stark in Rebel Without A Cause. But it wasn’t just women who fancied the actor. James Dean himself is rumored to have had an interest in men.

One popular anecdote pushed by Dean was that he avoided being drafted for the Korean War by “kissing the medic.” During his short life, there were rumors that Dean was gay. When asked to discuss the matter, he reportedly said, “No, I’m not homosexual, but I am also not going through life with one hand tied behind my back.”

It was believed that Dean pursued relationships with Hollywood legend Marlon Brando as well as advertising executive Rogers Brackett.

Decades after his passing James Dean remains one of the greatest sex symbols that Hollywood has ever produced. He remains a heartthrob for many women…as well as for many men! He’s considered a gay icon and perhaps if times had been different, he’d have been more open about his feelings for men.

But James Dean wasn’t the only sex symbol known for pursuing same-sex relationships. Many men must have gawked at the image of Marilyn Monroe’s dress flying up in The Seven Year Itch. But there must have been many women who did the same.

In a 2012 biography of the icon, author Lois Banner claimed that Marilyn Monroe desired women and had affairs with them. It was believed that she allegedly had affairs with Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, and Barbara Stanwyck.

Actress Judy Garland allegedly claimed that Marilyn Monroe once pursued her at a party. There were also rumors that her marriage to baseball player Joe DiMaggio ended because she preferred women.

Were you aware that these two great sex symbols were likely secretly homosexual? Before we tell you even more about old Hollywood stars who were secretly homosexual, please like this video and subscribe to our channel for more unique and fascinating stories. Now, back to the video…

It wasn’t just the younger sex symbols who were reported to pursue same-sex relationships. One of the legendary couples of Hollywood was the actor Spencer Tracy and actress Katharine Hepburn.

In October 2016, Vanity Fair published an excerpt of Katharine Hepburn’s biography by William J. Mann. In this excerpt, it was claimed that Spencer Tracy would use the services of Scotty Bowers.

Bowers was known as the pimp for servicing Hollywood’s closeted homosexuals. He also claimed to have had an affair with Spencer Tracy.

So how did the allegedly homosexual Spencer Tracy have a relationship with actress Katharine Hepburn? It’s believed that their pairing was created by Hollywood studios who wanted to create the image of a great couple.

Scotty Bowers also knew Katharine Hepburn well and claimed that she was attracted to women. He claimed to have introduced the actress to many women over the years. One woman was named ‘Barbara’ and allegedly the two of them met for several years. Upon Katharine Hepburn’s death, Barbara allegedly received $100,000 check from the actress’s estate.

Let’s return now to one of the greatest leading men in Hollywood history. We know that James Dean was rumored to have pursued an affair with Marlon Brando. But what did Brando himself think about homosexuality?

We know about Brando’s brute sexuality on display in films ranging from A Streetcar Named Desire to Last Tango In Paris. It’s films like these which made women fawn over him. But he had no problem with having affairs with men as well.

In his 1976 autobiography, the actor claimed that homosexuality had become so “in fashion” that it was no longer news. He further stated that he had many ‘homosexual experiences’ and that he wasn’t ashamed to admit it and that he couldn’t care less about what others thought of him.

In fact, there are rumors that Marlon Brando enjoyed having affairs with many of Hollywood’s top stars throughout the ages. He was always known to be outspoken with his opinions and his views.

Marlon Brando showed us that he was very ahead of his time by boldly stating that he didn’t have any opposition to homosexuality. Perhaps in years to come he’ll be remembered as a champion for gay rights when it wasn’t so fashionable.

We mentioned that one of Marilyn Monroe’s flings was with the actress Barbara Stanwyck. In fact, it seems that there are numerous biographers, journalists, and cinephiles alike who have speculated about her sexuality.

Her relationships with Robert Taylor and Frank Fay are believed to have been just “for show,” much like the relationship between Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. Unlike Marlon Brando, Barbara Stanwyck would fiercely guard her private life and her sexuality.

In fact, she would throw journalists and writers out of her house when she would get pushed about her sexuality. In her later years, she would accuse one journalist of senior abuse for asking about her sexuality.

One of the most frightening screen performances that classic Hollywood has given us was Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. The enigmatic role was played by actor Anthony Perkins, who himself was an enigma.

While he was married and had two children, it was rumored that he would pursue relationships with men on the side. Once again, Scotty Bowers comes into the picture, as he claimed that he would introduce the actor to many “handsome young men.”

It’s also rumored that the actor received flack and was often mocked for his alleged homosexuality. If such is the case, it’s only natural that he tried his best to keep his personal life as private as possible.

Another character actor who allegedly also had relations with men was Montgomery Clift. Some media outlets have done their best to depict the actor as a troubled soul who battled depression due to hiding a dark secret.

However, there’s another perspective that he was actually very comfortable with his affections for men. Many of Montgomery Clift’s roles involved him being a brooding and almost depressive character.

Yet, this was in stark contrast to his real-life personality. He was known to be very lighthearted and carefree when he was with his partners. He also refuted many of the restrictions that Hollywood studios put on actors. He refused to take roles that he didn’t feel suited him.

This put Montgomery Clift ahead of his time. Upon reflection, perhaps he was a pioneer in making Hollywood more accepting toward homosexual stars.

But we must remember that not everyone could be as bold or open as Marlon Brando or Montgomery Clift. One of the biggest crossover stars during the early days of Cinema was the Welsh actor and composer, Ivor Novello.

Until 1967, homosexual relations were illegal in the UK. As such, he had to keep his sexuality private in his native country. But traveling across the pond to Hollywood changed nothing, as the climate in the first half of the twentieth century was still hostile to homosexuality.

Ivor Novello never publicly revealed his sexuality. Nevertheless, among his social circles it seemed that his homosexuality was apparent. It’s also believed that prior to 1967, the British police would turn a blind eye to his liaisons with men.

In Hollywood, it seems as if he managed to escape the LAPD’s vice squad as well as the snapshots from the paparazzi.

One wonders that had he been born in a different era, he could be open about his feelings without worrying about keeping it quiet from others.

Today, things have changed tremendously in Hollywood. As we discussed in our introduction, this is one of the few industries that’s tolerant toward homosexuals. It’s now an industry where the biggest stars as well as newcomers can be open about their sexuality.

Many of the earliest supporters of same-sex marriage came from Hollywood. In recent years, many great Hollywood films have revolved around same-sex relationships.

As we now take it for granted, we must remember that this wasn’t always the case. We must remember how Ivor Novello kept his sexuality a big secret. We must remember how Barbara Stanwyck was bothered by intrusive journalists and authors.

We must also be grateful for actors such as James Dean, Marlon Brando, and Montgomery Clift who weren’t afraid to be open about homosexuality. It’s because of their frankness that Hollywood has made progress.

So what do you think about how Old Hollywood stars who were secretly homosexual were treated? Do you feel that progress came too late? Do you also think Hollywood should ignore a star’s private lives and values?

Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.

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They said 'yes' to drugs . and child labor

Young actress Judy Garland was signed to a contract with MGM studio in 1935 when she was just 13 years old. The studio quickly put her to work, pairing her up with fellow child actor Mickey Rooney and forcing her to adhere to a grueling schedule of singing and dance rehearsals. According to Timeline, the young stars frequently worked as many as six days a week, often for 18 hour days. In order to keep energy levels high and Garland's weight down, she was supplied with a steady stream of amphetamines.

Before her death of a drug overdose at just 47 years old in 1969, Garland herself reflected on the manner in which the studio controlled her and her young co-star through drugs and nonstop work, saying, "They'd give us pills to keep us on our feet long after we were exhausted. Then they'd take us to the studio hospital and knock us out with sleeping pills — Mickey (Rooney) sprawled out on one bed and me on another. Then after four hours they'd wake us up and give us the pep pills again so we could work 72 hours in a row" (via The Daily Express).


Hollywood Fixer Opens His Little Black Book

STRAIGHT actors who wanted to pay for sex in the 1990s had Heidi Fleiss. Gay ones during the late 1940s and beyond apparently had Scotty Bowers.

His story has floated through moviedom’s clubby senior ranks for years: Back in a more golden age of Hollywood, a guy named Scotty, a former Marine, was said to have run a type of prostitution ring for gay and bisexual men in the film industry, including A-listers like Cary Grant, George Cukor and Rock Hudson, and even arranged sexual liaisons for actresses like Vivien Leigh and Katharine Hepburn.

“Old Hollywood people who have, shall we say, known him would tell me stories,” said Matt Tyrnauer, a writer for Vanity Fair and the director of the 2008 documentary “Valentino: The Last Emperor.” “But whenever I followed up on what would obviously be a great story, I was told, ‘Oh, he’ll never talk.’ ”

Mr. Bowers, 88, recalls his highly unorthodox life in a ribald memoir scheduled to be published by Grove Press on Feb. 14, “Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars.” Written with Lionel Friedberg, an award-winning producer of documentaries, it is a lurid, no-detail-too-excruciating account of a sexual Zelig who (if you believe him) trawled an X-rated underworld for over three decades without getting caught.

Image

“I’ve kept silent all these years because I didn’t want to hurt any of these people,” Mr. Bowers said recently over lemonade on his patio in the Hollywood Hills, where he lives in a cluttered bungalow with his wife of 27 years, Lois. “And I never saw the fascination. So they liked sex how they liked it. Who cares?”

He paused for a moment to scratch his collie, Baby, behind the ears. “I don’t need the money,” he continued. “I finally said yes because I’m not getting any younger and all of my famous tricks are dead by now. The truth can’t hurt them anymore.”

Twenty-six years after Hudson’s death from AIDS and more than four decades after “Hollywood Babylon” was first published, it will come as a surprise to no one that the images the movie factories created for stars of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s — when Mr. Bowers was most active — were just that: images. The people who fed the world strait-laced cinema like “The Philadelphia Story” and perfect-family television like “I Love Lucy” were often quite the opposite of prudish in private.

At the same time, a lot of what Mr. Bowers has to say is pretty shocking. He claims, for instance, to have set Hepburn up with “over 150 different women.” Other stories in the 286-page memoir involve Spencer Tracy, Cole Porter, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and socialites like the publisher Alfred A. Knopf. “If you believe him, and I do, he’s like the Kinsey Reports live and in living color,” said Mr. Tyrnauer, who recently completed a deal to make a documentary about Mr. Bowers.

“Full Service” at the very least highlights how sharply the rules of engagement for reporting celebrity gossip have changed. The sexual shenanigans of movie stars were a currency for tabloids stretching back to Hollywood’s earliest days, but studios and, subsequently, squadrons of privately hired public relations experts could usually keep all but the most egregious behavior out of the news media. Secrets were kept.

A degree of that still goes on, of course, but it’s much harder to keep details as salacious as the ones Mr. Bowers outlines under wraps. Now all it takes is one pair of loose lips for TMZ to beam all manner of embarrassing information around the globe.

The people behind the memoir, including Mr. Bowers’s agent, David Kuhn, and Morgan Entrekin, the publisher of Grove/Atlantic, insist that “Full Service” is not a prurient tell-all, but instead provides a window into an erased, forgotten and denied past of Los Angeles. In his pitch to publishers, Mr. Kuhn positioned it as no less than a tale about “the complex and conflicted psychosexual history of America’s soul.”

A lot of big publishers didn’t agree, or at least were not willing to risk the bawdy stuff to get to any larger point. (Yes, the book was offered to Knopf.) Mr. Entrekin said he decided to publish “Full Service” partly because “there seemed to be nothing meanspirited about it at all.

“You don’t get the sense that this guy is trying to exploit these experiences,” he said.

The heirs and estates of some of the people mentioned in the book are bound to feel otherwise. Fans, too.

“He needs to brace himself for attacks,” said William J. Mann, the author of celebrity biographies like “Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn,” which details what he says was Hepburn’s lesbianism and Tracy’s bisexuality, using Mr. Bowers (identified as Scotty) as one of several sources. “Some of the pushback is going to be homophobia,” Mr. Mann added. “But there will also be people who say he’s making it up to sell books and others who say why can’t you let these people rest in peace.”

“Kate” drew all those reactions and more when it came out in 2006. In particular, “Spencer Tracy: A Biography,” written by James Curtis and published in October, dismisses Mr. Mann’s account of Hepburn’s and Tracy’s sexuality, characterizing Mr. Bowers as unreliable. “Bowers is full of glib stories and revelations, all cheerfully unverifiable,” Mr. Curtis writes.

Jennifer Grant, the daughter of Cary Grant, declined to comment on Mr. Bowers’s book. But her spokeswoman said Ms. Grant’s book, “Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant,” published in 2011, acknowledges that she knew him to be very straight and that he was amused by chatter that he was bisexual.

The ABC News anchor Cynthia McFadden, an executor of the Hepburn estate, said it was its long-standing practice not to comment about books like “Full Service.”

Mr. Entrekin said that the book had been vetted by a libel lawyer. “Based on his comments, we deleted some information,” he said.

Lawyers who specialize in celebrity-related matters said neither federal copyright law nor the patchwork of state-based “right of publicity” laws offer recourse to heirs or estates displeased with assertions published in a memoir. “They might be in tears, but there’s nothing they can do about it,” said Alan U. Schwartz, a veteran entertainment lawyer at Greenberg Traurig.

A $20 bill, given as a tip, according to Mr. Bowers, bought his services in the beginning. That was 1946, and he was 23. As Mr. Bowers tells it, he stumbled into his profession by accident.

Newly discharged from the Marines after fighting in the Pacific during World War II, Mr. Bowers got a job pumping gas at the corner of Van Ness Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard, not far from Paramount Pictures. One day Walter Pidgeon (“Mrs. Miniver”) drove up in a Lincoln two-door coupe, according to the book, and propositioned Mr. Bowers, who accepted.

Soon, word got around among Pidgeon’s friends, and Mr. Bowers, from his base at the station, started “arranging similar stuff” for some of Bowers’s more adventurous friends.

Many clients were not famous, Mr. Bowers said. Film production was flourishing in the late 1940s, and Los Angeles became a destination for writers, set designers, hairstylists and other “artists with open minds,” as Mr. Bowers put it. It was also a time of the vice squad, which raided gay bars. “The station was a safer hangout,” he said. “Sometimes police would come around, sure. But I think I never got caught partly because I kept everything in my head. There was no little black book.”

Perhaps it’s hard to look at Mr. Bowers today — an elderly man with sloped shoulders and a shock of unruly white hair — and believe that a half-century ago he was sought out by some of the most handsome men to have ever strutted through Hollywood. But after some time with him, the still-sparkling blues and the impish smile help convince you that he could have definitely had seductive powers.

Mr. Bowers quit pumping gas in 1950 and says he supported himself for the next two decades through prostitution, bartending and working as a handyman. Mr. Bowers writes that, in addition to his gay clients, he also gained a following among heterosexual actors like Desi Arnaz, who used him as a type of matchmaking service. Mr. Bowers, who says he personally “prefers the sexual company of women,” says he never took payment for connecting people like Arnaz with bedroom partners.

“I wasn’t a pimp,” he said. (Mr. Arnaz’s wife at the time, Lucille Ball, apparently felt otherwise, according to “Full Service.”)

Mr. Bowers said he continued this life until the onset of AIDS in the 1980s he also married in 1984. AIDS “brought an end to the sexual freedoms that had defined much of life in Tinseltown ever since the birth of movies,” Mr. Bowers writes. “It was obvious that my days of arranging tricks for others were over. It was too unsafe a game to play anymore.”

Over the years, according to Mr. Bowers, various writers he encountered considered writing about him. One was Dominick Dunne, whose son, the actor and director Griffin Dunne, provided a blurb for the “Full Service” book jacket. (“A jaw-dropping firsthand account of closeted life in Hollywood during the ’40s and ’50s.”)

Mr. Bowers says Tennessee Williams, during a visit to the Beverly Hills Hotel in the 1960s, wrote “a revealing exposé.” But Mr. Bowers hated it, and Williams scrapped it. “He made me sound like a mad queen flying over Hollywood Boulevard on a broomstick directing all the queens in town,” he said. “It was way over the top.”


5. Whitewashing

Few people have heard the name Margarita Carmen Cansino. Her father was Spanish Roma and her mother was Irish-American. In typical Hollywood fashion, she was typecast as the exotic foreigner in a series of B movies. When Fox didn’t renew her contract, she tried her luck with Columbia.

To make her more marketable, Harry Cohn transformed her into Rita Hayworth.

She lost weight, dyed her hair red, and underwent painful electrolysis procedures to raise her hairline, since her low hairline was considered ethnic.

Once she was marketed as a white actress, Hayworth rose to international fame and was even nicknamed “The Love Goddess.” She made 61 movies and was ranked #19 on the American Film Institute&aposs List of Greatest Stars of All Time.

Studios certainly weren’t above changing their actors’ appearances and choosing stage names for them. Columbia pressured Marilyn Novak to use the name Kim Novak. 20th-Century Fox told Norma Jean Mortenson to go by Marilyn Monroe, a name she never liked. But Rita Hayworth&aposs price of fame was complete renunciation of her background and erasure of her natural beauty.


Usage [ edit ]

With the inclusion of morality clauses in the contracts of Hollywood actors in the 1920s, some closeted stars contracted marriages of convenience to protect their public reputations and preserve their careers. A noteworthy exception that demonstrated the precarious position of the public homosexual was that of William Haines, who brought his career to a sudden end at the age of 35. He refused to end his relationship with his male partner, Jimmy Shields, and enter into a marriage at the direction of his studio employer, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Α] Some companies punished actors for defying these clauses by not paying them. Universal Film Company justified their actions by labeling the actor's behavior as unacceptable this included having attractions that weren't heterosexual. These clauses placed actors in a difficult situation as they put their livelihoods on the line and essentially pressured them into lavender marriages. Lavender marriages were also a way to preserve the public's image of a celebrity, especially if these celebrities were famous for their looks or sex appeal. Β] The end of the 20th century brought about a change for the LGBTQ+ community, particularly after the 1969 Stonewall riots. Because of this, lavender marriages between celebrities became less common. Γ]

The term lavender marriage has been used to characterize the following couples/individuals:

  • The English broadcaster and journalist Nancy Spain considered entering a lavender marriage to disguise her relationship with Joan Werner Laurie, a magazine and book editor. Δ]
  • The marriage of Robert Taylor and Barbara Stanwyck supposedly disguised the purported bisexuality of both and has been characterized as lavender for that reason, but it was prompted by the need to protect both their reputations after a Photoplay magazine article reported they had been living together for years while unmarried. Ε]
  • Actor Rock Hudson, troubled by rumors that Confidential magazine was planning to expose his homosexuality, married Phyllis Gates, a young woman employed by his agent, in 1955. Gates insisted until the time of her own death that she had had no idea the marriage was anything other than legitimate. Ζ]
  • The term has been applied to the marriage of Tyrone Power and French actress Annabella in 1939. Η]
  • American theater actress and producer Katharine Cornell married stage director Guthrie McClintic in 1921. She appeared only in productions he directed, and they lived together in their Manhattan townhouse until his death in 1961. ⎖]
  • Swedish Hollywood actor Nils Asther and vaudeville entertainer Vivian Duncan had a brief marriage of convenience that resulted in one child Asther was a well known homosexual who had a relationship with actor/stuntman Kenneth DuMain. ⎗]
  • Hollywood film actress Janet Gaynor and costume designer Adrian were married from 1939 until his death in 1959, and had a son together. Gaynor was rumored to be bisexual and Adrian was openly gay within the Hollywood community, and it is assumed their relationship was a lavender marriage mandated by the studio system. Gaynor later re-married, to producer Paul Gregory and she and Gregory were close friends with Broadway actress Mary Martin, who was rumored to be bisexual, and Martin's husband Richard Halliday, a drama critic who was a closeted gay man. The foursome lived together on Martin's ranch in the state of Goiás, Brazil, for several years. ⎘]

Although lavender marriages are typically associated with LGBTQ+ celebrities, people of all backgrounds have used them for protection and convenience. These individuals have found solace on websites where they can express their distress about their marriages of convenience, but not many have talked about their experience outside of the Internet, apart from an article in The Guardian in November 2019, asking individuals to share their reasons for marrying for convenience. ⎙] In November 2017, an article was published by the BBC about marriages of convenience in Asian LGBTQ+ communities in the UK. ⎚]

The BBC article and its participants refer to a "marriage of convenience" rather than a lavender marriage, but they are still referring to a marriage that hides one or both partner's sexuality. Individuals reported that family expectations and keeping up an image were several reasons why they had a marriage of convenience. Awemir Iqbal, a gay man originally from Pakistan and residing in West Yorkshire, stated that he understood why people had a marriage of convenience to satisfy their family's wishes. A fear of tarnishing the family name, or being disowned if they were to express their sexuality by pursuing same-sex relationships, leads some to enter into a marriage of convenience. Support for LGBTQ+ individuals comes from "Karma Nirvana", a group to help individuals escaping forced marriages. Karma Nirvana's founder, Jasvinder Sanghera, says there are probably more marriages of convenience than are reported. Websites such as Mocmatch, Saathinight, Al-Jannah are places where individuals can find partners to partake in a marriage of convenience. ⎚]

Lavender marriages or marriages of convenience can also be found in China, where same-sex marriages or the LGBTQ+ community are not accepted. During the Chinese New Year, people travel home to celebrate with their families, but young people also have to worry about pressures surrounding marriage and having children. For gay Chinese men and lesbian Chinese women, societal pressure to have a heterosexual relationship can be so profound that they often turn to lavender marriages or "cooperative [marriages]". Some individuals, like Tiger Zhao, marry lesbian women to undertake societal and parental expectations and ease some pressure. Many couples report that the lavender marriages do more harm than good if individuals deny themselves the expression of their sexuality outside of the marriage. The topic is not publicly discussed because homosexuality is not widely accepted. [ citation needed ]

However, smaller LGBTQ+ communities have gained enough momentum for an app to have been developed specifically focused on providing lavender marriages for LGBTQ+ individuals. The app, called "Queers", has been discontinued, but it made such an impact in the LGBTQ+ community that former members have asked Queers founder, Liao Zhuoying, for a partner of the opposite sex they can take home to prevent nagging from family members. ⎛]


18 Salacious Scandals from the Golden Age of Hollywood

The secret cross dresser J. Edgar Hoover kept personal files on hundreds of people in part to protect himself from blackmail and innuendo. FBI

4. J. Edgar Hoover&rsquos files on Hollywood personalities

After meeting Charles Chaplin at a dinner party, J. Edgar Hoover began using the resources of the FBI to compile a dossier on what he considered to be the Hollywood star&rsquos un-American beliefs and activities. Eventually the file grew to over 1900 pages, and was instrumental in Chaplin&rsquos long exile from his adopted country. Chaplin was not alone. Hoover used, or rather abused, his position as head of the FBI to keep files on stars, directors, producers, and reporters &ndash indeed on anyone whom he considered possibly subversive or anti-American. The files were held for the purpose of blackmail, and were extensive collections of personal information and activities. He documented, often through little more than innuendo, potential homosexual activity, drug use, alcohol use (both during and after prohibition), sexual peccadilloes, extramarital affairs, and political beliefs.

When he found it beneficial to his own interests, Hoover leaked information, collected but often unconfirmed, to press representatives sympathetic to his views, which were anti-communist, anti-Semitic, and often anti-feminist. Scandals in the Hollywood periodicals of the day, later amplified by the mainstream press, were fed by the FBI files as Hoover attempted to discredit Hollywood&rsquos elite. Most of the information he collected and held secretly was intended to be used for his personal benefit, and the vast majority of the information was collected without regard to its accuracy or its relevance to the mission of the FBI, as were most of Hoover&rsquos &ldquopersonal files&rdquo. One of the greatest scandals in Hollywood&rsquos, indeed in all of American history, was the abuse of power routinely practiced by the man who considered himself to be the greatest lawman in America throughout his long and self-serving career.


Homosexuals in Hollywood

I was watching some old musicals and was struck by the tremendous influence of gays and lesbians on those films.

From set design to costumes to the wonderful choreography, you can clearly see the whimsical, clever, happy, passionate, and inventive influence on these terrific films.

From costume designer Adrian to Edith Head to Erte and Orry Kelly and so many more, hats off to our creative and gifted gay brothers and their achievements.

Gays and Lesbians have always been the backbone of film as well as dance and theater.

In 1929, the top movie box office draw was an out gay man, Billy Haines. Our most beloved stars have been or are gay.

It is only natural that the creative influence would extend to the "back of the house" crafts.

Adrian was NOT gay, and I'm the dame who can prove it!!

Is this supposed to be a newsflash? If so, you've failed miserably.

[quote]I'm the dame who can prove it!!

I knew this was coming. Next we'll hear from the tired old Helen Lawson troll.

If people want to fulfill stereotypes, I suppose that's their prerogative. I've been working as an actuary for an insurance company for 11 years, and have yet to meet another gay man in this field. I'm very proud to be an individual, and not just toeing the stereotype line by becoming an actor, flight attendant or hairdresser.

We'll have to work harder to excite you, r4. That's our only purpose here.

Believe me, Adrian was a flaming homo.

No R3, it was not meant to be a newsflash, only a thread to start a discussion on the great history of gays and lesbians in the entertainment field and to offer something else here at the DL other than the MJ death and the attending racism it has sparked.

Here's an interesting article, OP on gay set and costume design. It stems from gay painters and all creative arts. Americans probably don't realize the influence of gays and lesbians in their daily lives and on the culture they enjoy.

Also, Adrian was gay. I remember an AD spread on him and Janet Gaynor, "the wife", and the decor and the fact they sat miles apart on a sofa told the whole story.

Billy Haines was not an "out gay star." He was a star whose popularity was waning, he was outed (arrested I think), and the studio used that to get rid of him. He became a decorator and was with his male partner for many years, and they were both friends to stars from Carole Lombard to Joan Crawford. I have enormous respect for Billy Haines for being an out gay man at that time, but the public was not aware of his sexuality so I don't think "out gay star" is accurate. Out to his co-workers, probably, but that's it.

It was Haines, I think, who ended up in court on ridiculous charges because a young boy at the beach started hanging around the group Haines was with. Nothing improper happened, the gay men were just nice to a kid who approached them but his father pitched a fit and made it seem as if the child had been somehow harmed. No one even claimed that anything sexual had happened, I don't think, just that these awful gay men were in the general vicinity of a male child. There are reproductions of stories about it in Hollywood Babylon and the homophobia is dripping from the pages. "Pink poodles" and every other silly ass, sneering stereotype is brought out (who knows if Haines even had a pink poodle?) but none of it changes the fact all that happened was a young boy approached the group and they let him hang out for a while.

I was under the impression that Billy Haines had a partner, made no secret about it, refused to employ starlets for PR situations and when he wouldn't play along, Jack Warner canned him. It was only then that he had to have a new profession and began decorating.

The fact that Busby Berkeley WASN'T Gay is one of the more amazing things I've ever heard.

R11, Haines was at Metro, not Warners. It was L.B. Mayer who canned him. And, yes, he was pretty adamant about living an out gay life with his partner, Jimmy. He was not "out" to the general public but he certainly didn't want to hide who he was. It was the studio that was doing all the damage control, which was fine whenever he was a top star but not when his popularity began to wane and he got caught in those compromising legal positions. Read "Wisecracker."

Billy Haines was the only guy at MGM I didn't bang (except for Lassie!)

Cristina Crawford quoted her mother, Joan in "Mommie Dearest" as saying, "Billy and Jimmy have the best marriage in town!"

Edith Head is not a drag name, dear. She was not a gay brother.

But Edith "ate at the Y" so she counts, dear.

How about Fred Astaire? and Eleanor Powell? Both seemed so talented and so gay.

Eleanor Powell was so beautiful. sigh.

That would make her a sister.

For me, it is the whimsey, the fantasy or elegance of the sets that took you into the story, that became almost another actor in the scene.

Now, so much today is computer generated and doesn't have the emotion of set construction.

I love the sets for The Women and the big Hollywood musical numbers.

The costumes Joan wore in the 40's. And yes, hard to believe Busby Berkeley wasn't queer.

Another Hollywood gay was Mitchell Leisen, who was a costume and set designer before becoming a director. Leisen's screwball comedies like Easy Money and Midnight were enormously popular and helped define an era and a genre, and his film Death Takes A Holiday is considered a solid, contemplative mood piece. Leisen did marry but he's also widely known to be gay or least bi-sexual.

Gene Kelly is on TMC right now. The sets and costumes really are his partners. All done by gays.

I worked for many years, the 60s to the early 90s at 20th and MCA, in the shop dept. We're everywhere on the Lot.

Charles Walters was a great gay director/dancer at MGM. He directed Judy in Summer Stock and Easter Parade and danced with her in Presenting Lily Mars. Roger Edens, Judy's vocal coach was gay. Kay Thompson was a bisexual. Sydney Guilaroff, the best damned hairdresser in Hollywood, was MGM's resident stylist. Adrian and Irene were gay. Hell, EVERYONE was gay.

Edith Head only looked gay.

Orry Kelly was also a terrific costume designer - think Marilyn's near nude dress in Some Like It Hot, he got an oscar for his costumes in Les Girls etc- and he was gay, and it seems very good pals with Cary Grant when they were young - presumably before Randolph Scott came on the scene.

and Travilla of course who also did some great Monroe costumes. I think Oleg Cassini was the only straight dress designer in hollywood which meant he got lots of action - having romanced Grace Kelly and marrying Gene Tierney among his other conquests.

All those chorus boys (including the young George Chakiris) one sees dancing around those female stars like Marilyn, Jane Russell must all have had a great time too.

Ditto Charles Walters as mentioned - he is the dancer with Joan Crawford in the hilarious Torch Song.

Tommy Rall is a terrific gay dancer from the golden age and he is still going and has a website!

Love him with Ann Miller in Kiss Me Kate and he is one of those brothers in 7 Brides - he was also the ballet dancer with Babs in the send up of Swan Lake in Funny Girl.

There is a good interview with him in the extras on the 7 Brides dvd.

r27 again - Tommy Rall also has a good role in the 1955 My Sister Eileen competing with Bob Fosse (they have a great dance number together) for Janet Leigh.

Speaking of chorus boys all those sailors in South Pacific can't all have been straight, and they include body builder Ed Fury who had a few bit parts at Fox (he was photographed with Widmark, Susan Hayward etc) and he is the guy introduced to Joan Crawford in Female On The Beach - bet he could tell a few tales, if still going.

It must have been fun on the set and in the dressing rooms for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes when they were shooting Jane's "Anyone Here For Love" number with all the guys in those skin tight flesh color shorts.

The very hetero or so it seemed Howard Hawks seems to have had a penchant for cute young guys in his movies: Rick Nelson in Rio Bravo, young hot James Caan in El Dorado .

Busby Berkeley was gay or probably bi. I worked with this lady who her father did something in show business, but she wouldn't tell me who here father was because she was extremely private. Anyway, I watched a documentary about Busby Berkeley, and I came in the next day to work. I mentioned the documentary I watched the night before, and she said she too watched that documentary. She said those people who were interview were being nice, she swore the man was gay. Even though he was married, it was a front from what she told me. This woman did not believe in making up stories. She was a very straightforward person. And she rarely gossiped because she didn't believe in it.

"South Pacific" sailor hunks also included Roy Ely (Tarzan) and Doug McClure.

I want the truth about Edith. Did she really eat at the Y? Costume design seems a rather unusual career choice for a lesbian.

"Costume design seems a rather unusual career choice for a lesbian."

Retire your gay card immediately!

I think that was a rumor that was going on for years, but I heard it wasn't true. Edith Head was not gay. Also, she was very happily married from what I heard as well.

ALL of the top costume designers at the Hollywood studios were gay men in the 1930s. Adrian, Orry Kelly, Travis Banton, Walter Plunkett and Howard Greer. and it drove the studio heads like Mayer, Zanuck, Cohn and Warner crazy because they couldn't maintain much control over these gay men who became the confidantes of all their female stars.

It wasn't until the end of the decade that they were replaced by more practical women designers like Edith Head, Irene and Helen Rose who showed a bit more loyalty to the studios.

Edith Head was only gay for herself. She was tightly wound, pulled all the credit to herself, and wouldn't have admitted an lesbian impulse no matter what her natural inclinations would have been because she was all ambition and status.

I'm going to butcher a line from "Before Night Falls" but it goes something like.

Homosexuals have long defined what we consider to be beauty.

Were the gays in the old days more out to friends than today's Hollywood gays? Was there a larger circle of gays? Do the 21st century Hollywood gays keep it all in to a much smaller group?

Irene Sharaff (not to be confused with the aforementioned Irene) was an out Lesbian costume and production designer and a vital part of MGM's Arthur Freed unit as well as a 5 time Oscar winner of such notable films as West Side Story, An American in Paris, Meet Me in St. Louis, The King and I, Cleopatra and Funny Girl.

Irene Sharaff's constumes were indeed fabulous for Liz in Cleo and Streisand in both Funny Girl and Hello Dolly.

Edith Head was a lesbian, OP?

Busby Berkeley could have been bi, R30, but he was married 7 times, and was named as the other man in at least one divorce action, so I doubt if he could be called gay.

Then again, it's hard to imagine a straight guy thinking this one up:

Thank you so much for a YouTube link, r43.

Oh fuck off, R44. If you're on a crusade against YouTube then don't click on the link.

Sharraff's costumes for Streisand in Funny Girl were horrid.

That brown monstrosity she wears while performing "People" is beyond description.

The only acceptable gown she wears in FG isn't even a gown- it's in the scene where Arnstein turns the casino job. It's the grey draped dress that's cut on the bias accenting her great hipline and butt.

I thought Orry-Kelly was straight, seriously.

I have enormous respect for Billy Haines for being an out gay man at that time, but the public was not aware of his sexuality so I don't think "out gay star" is accurate.

Hmm, I don't know about that. People living in cities with gayborhoods and the sophisticates they knew, would have recognized he was gay. Franklin Pangborn anyone?

"How about Fred Astaire? and Eleanor Powell? Both seemed so talented and so gay.

Eleanor Powell was so beautiful. sigh."

Eleanor was very religious, and even had a tv show involving God. Not even gay around the edges. Astaire started in show business in 1905. By his teens, he and his sister were famous. Fred had to have been at least exposed to gay people. He was also friends with David, the Prince of Wales.

"Ditto Charles Walters as mentioned - he is the dancer with Joan Crawford in the hilarious Torch Song."

This has to be her gayest movie.

Which "Irene" jumped out of a window?

It was the "Irene" who was married to MGM scenic artist Cedric Gibbons. she lived in the Roosevelt Hotel, I believe, and laid out all her costume sketches around the living room on day, wrote a suicide note that read "find someone good to design" and promptly jumped out the window.

Wasn't Merle Oberon married to Cedric Gibbons? But he was actually gay.

And he wasn't merely a "scenic artist" he was head of production design at MGM for 3 decades and his name appears prominently in thousands of their film credits.

You are correct R50, Gibbons was indeed head of Design at MGM and not just a lowly scenic artist, so exfuckincuse me. I DO have the details about Irene's suicide correct,so why dont you stick your head up a dead bear's asshole, mr. anal retentive prisspot.


Watch the video: Ο Χάρης Ρώμας για τη σεξουαλική του ζωη part2 (January 2022).