gay hollywood

Did Rock Hudson Bed James Dean? Putin And Nobel Peace Prize

Did Rock Hudson Bed James Dean?

In another Hollywood tale of hidden gay romance, an actress who knew both Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson is claiming that Taylor and Hudson made a bet while filming the movie, Giant, about which of them would get James Dean into bed first. According to this actress, Hudson won.

“I had an idea Rock would win but Elizabeth wasn’t so sure. James was troubled but gorgeous,” said Ms Nash, according to the Daily Express.

She reports that Ms Taylor lost her bet just days into the filming of Giant in 1955.

Reports like this about James Dean have been going around for years, and no one will ever know whether or not they are true. But I’ve always found it interesting that so many so-called straight men in Hollywood hid their sexuality so well. Some still do it for the same pragmatic reasons. But what bothers me is that whenever this is mentioned certain fans always go on the attack is if there’s something inherently wrong with being gay. In other words, they wouldn’t find an issue if there were rumors about whether Dean had slept with Taylor, but they go berserk if it’s even suggested that he slept with Hudson…or any other man.

That’s called shame. That’s the thing that has to disappear.

You can read more here.

Putin and Nobel Peace Prize

When I read about Vladimir Putin, President of Russia and anti-gay world leader, being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize I had to double and triple check a few sources to make sure I wasn’t getting a false story. But the first place I read it turned out to be right.

It stated: “Being the leader of one of the leading nations of the world, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin makes efforts to maintain peace and tranquillity not only on the territory of his own country but also actively promotes settlement of all conflicts arising on the planet.”

And then I read where they are comparing President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize to Putin’s nomination.

While announcing the nomination during a press conference in Moscow, group officials said Mr. Putin deserved the Peace Prize much more than President Obama, who won the recognition in 2009.

If you read more about the award, it’s always been the subject of controversy.


Rock Hudson Alleged Gay Confession; Barry Eisler on .99 E-books

Evidently, there’s new information about an alleged gay confession from Rock Hudson. This alleged confession was something Hudson told his wife at the time, Phyllis Gates. This is from Huff Po.

Back in 1958, Hudson’s wife, Phyllis Gates, confronted the Hollywood legend about being gay, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That confrontation was secretly tape-recorded by Detective Fred Otash, a private eye who had dirt on everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Judy Garland. Gates had hired him to keep tabs on her husband.

“Rock, your great speed with me, sexually. Are you that fast with boys?” Gates asked Hudson, according to a transcript of the discussion obtained by THR from Otash’s family.
“Well, it’s a physical conjunction [sic],” he replied. “Boys don’t fit. So, this is why it lasts longer.”

It’s also been alleged that Rock Hudson’s wife at the time, Phyllis Gates, was a lesbian who was constantly trying to blackmail him. This is a fascinating article  Fred Otash is mentioned here, too. It really does get into a few details you don’t read about often, and mentions a list of close friends in Hudson’s circles that were just as closeted as he was.

Outing Mrs. Rock Hudson: the obits after Phyllis Gates died in January omitted some important facts: Those who knew her say she was a lesbian who tried to blackmail her movie star husband Advocate, The, Feb 28, 2006 by Robert HoflerPhyllis Gates, the former Mrs. Rock Hudson, died January 4 at age 80, and the Los Angeles Times commemorated her passing with an astonishingly long, 1,000-word, half-page obit a week later. (Would Katie Holmes ever get so much ink?) To read that and other newspaper whitewashes of her memory, you would have to believe that Gates was a loving Brokeback Mountain wife who had been duped into marriage by Rock’s equally gay agent, Henry Willson.

I doubt we’ll ever know the complete truth, and I don’t think that matters anyway. Rock Hudson was a victim of his time and he couldn’t come out. But I think this line in the Huff Po article bothers me the most:

“He was basically a very romantic man. He was like a woman;

This comes from a biographer, Sarah Davidson, who went to the University of Douchebaggery where they obviously taught Gay Male Stereotypes 101.

Barry Eisler on .99 E-books

I post openly about the indie books I have out and how I price them. I’ve found a good deal of success in keeping the books priced at .99 for now. I’ve also mentioned I’ve been on the fence with the Amazon lending program because it makes it impossible for me to distribute the books for three months because Amazon makes me sign an exclusive to be in the program. I have a good readership at places like ARe and I like to accomodate them. But I will be releasing my next indie on Amazon, Internal Desires, and I will do the lending program for the first three months. I want to see how it works out, and I haven’t done it for a while.

In this next article to which I’m linking below author Barry Eisler discusses his thoughts on e-book pricing, promotions, and .99 E-books. I thought it was interesting. I also think that what works for him might not work for me or another author. As I said, I’m always afraid of taking a hit by NOT releasing in places like ARe. But that’s always been the case with anything like this. What I do think is important is that you try everything you can try to see what works for you. I really never have a set plan, and when I think I do and I try to repeat something it always turns out differently than it did the first time. I think the secret is to keep trying and to keep doing different things.

I’ve done a couple of free promos of individual titles through KDP Select, advertising the sales using BookBub and EbookBooster, and the results were good — the #1 free spot for my first novel, A Clean Kill in Tokyo, and the #2 slot for my second, A Lonely Resurrection. I like the free promos because if things go well with the giveaway, the title in question tends to bounce back much higher in the paid store, with more visibility and more sales. Possible shortcomings of the free promos, though, are: (i) the people you’re initially reaching are by definition a demographic that is motivated to download books for free, and that might therefore be less interested in buying them; and (ii) people who get books for free are probably less motivated to read them, meaning fewer new customers and less word of mouth. So I started wondering what would happen if I tried a 99-cent promo instead… and what would happen if instead of doing it for only one title, I did it for my entire backlist.

You can read more here.

Matt Bomer; Casting Christian Grey

The article about casting Matt Bomer as Christian Grey to which I’m linking is fairly recent. I’m going to keep following this for many reasons. I’ve been enjoying watching this grow slowly, and seeing how many people are getting excited about just who is going to play Christian Grey, partly because I love pop culture, and partly because I want to see how the movie turns out.

Who should snag the coveted role of Christian Grey in the highly anticipated film adaptation of E.L. James’ erotica novel “Fifty Shades of Grey?” In a recent Mstarz casting poll, fans narrowed their top three picks down to Ian Somerhalder, Matt Bomer, and Canadian hottie Stephen Amell (among a slew of other fan favorites, these three Hollywood heartthrobs snagged the most votes). Rumors have it that James and producers are still nowhere near casting the official roles of Grey and his kinky sidekick Anastasia Steele… but take a closer look at the three actors fans wish they could see getting down and dirty on the big screen when the time finally does come!

Of course I’m leaning toward Bomer. I think he’d be perfect and I think he might add a spark where it’s necessary. I’d be disappointed if he didn’t get the part.

 Bomer won 23% in Mstarz’s recent “Fifty Shades” poll, snagging 411 out of a total 1,787 votes. Among several other contestants, he ranks the overall no 2 top fan favorite. (FYI: in several past Mstarz polls, Bomer actually pulled ahead of Somerhalder).
You can read the article in full, here.

Dirk Bogarde, Gay Film Stars, The Virgin Billionaire

It’s never actually been fully established that actor/author, Dirk Bogarde, was gay. But when you read the links below all evidence points toward that direction. The reason why I became curious had more to do with reading a bio of Noel Coward and Marlene Dietrich, by Michael Menzies, and reviewing it earlier this week. Coward was also supposedly gay, and Dietrich was allegedly bisexual. And this made me think about a bio I read a while ago about Merv Griffin and how I tended to wonder about whether or not the information was all true. According to the Griffin bio, all of Hollywood was gay. And the more I read the more I’m starting to wonder about whether or not that bio is actually telling the complete truth.

Of course some of what’s linked to now about Bogarde is hearsay. But many of the facts are just too solid not to be true. The one solid fact that remains to be true is that men in those days did not admit to being attracted to other men. It wasn’t done, and for some serious reasons I get into below.

Dirk Bogarde’s Art of Decadence:

By the ’60s, Bogarde had had enough of being screamed at by adoring girls, and he began exercising a strong discrimination about the roles he took — at his point, Bogarde seems to have selected films on the basis that they actually said something. He flouted taboos by making “Victim” in 1961, in which he played a public figure being blackmailed for homosexuality.

(Bogarde himself was gay but denied it during most of his career; though he wrote of his early sexual relationships with women and his passionate love for Judy Garland, he never wrote about the love of his life, his manager and partner Anthony Forwood, whom he was with for more than 50 years.)

This is fascinating; I’m going to make a point of seeing this film. If he played a public figure being blackmailed for homosexuality, I have to wonder how much of this was the real Dirk Bogarde flipping the bird to the world for all the years he had to remain in the closet. I would imagine he’d reached his own personal saturation point by then. And he was tired of pretending.

Sexy Self-Image that Revved Up Dirk Bogarde:

Bogarde, says Fraser, indicated to him that the physical side of his homosexual affair with his long-term companion, Tony Forwood, had ceased but that he dared not take casual lovers for fear of publicity. Then the top British romantic screen star of the post-war era gave the younger actor a demonstration of the substitute he had found to turn him on: high-revving a static Harley-Davidson motorcycle in his loft while gazing at a poster of himself clad in crotch-hugging leather trousers as a Spanish bandit in the 1961 film The Singer Not the Song. “It looked like a Narcissus fantasy come to life,” Fraser said yesterday.

How much of this is true I don’t know. It’s not something I would have repeated in a biography had I been writing one on Bogarde. And I’m sure it’s not something Bogarde would have approved even if he’d been out of the closet. There are some places you just don’t go. This is one of them. What he did to get turned on was his own business. It’s interesting how these things always come out after the person is dead.

Dirk Bogarde Web Site:

 
DirkBogarde.co.uk is the official website of the Dirk Bogarde Estate. The site is a tribute to the actor, writer and artist, and is a non-profit-making endeavour.


It is widely known that Dirk destroyed a large part of his archive, but during his life he carefully deposited his annotated film scripts with the BFI and his literary manuscripts with Boston University. This website aims to gather together what remained and to point the way to the relevant collections, to give the uninitiated a reasonable understanding of Dirk’s important role in the Arts and to offer a glimpse of his world on and off camera.

This web site is not going to get into anything about Bogarde being gay, or anything deeper than what he would have told the press fifty years ago himself. But there are some fascinating photos and some interesting things to read.

Dirk Bogarde Wiki:

Bogarde was a lifelong bachelor and, during his life, was assumed to be homosexual.[11] Bogarde’s most serious friendship with a woman was with the French actress Capucine. For many years he shared his homes, first in Amersham and then in France, with his manager Anthony Forwood (a former husband of actress Glynis Johns and the father of their only child, actor Gareth Forwood (dec.)), but repeatedly denied that their relationship was anything but platonic. Such denials were understandable, mainly given that homosexual acts were illegal during most of his career, subject to imprisonment and against the conditions for termination specified in Rank Studio contracts with its actors,[citation needed] thus potentially putting his career as a major actor at jeopardy, which few actors of the time would risk.
 
As usual, wiki seems to be on top of it. Just by reading the beginning of the paragraph above you’ll see how this mimics the lives of so many other male Hollywood stars of the 20th Century. And, more important, the fact that “homosexual acts” were illegal sheds a new light on why so many remained deeply closeted. There’s also the career risk. In those days no one watched films with fags or homos unless they were laughing at them. To a certain extent, this still rings true today.
 
So whether or not Dirk Bogarde was actually gay remains to be seen, and it’s always going to be a mystery. Just like with so many other well known actors of his time…and actresses. I would also guess there was a certain amount of bitterness with which he both lived and died.
 
Although I took a beating from a few book reviewers with “TheVirgin Billionaire,” when I decided to parody Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” as a gay erotic romance, I don’t have any regrets about doing it. I never kept it a secret; I told the truth from day one. What I did with that hetero story, by turning it into a gay story as parody with a sense of humor, isn’t anything different than other writers have been doing for years with storylines like Pygmalion. And, Capote was also gay, but never actually came out with it openly. All you had to do was meet him once and it was obvious, so they say. And I’m sure that when he was writing “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” he didn’t have any choices. He couldn’t write gay fiction back then. He wouldn’t have had a career if he had.
 
And I could never stop wondering about how wonderful “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” might have been if there had been two gay characters falling in love instead of a straight couple. And that’s because I’m gay, and that’s what resonates with me. And sometimes we all like to flip the bird a little, with a smile.


Merv Griffin: A Life in the Closet by Darwin Porter


I went to a Christmas party this past weekend and everyone, of course, was talking about what book they were reading. One friend who has been in a book club for years, mentioned the non-fiction book, “Merv Griffin: A Life in the Closet.”

It sounded interesting to me, and I’d just finished reading a lot of fiction, so I downloaded it to my Kobo on Sunday night. I paid more than I wanted to pay, but celebrity bios seem to command higher prices. They always have, and probably always will. So I didn’t mind that part. I also bought the book based on one recommendation and a quick preview on Kobo.

I’m only a few chapters into the book at this point, but so far I’m enjoying it. Although a lot of the book is, indeed, hearsay, it seems plausible to me that each and everything written could have happened. So far, no complaints…all history/bio is hearsay as far as I’m concerned.

I just checked out the product description and reviews over at Amazon and I found that an editor I worked with more than once, Richard Labonte, gave an excellent review and a nice blurb to the author of this bio that was highlighted with the product description, not with the customer reviews. I trust Richard’s judgment because I’ve been a contributor to his LGBT books, one of which won a Lambda Award.

After I read Richard’s review, I clicked over to the customer reviews to see what readers had to say. There are only thirty reviews right now, and most of them are one star reviews written by people who seem almost insulted at the concept that Merv Griffin lived a life in the closet and that this closeted life is now being discussed in a book. It took me back to the shocked comments when people found out Rock Hudson was gay, lived a complete lie, and everyone bought it. It’s like they want to put us into this neat little “gay” box, like the two fake characters on “Modern Family,” but they don’t want to know what it’s really like.

Of course we’ll never really know what Merv Griffin’s real life was like. Only Merv knew that. He made an art out of creating a persona for the public that was filled with deception and self-promotion for the sake of his “image.” His goal was making money and maintaining his image, at any cost. I’m not judging him; I can’t say I blame him either. But these days, there is still a lot of this going on in Hollywood…and other places, like Washington, DC, with closeted gays…and I think it’s time our gay brothers and sisters in power start to speak up a little to make it easier for younger people. Nowadays, as opposed to thirty years ago, it’s more about authenticity than deception. In fact, the closet case is becoming so cliche I have trouble even looking at them on television or in films.

But, from the tone of the reviews of Merv’s bio, I can still see that people just don’t want to hear it. For the life of me, I don’t get why either. I’ll post more about this book when I’m finished. Maybe there’s something I haven’t read yet that will change my mind. But from what I have read so far, every single thing in this bio is plausible. And I’d bet there are still plenty of people left in Hollywood who knew Merv Griffin well enough to back it all up…some of whom are, indeed, living the same life Merv did. The gay community is small sometimes. We all know people who work in fashion, theater, film, and publishing. We also know who is gay and who isn’t. We just don’t talk about it.