Dead Actors that you didn't know were Gay

Cary Grant

Cary Grant was an influential actor in the 30 and 40's but his appearance on this list isn't solidly gay. At best he was a bi-sexual accused of having an intimate Bromance with fellow thespian Randolph Scott. According to his daughter Grant never cared that anyone called him gay. Rumors of Grant’s bisexuality swirled around Hollywood for years but as evidenced by the story of Rock Hudson, Hollywood was adept at covering queerness with a varnish of hyper-heterosexuality, and women fell at his feet both onscreen and off.

During this first period of success, Grant had been living, on and off, with an actor named Randolph Scott. Grant and Scott had met on the set of Hot Saturday, where both men played suitors to the same leading lady. The two hit it off immediately and shared an apartment until Grant’s first marriage in 1934. After Grant’s divorce, it was 24-hour bro-time, and the two rented a sprawling seven-bedroom Santa Monica beach house, widely known as the “Bachelor Hall.” Here’s where it becomes unclear whether Grant was just making fun of nosy gossip columnists or actually bisexual. The two had women over all the time — but hey, George Clooney also has many, many (vetted) girlfriends, and Tom Cruise has been married three times. Gossip columnists warned that the couple had “taken things too far”: while other stars posed for fan mag spreads with their wives, Grant and Scott reveled in homosocial domestic bliss. 

Their friends from that period said that the two handsome young actors lived together openly and began traveling in Hollywood’s gay social circles. A few years before, Cary Grant had lived openly with gay Hollywood designer, Orry-Kelly. A closeted gay journalist named Ben Maddox wrote a profile of the two bachelors for Modern Screen in 1933. The photos show Cary Grant and Randolph Randolph sharing house and living a very cozy and domestic life at the beach. Maddox used various code words in his story that would identify them as a couple to gay readers. These photos of them wearing aprons were apparently too much for heterosexual columnists who ridiculed the two men and implied that there was “something” between them. 

In 1934, the studio “encouraged” Grant to marry in order to kill the gay rumors that were swirling around the two young actors. In February of 1934, he married Virginia Cherril and 13 months later she divorced him, claiming that he had hit her. Virginia also said the Grant was constantly drunk and sullen and never showed any sexual interest. There is an unconfirmed rumor that Cary had been so depressed by his situation that he even attempted suicide. An attempted suicide was something that the studios would have done everything in their power to hush up; so that may be why there is no real evidence of it happening. 

Cary moved back in with Randolph as soon as the divorce was settled. The studio publicity department regularly planted stories about an endless stream of attractive young women going in and out of the beach house which they now referred to as “Bachelor Hall.” Their good friend, Carole Lombard, when joking about Grant notorious cheapness said  "Their relationship is perfect. Randy pays the bills and Cary mails them.”Between the two of them, they had 7 failed marriages, but they were most likely marriages of convenience. Mr Blackwell, the notorious fashion critic, lived with Cary and Randolph for several months. In his memoir he said that he considered them, “deeply, madly in love, their devotion complete…Behind closed doors they were warm, kind, loving and caring, and unembarrassed about showing it.”  

By 1940 they were no longer living together, due to pressure from the studio heads to marry and protect their image. They only made one movie together, ironically it was called My Favorite Wife

They must have still be lovers at the time since the script supervisor, Bert Granet, for “My Favorite Wife” recalled Cary and Randolfs unusual behavior on set: 

“We shot the pool sequence at the Huntington Hotel in Pasadena. Cary and Randy Scott arrived as a pair and, to the total astonishment of myself, the director, and the ultra-macho crew, instead of taking separate suites moved into the same roomtogether. Everyone looked at everyone else. It seemed hardly believable.” 

Cary and Randolph remained extremely close their entire lives. The maître d' at the Beverly Hillcrest Hotel saw both actors in the 1970s, sitting in the back of the restaurant, long after the place had emptied. Cary Grant and Randolph Scott were sitting alone, quietly holding hands. The legendary Betty White even accidentally outed Grant during an interview with Joy Behar. 

Gail Russell

The tragic Gail Russell, a long rumored closeted lesbian had a incredibly compelling, sad and fascinating life. She seems to have had the weight of deep unhappiness on her shoulders from a very young age, causing her to lose herself to the demons of alcoholism. Stage fright and extreme social anxiety have been the constantly reported and accepted reasons for Russell's deep unhappiness and personal problems, but it's possible too that Russell may well have been tortured by self-loathing and anxiety over her homosexuality. Making matters worse was the relationship Gail had with her mother, it wasn't a very good one. Gail didn't even want to act. While in high school a scout for Paramount spotted her in Santa Monica and one day as she reported to class she found a note on her desk. The note told her to go to Paramount studios for a screen test immediately. Gail, who was an artist that fancied painting and sketching didn't like the idea of acting. But her mother, a failed actress herself wasted no time driving Gail down to the Paramount lot in Burbank. It didn't take long before the camera fell in love with Gail. She was a natural, making her first appearance in a bit part at the age of 17. 

By the time she was twenty she exploded into the mainstream with her ethereal performance in the first serious Hollywood ghost story The Uninvited. The movie which has languished in the public domain for decades was finally restored and re-released on blu ray by Criterion in 2016. Interestingly enough the Uninvited was also the first Hollywood flick with unquestionable lesbian overtones. Although the word was never uttered in the movie, production codes affecting films in the 40's meant that homosexuality, extramarital affairs, and out-of-wedlock births were cryptically referred to. The character of Miss Holloway was recognized as a lesbian by the Legion of Decency, whose (male) leaders complained to Paramount executives about the scenes in which she speaks romantically to Mary’s portrait. 

Lesbian audiences in the 1940s also grasped the inferences and characterizations in The Uninvited, and film scholars note that it became a cult hit with lesbian communities in wartime America. Mary is depicted as asexual or possibly a lesbian by being non-maternal and too close to Miss Holloway, and the novel describes her as “unnatural,” tying in with discourses about motherhood and gender essentialism. Later film scholars have seen even more lesbian connotations, suggesting that the mother-daughter trope in the film can be a cover for lesbianism, since Stella has been in love with another woman, Mary, her whole life, much to Rick’s frustration. 

Overall, The Uninvited reflects a range of tensions and negotiations that intersected with contemporary discourses about gender, sexuality, feminism, and film censorship. While it falls prey to some hostile and stereotypical female characterizations common in the 1940s and later, it is complex and multilayered enough to allow for a range of readings and interpretations as it attempted to speak the unspeakable and represent the unrepresentable. Now a star Gail followed up her ghost story with a comedic turn in the smash hit Our hearts were young and Gay. She made two brief screen appearances in 1945 and was already depending heavily on alcohol to deal with her stage fright. In 1946 Gail starred in the sequel to "Our Hearts Were Young and Gay"--Our Hearts Were Growing Up. The plot centered around two young college girls getting involved with bootleggers. Unfortunately, it was not anywhere the caliber of the first film and it bombed badly at the box-office. Gail bounced back with a more popular film, Calcutta starring Alan Ladd. However, many critics felt that Gail was miscast in this epic drama and they trashed her performance. Gail continued to drink heavily while her biggest break yet loomed over the horizon. 

Cast with John Wayne in the western Angel and the Badman Gail shined in the role of Penelope Worth, a feisty Quaker girl who tries to tame gunfighter Wayne. The film was a box office hit and the peak of Gail's career. She ended 1947 with Paramount's all-star musical, Variety Girl. The critics roasted the film, but the public turned out in droves to ensure its success at the box-office. 

In 1950 Gail married matinée idol Guy Madison, one of the up-and-coming actors in Hollywood but Paramount refused to renew her contract due to Gail's out of control drinking problem. When Gail married Guy Madison (one of Henry Willson's manufactured pretty-boys) it was a very common and persistent rumour that Madison was in fact also gay and it was an arranged union. Indeed in the book 'The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson', there is a hefty amount of anecdotal evidence that Madison wasn't straight. Himself and fellow Willson boy Rory Calhoun are thought to have had a long-running affair. The marriage didn't last and she left him in 1954. By the late 50s  alcohol had ruined her looks and she had become a pariah in Hollywood.

Gail was long rumored to be a dyke amongst Hollywood insiders from almost the very beginning of her career, as is stated in the biography of Henry Willson 'The Man Who Created Rock Hudson'.

* Several women have come forward in off-the-record interviews and have stated that they slept with/had affairs with Russell

* The book 'Fallen Angels' names a late in life lover and mentions that Russell was spotted at dyke bars/hangouts.

* Her marraige was extremely unhappy and there have been rumours about her husband Guy Madison's sexuality since the 40's.

* Gail herself bitterly denied ever having an affair with John Wayne and several lovers of Russell's who were interviewed off-the-record have stated that the relationship between Wayne and Russell was that of brother and sister.

* Gail's severe drink problem points to someone struggling internally with themselves.

Gail's breif career has been eerily similar to Lindsay Lohan's career so far. With the only slight difference being that Lohan can be openly gay while Gail in the 40's and 50's could not. Gail died of malnutrition after drinking herself to death by the age of 36 years old. 

Ramon Navarro


Ramon Novarro was once one of the great male sex symbols in American films. The gorgeous Mexico-born movie star caused a sensation in the original silent film Ben Hur as his scantily clad body aroused his female (and closeted gay) fans. Ben Hur was arguably the most famous film of the silent era. Ramon Novarro was a Hollywood superstar when movies began. He was also gay at a time when homosexuality was viewed as a major illness. Few gay men—let alone major movie stars—were willing to risk disclosure. Ramon Novarro was pretty much forgotten in 1968 when his murder by two hustlers was one of the most shocking Hollywood scandals of the era. Ramon Novarro was born Jose Ramon Gil Samaniego in Mexico in 1899. His family was wealthy and influential, and Novarro was a second cousin of Mexican movie star Dolores del Rio. Arriving in California, Jose changed his name to Ramon Novarro and started getting decent roles in silent pictures. 

With Rudolph Valentino and the Latin craze sweeping Hollywood, Navarro got better roles and then screen immortality with the starring role in Ben Hur. Playing Judah Ben Hur (later played by Charlton Heston in the Oscar-winning remake), Navarro became a movie idol. The fact that he wore very little clothes for most of the film helped turn him into a sex symbol. With the death of Valentino the following year, Novarro had no equal in the male Latin bombshell department. Navarro starred with Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford in hit films and easily made the transition to talkies—including the classic Mata Hari with screen legend Greta Garbo.

But in 1935, MGM chose not to renew Ramon Novarro's contract. Why??? Were Latin idols fading, or were Louis B. Mayer's frustrated attempts to hide Novarro's gayness the real reason? Probably a bit of both. Ramon Novarro continued to make films and even had featured roles in two 1949 classics—We Were Strangers with Jennifer Jones and The Big Steal with Jane Greer and Robert Mitchum. Ramon Navarro did not have to work, as he was extremely wealthy due to real estate investments. This allowed him plenty of time to entertain a long line of young boys over three decades. By the time Novarro was 69 years old in 1968 he hadn't changed. He still drank tons of alcohol and paid gay escorts for relief. On Oct. 30, the night before Halloween, Novarro made the unfortunate decision to hire two hustlers (brothers 22 and 17). A dispute over money erupted afterwards and there was a grotesque tableau of torture and death. The murder of Ramon Novarro was a tawdry media circus. Rumors of metal dildos and other specious elaborations followed Ramon Novarro's death for years. The two killers were both trashy and stupid and almost pitiable had it not been for the gruesome murder. 

Each of the killers made lurid statements to the police such as, "He died bravely. ... All he wanted out of life was to live and suck a few dicks." and "He kept trying to to put his fingers up my rectum. ... I started hitting him." The defense lawyer put Ramon Novarro on trial, stating, "This man, who set female hearts aflutter, was nothing but a queer," and, "There's no way of calculating how many felonies this man committed over the years for all his piety. ... Would this have happened if Novarro had not been a seducer of young men?" 

Both brothers were found guilty of first-degree murder, but because they had killed a gay man, both were paroled after serving only seven years in prison. They were both in and out of prison later for rape and sodomy (women). The youngest of the two brothers committed suicide, and the other is still in prison. A Latin Adonis, a fine actor and an early superstar, Ramon Novarro is known mostly for his notorious murder. The best study of Ramon Novarro's life and career is the 2002 book by Andre Soares, Beyond Paradise: The Life of Ramon Novarro, available from Amazon. Ramon Novarro was one of the first gay superstars. He deserves to be remembered for his beauty and career and not his ghastly death.

Laurence Olivier


Considered the greatest Shakespearean actor of all time, Laurence Olivier made his stage debut at age 13, in the leading female role of Kate in a school production of Shakespeare's The Taming Of The Shrew. Olivier was so effective in the role that he was singled out for lavish praise by the greatest actress of the day- Dame Ellen Terry, who said she had only ever seen one female who had played the part better. From the beginning of Olivier's theater life, there was confusion over his sexual identity. The most intimate friend of his youth was the actor Denys Blakelock, who was gay. Writing years later of their relationship, Olivier admitted he "embraced this unaccustomed happiness with an innocent young gratitude". 

The night before Olivier's first marriage, in 1930, to actress Jill Esmond, a lesbian, Blakelock, who was to be his best man, climbed into Olivier's bed, where Blakelock's hands "strayed". Olivier admitted this but insisted that full sex didn’t happen. Just before his marriage to Esmond, Olivier met Noël Coward, who gave him a contract to play the second male lead, supporting Coward & Gertrude Lawrence in Coward's new play Private LivesAt their first meeting, Coward was sitting up in bed wearing Japanese silk pajamas, finishing his breakfast. He called Olivier "Larry", Olivier called him "Noël", & the men were soon on very familiar terms. Doubts have been cast on the possibility of a sexual relationship between Coward & Olivier, but Coward admitted that it was "love at first sight" 

"At the age of 23, Larry was the most staggeringly beautiful creature I ever saw in my life, but although he was struggling to be what he thought of as 'normal', he had a puppy-like acquiescence to all experiences."

In spite of his liaison with Coward, Olivier's marriage to Jill Esmond went ahead, though it seems likely that she made some sort of pre-marital admission of her own inclinations towards women. The marriage was doomed. Olivier had the beautiful 22 year old actress- Vivien Leigh, who would become his nemesis, & he met a most unlikely homosexual partner, Henry Ainley. Ainley was a 57 year old married actor & father, who had appeared with Olivier in the 1936 film of Shakespeare's As You Like It. Ainley fell in love & lust with Olivier. In a letter he wrote:  

"How Jill must hate me, taking you away from her!" 

But by that time, Olivier didn't need to be taken away. His marriage had died with an ambitious Vivien Leigh on the prowl, who waged a very determined campaign of seduction. 

Esmond divorced Olivier, citing adultery in 1940, naming Vivien Leigh. She was awarded custody of their 3 year old son- Tarquin. Leigh’s husband- Leigh Holman, also filed for divorce, citing Larry. Vivien Leigh became the second Mrs. Laurence Olivier. Even before that, however, during the Hollywood filming of her Oscar winning role as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With The Wind, Vivien had exhibited the first symptoms of manic depression, her illness turned their marriage into a nightmare for Olivier.

Leigh plagued by mental breakdowns & tortured by professional jealousy at Olivier's talent, became an alcoholic & often pursued total strangers as sexual partners. Olivier continued to turn to men for sex & love. In 1940, he met American comic actor, Hollywood film star- Danny Kaye, & the 2 men started a long, fairly open for the times, flamboyant relationship. Coward was appalled to witness the Olivier & Kaye openly exchanging French kisses in public. Coward despised Kaye, & he referred to him as "randy Dan Kaminski" (Daniel Kaminski was Kaye's real name). In 1950, when the Oliviers returned to Hollywood for Leigh to film A Streetcar Named Desire with Marlon Brando, David Niven walked into the garden of their Hollywood mansion. Niven: 

I discovered Brando & Larry swimming naked in the pool. Larry was kissing Brando. Or maybe it was the other way around. I turned my back to them & went back inside to join Vivien. I'm sure she knew what was going on, but she made no mention of it. Nor did I. One must be sophisticated about such matters in life."

As his marriage to Leigh was dying, Olivier was performing, in Spartacus, with the most notorious gay scene Hollywood had ever filmed. As the Roman General Marcus Crassus, the nearly naked Olivier is suggestively bathed by his nearly naked slave, played by the heartily heterosexual Tony Curtis. The scene was regarded as so shocking in 1960 that it was cut from the final film. It was not reinstated until 1991, 2 years after Olivier's death, when one of his best mimics- Sir Anthony Hopkins dubbed this pointedly bisexual dialogue: "Some people like oysters, some people like snails. I like oysters & snails."

Leigh divorced Olivier in 1961, devastated that as one of the most beautiful women in the world, she was being replaced by Joan Plowright, an attractive & excellent actress, but not a great beauty. Olivier & Plowright married in1961. With Plowright, Olivier found deep inner contentment, peace of mind & stability. They had a son & 2 daughters. When Olivier sought the attention of a handsome young man, Plowright had the prudence & tact to ignore it. After Olivier's death in 1989, his official biographer- Terry Coleman, asked Plowright if he had had homosexual affairs. Plowright: "If he did, so what?" Tarquin Olivier, Larry's oldest son wanted to censor the homosexual revelations in Coleman's bio & pressured Plowright into withdrawing her permission. She refused but carefully picked her words revealing that Olivier had "Demons" despite being outed as gay immediately after his death. 

Alla Nazimova

Most people don't have a clue about Nazimova, but apparently she was one of the first female film superstars that happened to be unapologetic and openly bi-sexual. Just watch her episode of Mysteries and Scandals below and be prepared to be amazed. Oops it appears that it has been deleted from Youtube... 

 Raymond Burr

Mostly known for playing a lawyer decades before every show was about lawyers, Burr lived in a secret gay closet his whole career. From the Village Voice in 2008: My emails are generally clogged with shit about erections and elections and constant updates on what amazing thing Ashlee Simpson just said on Ryan Seacrest's radio show. So I was thrilled to finally get something urgent and important--to me, anyway! It said there's a book coming out in May by New York Post TV writer Michael Seth Starr, all about the secret life of the weird and famous Raymond Burr! Who? Raymond Burr, silly! He was a mega TV star--picture Kiefer Sutherland, but with more gravitas--whose off-camera script was apparently even more elaborate than the ones he acted out on the tube. In fact, the guy's intricately detailed straight life was every bit as much of a sham as that of...oh, any number of people. Listen up to the release and learn it, kids:

"Hiding in Plain Sight is the first full biography of Raymond Burr, one of the most popular TV actors of all time. He was the lead actor on the top-rated TV shows Perry Mason and Ironside, which between them ran uninterrupted for 20 years—a feat that has never been equaled.  "What is largely unknown is that Burr was leading a secret gay life at a time when exposure would have been career suicide. So to deflect questions, he created an elaborate cover story for himself as a grieving husband and father. He claimed to have been twice widowed—he said his first wife died in a plane crash and his second marriage ended with his wife's tragic early death from cancer. And there was also a dead son—little 10-year-old Michael who lost his brave battle with leukemia. Neither of the wives nor Michael ever existed. But that didn't stop these lies from being perpetuated again and again, up to and including his obituary in the New York Times. Why Burr chose this tactic can never really be known, but Starr offers some compelling theories."
Gosh! Thank God we've come so far that today's stars can all live completely open, honest lives without any deception whatsoever. Right, wink wink? In the mid-1950s, Burr met Robert Benevides (born 1929), a young actor and Korean War veteran, on the set of Perry Mason. According to Benevides, they became a couple about 1960. Benevides gave up acting in 1963 and later became a production consultant for 21 of the Perry Mason TV movies. Together they owned and operated an orchid business and then a vineyard, in the Dry Creek Valley. They were partners until Burr's death in 1993. Burr left Benevides his entire estate, including "all my jewelry, clothing, books, works of art,...and other items of a personal nature." Later accounts of Burr's life explain that he hid his homosexuality to protect his career. In 2000, AP reporter Bob Thomas recalled the situation:  It was an open secret...that he was gay. He had a companion who was with him all the time. That was a time in Hollywood history when homosexuality was not countenanced. Ray was not a romantic star by any means, but he was a very popular figure...if it was revealed at that time in Hollywood history it would have been very difficult for him to continue.

Art Marks, a producer of Perry Mason, recalled Burr's talk of wives and children: "I know he was just putting on a show....That was my gut feeling. I think the wives and the loving women, the Natalie Wood thing, were a bit of a cover." In 2006, Dean Hargrove, who worked on Perry Mason Returns, said: "I had always assumed that Raymond was gay, because he had a relationship with Robert Benevides for a very long time. Whether or not he had relationships with women, I had no idea. I did know that I had trouble keeping track of whether he was married or not in these stories. Raymond had the ability to mythologize himself, to some extent, and some of his stories about his past...tended to grow as time went by."

A 2007 memoir by actor Paul Picerni described several experiences with Burr on the set of Mara Maru, when he felt Burr expressed sexual interest in him. He wrote, "I saw him staring at me. With his big blue eyes. And with this strange expression on his face. For the first time in my life, I felt like a DAME. Then it hit me: He'd been giving me all this bullshit about his wife and his two kids in London, when in fact he was gay, and he was makin' a move on me!" He remembered Burr "was a great guy and very subtle in his homosexuality."

Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford was a raging bi-sexual fixated on wooing Bette Davis. When Davis rejected Joan's advances she promptly married the man Bette was in love with it. This shrewd move sparked a feud that lasted for five decades. "She took him from me," Davis admitted bitterly in 1987. "She did it coldly, deliberately and with complete ruthlessness. I have never forgiven her for that and never will." When she uttered these words, Crawford had been dead for ten years, and Davis, gaunt and wizened from a stroke and a mastectomy, was almost 80. Yet, the hatred remained intense. This amazing saga of love and possession began in 1935 when Bette Davis was 27, and was cast by her studio, Warner Bros, in the role that was to win her the first of her Best Actress Oscars. In the melodrama Dangerous, Davis played Joyce Heath, a neurotic, egomaniacal alcoholic actress, loosely based on the Broadway star Jeanne Eagels, who died from a heroin overdose aged 35. Playing opposite her, as the architect who tries to rehabilitate the fallen star, was the tall, dark and attractive 30-year-old actor Franchot Tone, born into a well-off New York family and a graduate of Cornell University. Davis had been married for three years to her high school sweetheart, the musician Harmon Oscar ("Ham") Nelson. Nelson was not successful in his career, and spent long periods away from home, touring in an orchestra. The marriage lacked passion and was seen as a failure. Within a few days of working on Dangerous, everyone on set realised Davis was attracted to Franchot Tone.
Years later she said: "I fell in love with Franchot, professionally and privately. Everything about him reflected his elegance, from his name to his manners."
There was only one problem. Joan Crawford, MGM's reigning sex symbol, recently divorced from Hollywood's dashing crown prince, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., had got to Tone before her. Davis, trained for the theatre, saw herself as an actress. She considered Crawford "a glamour puss", whose success depended entirely on her looks. Bette also believed that Joan used sex to advance her career. "She slept with every star at MGM", she alleged later, "of both sexes." There was some truth in this. Most of Crawford's leading men had succumbed to her sexual magnetism. And she counted several female stars, including Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Barbara Stanwyck and later Marilyn Monroe, among her lovers.

It was rumoured that Crawford would have liked to add Davis to her conquests."Franchot isn't interested in Bette," she said, "but I wouldn't mind giving her a poke if I was in the right mood. Wouldn't that be funny?" When Crawford first entertained Franchot at her Hollywood home, he found her in the solarium, tanned from head to foot and naked. According to friends and neighbours, Tone did not emerge from the solarium until nightfall. "He was madly in love with her," Davis admitted. "They met each day for lunch... he would return to the set, his face covered with lipstick. He made sure we all knew it was Crawford's lipstick.
He was honoured that this great star was in love with him. I was jealous, of course."During the filming of Dangerous, Crawford announced her engagement to Tone. To Davis's fury, they married in New Jersey soon after the film wrapped. The hostility between the two women surfaced at the Oscars, where Davis was nominated as Best Actress.Doubting she would win, Bette wore a simple navy blue dress to the ceremony. As her name was announced the winner, Tone leapt to his feet and embraced her. But his wife remained seated, her back to Davis, until her husband said: "Darling!" Turning her head, the immaculately groomed and spectacularly gowned Crawford looked Davis up and down and then observed acidly: "Dear Bette! What a lovely frock."
Both women were to marry four times. Bette had divorced "Ham" Nelson and Joan had divorced Tone by the time Davis won a second Best Actress Oscar for Jezebel in 1938, making her the top box office star at Warner Bros. But the mid-1940s were to bring a downswing in Davis's popularity, threatening her position as queen of the Warner studio. As Bette's star began to dim, Crawford moved from MGM to Warner Bros, where she demanded the dressing room next to that of Davis. In her first major movie for the studio, Mildred Pierce, Crawford upstaged Davis by winning a Best Actress Oscar, and was signed by Warner Bros on a seven-year contract at $200,000 a film.

Davis was aghast. Having watched helplessly as Crawford stole the love of her life, she now looked on as her rival took her Hollywood crown. Crawford allegedly made a series of lesbian overtures to Davis, all of which were rebuffed by Bette with hilarity. Hearing that Crawford had told gossip columnist Louella Parsons that she and Bette "may even do a picture together", Davis commented: "When Hell freezes over."

To another studio observer, Davis vowed: "I wouldn't p**s on Joan Crawford if she was on fire."

Yet, by the early 1960s, when both stars, now in their 50s, were seen as box office poison, it was Crawford who came to her rival's rescue, by finding the novel that teamed them both in the most sensational comeback in cinema history. In What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?, Davis was cast as Baby Jane Hudson, a demented and alcoholic former child star, who allegedly cripples her sister, Blanche, a Hollywood movie queen (Crawford) in a car accident. Jack Warner, the former studio boss of Davis and Crawford, refused to finance the film, commenting: "I wouldn't give you one dime for those two washed-up old bitches." 

As Davis later recounted in chat shows, studio after studio rejected the project, telling producer-director Robert Aldrich: "If you get rid of those two old broads and sign some real box office names, we'll give you the money." But Aldrich went ahead on a modest budget with a tight six-week shooting schedule. 

On set, observers noticed Davis constantly needling Crawford, running her pen through the script.
"Whose dialogue are you cutting, Bette?" asked Crawford. "Yours!" snapped Davis.When Crawford, widow of Pepsi-Cola president Alfred Steele, provided the set with a Pepsi cooler, Davis discovered that Joan's bottle of Pepsi, always at her elbow, was half-full of vodka.

"That bitch is loaded half the time!" raged Bette. "How dare she pull this c**p on a picture with me? I'll kill her!" When, in the kicking scene, Davis's shoe touched Crawford's scalp, Bette claimed it was an accident. But Crawford soon evened the score. In a later scene where Baby Jane has to drag her crippled sister from her bed, Crawford concealed a weightlifter's belt, lined with lead, under her dress. Davis struggled to lift her, yelling: "My back! Oh, God! My back!" Crawford calmly got to her feet and strolled off, smiling, to her dressing room. When the film was released, both stars, who shared in the profits, made a fortune. Davis was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar; Crawford was not. Davis claimed that Crawford campaigned to prevent her from winning. At the Oscars ceremony, when Anne Bancroft's name was announced as Best Actress, Davis said: "I will never forget the look she [Joan] gave me. "It was triumphant. It clearly said: 'You didn't win, and I am elated!'" Crawford received the Oscar on behalf of the absent Bancroft. The newspapers showed Crawford holding the Oscar her rival had failed to win.

Davis was furious. Two years later, when Robert Aldrich tried to team Davis and Crawford in another film, Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte, the hatred between the two defeated him. Davis assembled the cast and crew, minus Crawford, for photos in which they all drank Coca-Cola, Pepsi's rival product ? after all, Crawford had been married to the Pepsi president. Crawford, overwhelmed by Davis's hostility, diplomatically claimed to have pneumonia. She was replaced in the film by Olivia de Havilland. In 1968, the feud re-surfaced when Davis learned that Tone, the love of her life and a chronic chain-smoker, was dying from lung cancer. Crawford took her ex-husband into her nine-room New York flat and nursed him until his death, even supervising the scattering of his ashes.

"Even when the poor bastard was dying, that bitch wouldn't let him go," raged Davis."She had to monopolise him even in death."
On March 1, 1977, the American Film Institute honoured Davis with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Crawford neither attended nor watched the ceremony on television.
Crawford, who had quit drinking two years earlier, weighed less than 7st. On May 10, 1977, she died at her New York flat, aged 73.
The official cause of death was "acute coronary occlusion", but the real one was said to be liver cancer. No tribute and no word of regret came from Davis, and she went to none of the memorial services. In private, however, during the television screening of one of Crawford's films, Davis stared at her rival's striking features before observing: "That dame had a face."
At the following year's Academy Awards, at which Davis was a presenter, the wide eyes of Joan Crawford, the ultimate movie star, filled the screen to audience applause.Looking at a monitor, Davis paused and said of her enemy: "Poor Joan, gone but not forgotten. Bless you!" In her will, Crawford disinherited her adopted daughter Christina and her adopted son Christopher. A year later, Christina responded with the book Mommie Dearest, painting her as a drunken, abusive and sadistic mother. "I don't blame the daughter, don't blame her at all," commented Davis.
"One area of life Joan should never have gone into was children. I've never behaved like that... Well, I doubt that my children will write a book."
But Crawford's ghost had the last laugh For in 1985, after Davis had undergone a mastectomy and suffered a stroke, her daughter, Barbara Davis Hyman, published My Mother's Keeper, depicting Bette as "a mean-spirited, wildly neurotic, profane and pugnacious boozer, who took out her anger at the world by abusing those close to her".Like Crawford, Davis disinherited her daughter. The similarities between the two stars may have been too great for Davis to confront.
To the end of her days, the mere mention of Crawford triggered a bitter tirade. In 1987, during the filming of her penultimate movie The Whales Of August, Davis abused her dead rival to the cast and crew. Director Lindsay Anderson slammed his hand on the table and told her that Crawford had been his friend and he wasn't going to listen to any more. Banging her fist down even harder and raising her voice, Bette delivered her final comment on her adversary.
"Just because a person's dead," she said, "doesn't mean they've changed."

Joan Crawford apparently couldn't convert Marilyn Monroe either. 

Katharine Hepburn

Full Service: My Adventures In Hollywood And The Secret Sex Lives Of The Stars, which provides details about his ‘tricks’ and sexual ‘matchmaking’ services for famous clients.
Hepburn, who was renowned for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in movies of the time (such as Morning GloryBringing Up Baby and Philadelphia Story), allegedly had a strong appetite for women - particularly pretty young brunettes.
Full Service is not the first book to claim that Hepburn preferred women to men. Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn (2006), by William J Mann, also claimed that she was a lesbian.
Rumours about Hepburn’s bisexuality/lesbianism began as early as the 1930s, however her family have insisted there is no evidence to prove this as fact.
Hepburn was married briefly to Ludlow Ogden Smith, but after they divorced in 1934 she never re-married.
Scotty Bowers claims in his book that the Hollywood studios wanted to conceal Hepburn's lesbianism, so they concocted a very public 'romance' between her and fellow Hollywood star Spencer Tracy. According to Bowers, Tracey was bisexual, and had many gay liaisons arranged for him over the years.
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Legendary American writer George Vidal confirmed the claims of Hollywood's Pimp for the stars Scotty Bowers by calling Katherine Hepburn "A Very Slutty Lesbian.".  Bowers A rent boy for some of Hollywood's biggest names in the 1940s claims to have arranged over 150 lesbian liaisons for screen legend Katharine Hepburn. Hepburn, who was renowned for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in movies of the time (such as Morning Glory, Bringing Up Baby and Philadelphia Story), allegedly had a strong appetite for women - particularly pretty young brunettes.

Full Service is not the first book to claim that Hepburn preferred women to men. Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn (2006), by William J Mann, also claimed that she was a lesbian. Rumours about Hepburn’s bisexuality/lesbianism began as early as the 1930s, however her family have insisted there is no evidence to prove this as fact. Hepburn was married briefly to Ludlow Ogden Smith, but after they divorced in 1934 she never re-married. Scotty Bowers claims in his book that the Hollywood studios wanted to conceal Hepburn's lesbianism, so they concocted a very public 'romance' between her and fellow Hollywood star Spencer Tracy. According to Bowers, Tracey was bisexual, and had many gay liaisons arranged for him over the years. Over the years Bowers received many book and film deal offers but has remained quiet about the sex lives of his famous clients until now. Bowers, who now lives in Hollywood Hills with his wife of 27 years Lois, told the Times how his career as a rent boy began. Having been discharged from the Marines in 1946 after World War II he got a job at a gas station near Paramount Pictures. He was pumping gas one day when actor Walter Pidgeon drove up and propositioned him with a $20 bill. Bowers accepted, and soon the word spread through Hollywood.He ran his secret business from the gas station, servicing clients himself as well as setting them up with former Marine friends. According to Bowers, the station was a "safer hangout" than gay bars, which were often raided. 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.” In 1950 he quit his job at the gas station, and supported himself for the next 20 years through prostitution, bar work and pimping. Bowers told the New York Times: “I’ve kept silent all these years because I didn’t want to hurt any of these people. And I never saw the fascination. So they liked sex how they liked it. Who cares? 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." 

It turns out that besides movie stardom the only thing Katherine Hepburn had in common with her husband Spencer Tracy was that they were both Gay. 

Montgomery Clift

Montgomery Clift just might be the greatest actor of all time. After all, he's the man that inspired James Dean and Marlon Brando and was the first actor to express macho man emotions without actually being macho. Acting inwardly, so to speak. By the time his face was disfigured in a horrible auto accident, Clift had made fifteen movies and had been nominated for two academy awards which somehow he didn't win. But being the great actor that he was nobody knew that Montgomery was slowly killing himself with a variety of painkillers, alcohol and the guilt from being homosexual. 

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