Role models of greatness.

Here you will discover the back stories of kings, titans of industry, stellar athletes, giants of the entertainment field, scientists, politicians, artists and heroes – all of them gay or bisexual men. If their lives can serve as role models to young men who have been bullied or taught to think less of themselves for their sexual orientation, all the better. The sexual orientation of those featured here did not stand in the way of their achievements.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tyrone Power, Hollywood Bisexual

Ohio-born movie star Tyrone Power (1914–1958) was the son of an actor. A practicing bi-sexual, Tyrone was involved with several men during his career, among them composer Lorenz Hart (lyricist of the Rodgers & Hart song writing team) and fellow actor Cesar Romero. Strikingly handsome Power had affairs with many of the attractive men on the movie lots. He was often seen in public with known homosexuals, but he was so loved by the Hollywood community, that they turned a blind eye. Power was liked and admired by men and women alike. His group of gay friends included director George Cukor and actors Clifton Webb, Lon McCallister (and his lover William Eythe), Cary Grant, Reginald Gardner, Van Johnson and bi-sexual billionaire Howard Hughes. Books and articles written about Power relate that the great gay love of Power's life was a lowly technician at 20th Century Fox, with whom he had a sexual and romantic relationship that lasted for decades.

Like most bi-sexual and homosexual Hollywood stars, Power lived in fear of being “found out.” Although studio head Darryl Zanuck liked Tyrone, he was afraid of losing Fox’s resident matinée idol and biggest moneymaker, should the truth of his homosexual activity become public. On the set of Suez (1939), Tyrone played opposite a French starlet named Annabella, who was older, self-assured and possessed of a frankness and down to earth attitude. Power liked her, and much to Hollywood's and his mother's surprise, they married. It was difficult to satisfy Zanuck, however, who was now worried that Power’s female fan base would be adversely affected by news of the marriage. Nevertheless, Power continued to have dalliances with both men and women alike. For a while in the early forties, he carried on a passionate affair with the young Judy Garland, which some felt led to the first of her many breakdowns.


With the advent of World War II, Power enlisted in the Marines and fought in the South Pacific, after which he negotiated a new contract with Fox. By 1946 he and Annabella had grown apart, and their marriage was over. He took a six week trip to South America with his on-again off-again male companion, Cesar Romero. Upon his return, he entered into a tempestuous relationship with Lana Turner, who was then the queen of MGM and between husbands. They made a striking couple, but Tyrone could see that life with Lana would be tempestuous and, instead, married Latin starlet Linda Christian, with whom he fathered two daughters before the marriage ended in the mid-fifties.

Reports of same sex relations continued. British comedian and actor Bob Monkhouse related that he had rejected sexual advances from Power. The fashion critic Mr. Blackwell had romantic moments in Power’s dressing room. In his book, Errol Flynn: The Untold Story, author Charles Higham reports that Power had a sexual relationship with Errol Flynn.

Although Tyrone was only in his early forties, he was beginning to look older than his years. The busy Hollywood social life, the smoking, drinking, all night parties and other excesses were beginning to take their toll. He ignored the signs that he might have a weak heart like his father and continued to live as he always had. While filming Solomon and Sheba (1958), he did his own stunts and worked outside in the grueling sun, often in heavy armor. One afternoon on the set in Spain, during a dueling scene with George Sanders involving heavy swords, Tyrone collapsed. He'd suffered a massive heart attack and died before anything could be done. He was 44 years old.

In a brief career of 25 years, Tyrone Power had made 50 films. After his death those in the know began to speak openly of his homosexual dalliances. The women with whom he’d had affairs were incredulous, insisting that the rumors could not possibly be true. They proposed that the charges of homosexual relations were the work of jealous rivals who wanted to damage Power’s reputation. Right.



(above) Tyrone with popular harmonica player Jerry Adler, while serving in the South Pacific.

1936 photo by Alfred Cheney Johnston

15 comments:

  1. There is no proof whatsoever that Power wasgay or even bi. He never would have survived Darryl Zanuck's hatred of gay leading men. Please post factually

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    1. I don't make this stuff up. Read some reference material on Tyrone Power. Many, many people who knew him confirm the facts.

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    2. Who are all these anonymous posters? They need to come out and fess up.

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    3. HIS WHOLE MANNER IN REAL LIFE WAS AS A GAY NOTHING LIKE HIS FILM PERFORMANCES JUST SHOWS WHAT A GOOD ACTOR HE WAS

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    4. Darryl Zanuck didn't hate ANY leading man who could bring in big bucks for the studio. And Louis B. Mayer thought Van Johnson was so valuable to MGM that he ORDERED him to get married...which he did with the cooperation of his and Tyrone Power's best friend, who divorced his wife so Van could wed her. All in the family anyway!

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    5. I watch, rewatch, analyze all his movies and he was a good actor. Note he rarely kisses women on the mouth if he could avoid it especially as he got older and more financially secure. I think females look closely for this behavior.

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  2. He was my boyhood, teen idol. I wanted to be like him as a Teen by 1962-having all the girls hover over me, me with tyrone power looks. I was heart broken when i read the biography of T. Power's in 1979,and as honorably discharged from the the U.S. Marines in 1971; I was a fellow with something of a youthful memory that was just being a young,romantic dreamy head. I still sort of pray that someone comes forth and says that all that suttlebutt was big BS from backstabbers in his life time.

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  3. I am watching WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION with Tyrone Power and Marlene Dietrich who play a rather eccentric married couple. Movie was released in 1957 when Tyrone was 43 and Marlena was 56 years old. She looks fabulous while he has clearly lost his matinee idol good looks. One would never know the age difference by looking at them in this film.

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  4. I loved Tyrone Power in all his movies. He was a great actor and I don't really care if he was gay, bi, or whatever. He was a beautiful man.

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  5. Mrs. William Boyd once said she wouldn't go out with him because "he wasn't just handsome, he was beautiful."

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  6. Broadway actors have ALWAYS been involved in homosexuality, and the same is true of Hollywood hunks....except there's strong resistance to public knowledge on the West Coast. How naive can people be to think the 'casting couch' was reserved for only the Marilyn Monroes of the Silver Screen? Yes, I believe that Paul Newman lost a key "starter" role on Broadway to Ben Gazzara because the director, who had sampled both, preferred Gazzara in bed. And yes, I believe that the young Steve McQueen escaped a background of poverty through male prostitution. And Cary Grant with Randolph Scott? Without DOUBT. Ditto Marlon Brando and the well-endowed (!) Wally Cox. Come on, folks, it's SHOW BIZ!

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  7. It seems such a strange way to live your life. So lonely and hidden however, that is the chosen path they led . This is one of the many prices of fame one has to endure.I am sure they felt some measure of happiness through riches and social acceptance. Most people are a fraud one way or the other.

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  8. Tyrone Power was so handsome and had such sex appeal to both women abd men that no wonder everyone wanted him. I am a hetersexual, but he probably would have turn me on in no time..

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  9. Never thought him handsome. Too adolescent. That sexless hairless body. Until "The Rains Came," when he had to put dark makeup (for him) all over his body to play a doctor in India. Myrna Loy, as a predatory Brit, says, "Who's the bronze Adonis?" Bronze, in those days, meant "not TOO dark." And indeed he looks fabulous that color. The only time he ever turned me on. (Myrna, of course ... but why spoil it? It's a TERRIFIC picture, won -- and deserved -- Hollywood's first Special Effects Oscar.)

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  10. I had friends who were Hollywood greengrocers and knew many stars. They knew Power and told me it was "common knowledge" that Power would... uh... have sex with "anything that moved."

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