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
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.
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, gay actor 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 in his 1994 autobiography Crying with Laughter that he had rejected sexual advances from Power. The fashion critic Mr. Blackwell had romantic moments in Power’s dressing room, as detailed in his 1995 autobiography From Rags to Bitches. In his book, Errol Flynn: The Untold Story, author Charles Higham reports that Power had a sexual relationship with Errol Flynn. According to William J. Mann, in his book Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood, 1910-1969, Power was involved in numerous same sex relationships. In his book, The Evening Crowd at Kirmser's: A Gay Life in the 1940s, Ricardo J. Brown confirms that Tyrone Power and Tallulah Bankhead were among thespians and movie stars who were bisexual. In Oops, I Lost My Sense of Humor, Lois M. Santalo writes that "many stars of the silver screen, dating back to Tyrone Power," had been gay or bisexual. In Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon's (both of Sydney University) Who's Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History: From World War II to the Present Day, Power is listed among the "Top box office stars who were gay or bisexual". Your blogger has recently expanded this list of references for all those comments left by those who say I have no evidence, that I'm just repeating rumor. Read this post carefully -- I'm not saying Power was gay; I'm saying he was bisexual, engaging in sexual relations with both men and women.
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.