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, February 13, 2012
Sargent’s professional career began in the mid 1950s, and he worked until a year before his death from cancer in 1994. There was high drama in the last years of his life, when he openly declared his homosexuality. He called himself a “retroactive role model” in the battle for gay rights. Prior to his coming out in 1991, tabloids had written salacious items about Sargent’s relationship with a “young black guy.” Sargent commented on the tabloid outing at the time: “I'm not against outing in terms of being pegged as gay. I am gay, I always was. It can't really hurt me now, I mean professionally. But for them to reveal it as if they caught you, like some dirty little secret – that was despicable.” Sargent had a long-time male partner for 20 years before the man's death from a cerebral hemorrhage in 1979. From 1989 until his death, Sargent’s partner was African-American producer and writer Albert Williams.
OK, then. This statement inspired me to do a little Internet research, and I found this comment:
At the funeral of George Tobias, Bob Siler, working as a parking attendant, noticed that there were more World War II vets than anyone else in attendance. One mourner told him that it was “well known among servicemen that if they were in Los Angeles, they were more than welcome to stay at George's ranch instead of spending money on a hotel. Everything was on George, who ‘couldn't do enough’ for the men fighting for his country”.
Guess that explains it.
In June 1992, Sargent was Grand Marshal of the Los Angeles Gay Pride parade along with actress and former Bewitched co-star Elizabeth Montgomery.
He also spoke about what a gentleman Cary Grant was. The two went out on several dates, but there was no sexual activity, according to Sargent. “He hated being alone. He liked being around good-looking men. In fact, I heard all his secretaries were good-looking young men. He was indeed very closeted, but he didn't avoid you if you were a good-looking guy, the way some others will. I was just thrilled to be socializing with Cary Grant. It was the two of us, we'd go out together, then we'd talk, but nothing else.” Grant and Sargent made two movies together, but Sargent’s screen debut was in a 1954 film with Ronald Reagan (Prisoner of War). I’m not making this up.
When Sargent died after a 4-year struggle with prostate cancer at age 64, with his partner Albert Williams, age 37, at his side.