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.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Michael Redgrave

Before British bisexual stage and film actor Sir Michael Redgrave married actress Rachel Kempton, he told her about his homosexual inclinations. He had realized his bisexuality while at Cambridge University and began a series of homosexual affairs with the likes of classmate John Lehmann. Barely a year into his marriage to Rachel, Michael had a torrid affair with Noel Coward. Not to be outdone, Rachel herself began a 20-year affair with married actor Glen Byam Shaw, who was also bisexual – even rumored to be sleeping with Rachel’s husband Michael.

All of this soap opera off toward one side, Michael and Rachel had three children who became actors: Vanessa, Lynn and Corin. Michael enlisted Corin’s help in writing his memoir, In My Mind’s Eye. During one of their writing sessions Michael confessed, "There is something I ought to tell you. I am, to say the least of it, rather bisexual". Corin encouraged his father to acknowledge his sexuality in the book, and Michael agreed. However, he later changed his mind.

There was much to keep hidden. At one stage Michael installed one of his male lovers, Bob Mitchell, in the family home. It was Bob (standing behind Michael in photo at right) who often walked sisters Vanessa and Lynn to school. Mitchell even accompanied the family on vacations and was regarded by the children as a beloved uncle. After his own marriage, Mitchell settled into a nearby house, and he named one of his children Michael, after Redgrave. Oh, I forgot to mention that Vanessa Redgrave married Tony Richardson, who was a notorious bisexual. I’m not making this up.

In spite of this sordid, tangled family scenario, Michael Redgrave maintained a career as one of Britain’s finest actors, on a par with Lawrence Olivier, Ralph Richardson and John Gielgud. Redgrave was a skilled Shakespearian actor, and he was considered the greatest English interpreter of Anton Chekhov’s work. His film career made him known to millions worldwide. Michael was knighted by the Queen in 1959. Tragically, he contracted Parkinson’s disease, and its effects prevented his being able to learn new roles.

Leaving their London home for Buckingham Palace, to be knighted by the Queen in 1959, Michael and wife Rachel, with son Corin and daughter Lynn.

The Browning Version (1951 film)

Short video clip: Andrew Crocker-Harris (Michael Redgrave) is an aging Classics master at an English public school, forced into retirement by his ill health. The film, in common with the original stage play by Terence Rattigan, follows the schoolmaster's final few days in his post, as he comes to terms with his sense of failure as a teacher, a sense of weakness exacerbated by his wife's infidelity and the realization that he is despised by both pupils and staff of the school.

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