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Old 12-03-2005, 08:49 AM
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Hollywood's gay rules

Litterally, I guess, as dictated by the times in the 50's by one such famous agent named, Henry Willson, who managed the likes of Rock Hudson.

Author Robert Hofler wrote a bio of Wilson entitled "The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson: The Pretty Boys and Dirty Deals of Henry Willson".

And, guess what? Wilson was gay himself. This article states, though, "Willson, gay but homophobic and politically conservative, maintained a straight persona _ President Truman`s daughter Margaret was just one of several dates he claimed was his 'fiancee.' But his lecherous reputation was an open secret in Hollywood."

Yet, he maintained these type of rules of his clients:

"No two men can live together and have a career in Hollywood," he advised one of his actors in the `50s. "It is not allowed. You`ll ruin it all if you live with this other man."

According to this article about the book, Willson put Rock Hudson through this:

http://www.johnrechy.com/so_rock.htm

"Willson gave Hudson etiquette lessons at famous restaurants (forbidding him to gather dinner dishes), taught him how to speak seductively (forcing him to scream with a sore throat), had his teeth straightened, ..."

As a point of fact, the article says --

"Studios dictated rigorous public behavior for gay stars. At hints of exposure, Hudson quickly married Willson's secretary. A cadre of young actresses accompanied gay stars to Hollywood events, as escorts and purported objects of courtship. Photographs of actresses Terry Moore, Vera Allen, Natalie Wood, and others appeared with gay dates. Dippy gossip columnist Louella Parsons announced spurious romances, including Willson and Margaret Truman's."

Willson bio spills rules for gay `50s Hollywood

QUOTE:
By Gregg Kilday Dec 3, 2005, 13:31 GMT

Henry Willson, the late agent who masterminded Rock Hudson`s career along with those of such other Hollywood hunks - straight and gay - as Troy Donohue and Tab Hunter, had rules for his gay clients.

"No two men can live together and have a career in Hollywood," he advised one of his actors in the `50s. "It is not allowed. You`ll ruin it all if you live with this other man."

If Willson, who died in 1978 at the Motion Picture Home, were still alive, Hollywood`s changing attitudes toward homosexuality would probably leave him at a rare loss for words. Although no A-list star has yet emerged to challenge Willson`s long-held belief that the public will not accept an openly gay leading man, in most other respects the scene has changed dramatically.

Ang Lee`s 'Brokeback Mountain,' a tale of two men struggling with their attraction for each other, already is positioned as one of this year`s major awards contenders. Performances by Philip Seymour Hoffman as the title character in 'Capote' and Cillian Murphy as a cross-dresser in 'Breakfast on Pluto' are drawing raves. And though they haven`t crossed over into the territory of romantic leading men, openly gay actors Nathan Lane and Anthony Rapp are headlining the films 'The Producers`' and 'Rent,' respectively, with both Broadway-trained actors playing thoroughly hetero characters.

By contrast, the `50s - when Hudson reigned as the top box-office draw and Willson, one of Hollywood`s leading agents, commanded the best tables at Ciro`s and the Macombo - were far more rigid and closeted. It was hardly straight-laced, though, because the decade also harbored a subterranean gay culture with its own elaborate codes and customs.

In the newly published 'The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson: The Pretty Boys and Dirty Deals of Henry Willson,' Robert Hofler offers a fascinating, compulsively readable account of an era that contrasts starkly to our own.

Willson, born in Lansdown, Pa., the son of an East Coast record company executive, migrated to Hollywood in the `30s, first working as a fan magazine writer chronicling the migration of Broadway talent attracted by the talkies. By the `40s, he had become producer David O. Selznick`s head of talent, where his duties included squiring Selznick`s star and paramour Jennifer Jones around town. By the `50s, Willson had gone into business for himself, representing a growing stable of clean-cut, hyper-masculine stars who appealed to the bobbysoxers who drove the boxoffice.

He also became a controversial figure. When the gossip magazine Confidential threatened to expose Hudson, Willson, possibly working through intermediaries, fended off the scandal by feeding the magazine information about Rory Calhoun`s criminal record and Hunter`s attendance at an all-male 'pajama party.'

Willson, gay but homophobic and politically conservative, maintained a straight persona _ President Truman`s daughter Margaret was just one of several dates he claimed was his 'fiancee.' But his lecherous reputation was an open secret in Hollywood. So much so that in later years, many of his clients, both straight and gay, would deny he ever represented them.

Nevertheless, Hoffler makes a compelling argument that Willson, though hardly laudable, served an important function. Such womanizing moguls as Selznick, Darryl Zanuck and Harry Cohn might have had an eye for identifying female stars. But at a time when female executives didn`t exist, Willson and other gay agents and managers took on the job of identifying and grooming many of the male stars who brought in female ticket-buyers. In short, they turned matinee idols into gold.
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:57 AM
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Re: Hollywood's gay rules

This is very interesting. The statements you borrowed are extremely attentive. Anyway this is good stuff.
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Old 10-31-2010, 04:39 PM
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Re: Hollywood's gay rules

Hollywood exerts a certain amount of influence on mainstream culture. If acceptance of homosexuality were to become the norm, things would become more complicated for those who try to control society.
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Last edited by popular; 10-31-2010 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 12-25-2010, 07:55 PM
SnailwindElay SnailwindElay is offline
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Re: Hollywood's gay rules

I believe there are more male gays in leading role in Follywood than Asian males in leading role today, excluding Korean males because they could be both.
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Old 08-19-2011, 01:29 PM
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Re: Hollywood's gay rules

^why make a low blow at all korean males? The only korean who's both is Ken Jeong. I can't stand that a**.
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Old 08-21-2011, 03:54 AM
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Thumbs up Re: Hollywood's gay rules

Wowsers! Thanks for the posting.

QUOTE:
Originally Posted by Faithless View Post
Litterally, I guess, as dictated by the times in the 50's by one such famous agent named, Henry Willson, who managed the likes of Rock Hudson.

Author Robert Hofler wrote a bio of Wilson entitled "The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson: The Pretty Boys and Dirty Deals of Henry Willson".

And, guess what? Wilson was gay himself. This article states, though, "Willson, gay but homophobic and politically conservative, maintained a straight persona _ President Truman`s daughter Margaret was just one of several dates he claimed was his 'fiancee.' But his lecherous reputation was an open secret in Hollywood."

Yet, he maintained these type of rules of his clients:

"No two men can live together and have a career in Hollywood," he advised one of his actors in the `50s. "It is not allowed. You`ll ruin it all if you live with this other man."

According to this article about the book, Willson put Rock Hudson through this:

http://www.johnrechy.com/so_rock.htm

"Willson gave Hudson etiquette lessons at famous restaurants (forbidding him to gather dinner dishes), taught him how to speak seductively (forcing him to scream with a sore throat), had his teeth straightened, ..."

As a point of fact, the article says --

"Studios dictated rigorous public behavior for gay stars. At hints of exposure, Hudson quickly married Willson's secretary. A cadre of young actresses accompanied gay stars to Hollywood events, as escorts and purported objects of courtship. Photographs of actresses Terry Moore, Vera Allen, Natalie Wood, and others appeared with gay dates. Dippy gossip columnist Louella Parsons announced spurious romances, including Willson and Margaret Truman's."

Willson bio spills rules for gay `50s Hollywood
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Old 09-10-2011, 07:15 AM
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Re: Hollywood's gay rules

Can we have a queer-positive ethnic enclave?

Please.
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Old 09-14-2011, 01:34 AM
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Re: Hollywood's gay rules

Thanks, this is good though it is very long, your topic is really interesting that's why even though it is a long one, I keep on reading till the end :D
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