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TAN LINES

George Hamilton: Gay Actors In The Studio Era Had Each Other—And Liz Taylor

[Years ago,] the rule of thumb at the studio was that you could not wear any form of religious medal—that divided your audience immediately. You didn’t take big stands—actors were not to be politicians. Most actors I’ve known don’t have a lot of really terrific ideas about politics and all that. They have this very liberal attitude and take it to the hilt. But gay…

Well, it was said that if you were gay, you could not be a leading man. It was a dictum that was not verbally spoken, but generally thought by the studios. I knew actors that were gay. I went under contract with several at the very end. And they played heterosexual parts — look at Rock Hudson in Giant, what an incredible role he played. I think that dual life was very hard for all of them because they were playing something they really weren’t. But they all knew each other and there were people who were not only accepting of it but who—well, Elizabeth Taylor, for instance. Elizabeth loved Rock. She loved Monte Clift. She understood what was going on in the studios.”

—George Hamilton, currently appearing in La Cage Aux Folles at Washington, DC‘s Kennedy Center, in Metro Weekly

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Feb 1, 2012
Tagged: , , ,
  • 10 Comments
    • B
      B

      Ol’ George’s gay stereotype of his twin “gay” brother (Bunny) was repulsive in “Zorro the Gay Blade”. I wonder if he would have done “black face” if he were a silent picture star.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 7:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MEJ
      MEJ

      From Stories Scott Thompson has told, Georgie boy likes to “take it to the hilt” too, if ya know what I mean.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 10:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • christopher di spirito
      christopher di spirito

      What has changed? How many out leading men are A-listers in Hollywood in 2012? List just three. You can’t because audiences won’t buy a gay man as a leading man in a role.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 10:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      This is 50 or 60 years ago – why all the coyness now? Name names!

      Feb 1, 2012 at 10:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • barry
      barry

      @B:

      Zorro, the Gay blade was a hilarious movie. And yes it did play on stereotypes but that was thirty years ago.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 11:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • christopher di crapito
      christopher di crapito

      @Jaroslaw: Cary Grant, Randolph Scott, Tyrone Power, Robert Conrad, George Peppard, James Dean, Anthony Perkins, George Nader, etc.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 12:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Ehrenstein
      David Ehrenstein

      @christopher di spirito: People like you keeping saying that over and over and over and over and over again — with no proof whatsoever.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 2:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • christopher di spirito
      christopher di spirito

      @David Ehrenstein: If I’m wrong, prove it. Name three leading male A-listers in Hollywood who are openly gay. BTW, I haven’t said “over and over and over and over and over again.” I said it once.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 5:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan brickman
      Alan brickman

      Calling dead actors gay does seem a bit desperate….

      Feb 1, 2012 at 8:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Take-Back-Christopher-Street
      Take-Back-Christopher-Street

      @Alan brickman: Calling dead actors “straight” not only seems a bit desperate, but it also seems a bit asinine.

      Feb 2, 2012 at 2:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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