Hollywood Hustler Scotty Bower Dishes On Gay Trysts With Cary Grant, James Dean, Spencer Tracy And Others

Matthew Rettenmund of BoyCulture shared with us a post about veteran hustler Scotty Bowers, who was signing and discussing his new kiss-and-tell-all, Full Service, at Book Soup in Los Angeles. Still spry at 88, Bower recounts how, during Tinseltown’s golden age, he procured boys for—or offered himself to—Rock Hudson, Cary Grant and Randolph Scott, Spencer Tracy, The Duke of Windsor, Tennessee Williams, Marlon Brandon, Roddy McDowall, James Dean and dozens more.

And that’s not including the more than 100 girls he claims to have sent into the sapphic embrace of Kate Hepburn.

Rettenmund reviews Service in another post:

After defending his country in World War II and experiencing the trauma of surviving a battle in which his brother died, Bowers settled down with a woman and had a daughter, but it wasn’t long before his job at a gas station near Tinseltown helped transform him into the go-to guy for getting off. His very first famous fuck was, of all people, Walter Pidgeon! I’d never read about him liking men and hadn’t expected to read so graphically that he loved to suck Scotty off while masturbating, but I definitely didn’t turn away in horror. Soon, many who worked behind the camera in the motion picture industry were coming to Scotty for sexual release, either with him or with one of his hard-up Marine buddies, and they were often using a trailer parked behind the station. To hear Scotty tell it, these liaisons were happening one after the other all day long, and involved every possible permutation.

But because homosexuality was such a taboo in the ’40s and ’50s, it was only natural that the handsome, well-built and apparently sexually insatiable Marine attracted many more gay clients than straight ones, including lesbians. (Lesbians became such a specialty he later allegedly provided many for Kinsey to watch and film in action.) Reading about the furtive actions of closeted creative types in the hair and makeup and scenery departments of the studios is one of the most interesting parts of the book.

Some of Bowers claims stretch credibility—Tyrone Power was a scat queen, J. Edgar Hoover banged his driver in front of Bowers, Ramon Navarro sucked off 15 guys at a time to “maintain his vigor”—and can’t really be verified because all the players are conveniently long dead.

But there’s enough proof—and supporting statements from the likes of Gore Vidal and George Cukor—to verify that Bowers was there, mixing it up and hopping into bed with the stars of a bygone era. Oh to be a fly on the wall during just one of those assignations. Well, maybe not the one with J. Edgar.

If you could spend a night with a hunk from Hollywood’s golden age, who would it be? Make your pick in the comments!

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  • J

    Cary Grant.

  • Abel

    Wow, so many to choose from! Randolph Scott, maybe.

    I read the book and enjoyed it. I think it’s likely true, too. Hollywood’s underground freedom has been known about (with or without details) since the 1920s. The somewhat repressive 1940s and 1950s hid a lot of sexual peccadilloes we’re only just now finding out about. But rumors have abounded over the years, and tales of Scotty Bowers have been among them.

    Yeah, I believe this guy. Besides, to me, knowing their stories only humanizes these people. They may have been stars or starlets or just business folks, but they were human and vulnerable, products of their times as we are products of ours, driven by the same needs and urges we all are.

  • Clockwork

    Low life author

  • prince of snides aka divkid

    yeah, side eye on much of the above.

    but, okay, i’ll play along:
    errol flynn (with or without tights);
    james dean *swoon*;
    brando (pre-buttery butt bang era);
    tarzan or anything in a loincloth (not gandhi, obviously);
    or, in a roman skirt (are they called that?);
    but, topping my list, because his sad soulful beauty is almost enough to make me cry — montgomery clift
    (hands off bitches that corpse is all mine!)

  • Cam

    The one about Spencer Tracy makes perfect sense.

    Back in that time the studios had so much control that a story never leaked out unless they either planted it, or gave the paper permission to print it.

    Yet, the story about Hepburn and Tracey supposedly being in love with each other and having an affair were printed, even though Tracey was married. Remember, these are the studios that kept anything from being written about Rock Hudson being gay and yet they couldn’t stop rumors about Hepburn and Tracy stories??

    It makes sense, you have a gay and lesbian set of stars that make you lots of money…Get the man married, write articles about the woman being in love with him, and pay the wife off while they both go off to play.

  • Chopsie

    Charles Laughton was the scat queen, not Power. Bowers’ book is not written rather well, but I believe the stories.

  • prince of snides aka divkid

    of course, i forgot rock hudson.
    also burt fucking lacaster — damn, that guy had a body!

  • prince of snides aka divkid

    * lancaster

  • GreatGatsby2011

    Montgomery Clift (pre-accident) and James Dean (obviously pre-accident as well)… at the same time. Mmm… that would be one pleasant evening.

  • Brian Miller

    Paul Newman! **swoons**

  • Tavdy79

    @GreatGatsby2011: We evidently have the same taste in men – Clift & Dean for me too – preferably at the same time!

  • Eric

    Gee. A sleazy whore writing a sleazy tell-all. Quelle surprise.

  • prince of snides aka divkid

    @Tavdy79: excuse me! i think you’ll find i got there first. you can have sloppy seconds!

  • Matthew Rettenmund

    Tyrone Power was also into scat, according to this book (and according to longstanding rumors)—he liked ladies to drop a deuce on him.

  • WillBFair

    I’m not sure it’s believable. Hustlers are notorious liars. And Gore Vidal has emotional issues from having lived through the serious homophobia of earlier times. Of course, he was a fabulous writing stylist. But I try not to let celebrity worship, or the need of queers to make everyone gay, cloud my judgement.

  • WillBFair

    @Matthew Rettenmund: Dear. Why did you have to tell us that? I adored him, and now the memories are forever besmirched.

  • Callum

    The Tyrone Power story is true. 50 years ago a famous Hollywood madam told me that Powers had a glass topped table, he would lie under the table and have a young male or female squat above the glass and drop a load while Tyrone jacked off. Ramone NM. was killed with a gold plated lead dildo, given to him by Valentino back in the 20’s when he and Valentino dated. I also would have appreciated a weekend with James Dean. He was a sweetheart.

  • Callum

    Oops, If James Dean was not available I would absolutely enjoy, in no particular order : Bill Williams, Guy Madison, and Jeff Hunter. That’s if we have to stick with the old fellas. Also if I could choose just one fella from today’s actors I would choose Matt Lanter.

  • Mr. Robertson

    Sal Mineo!

  • John McLaren


  • WillBFair

    @Callum: TMI!

  • Caleb

    Wow, since I am 46 now, in another 50 years, I can also claim to have done the same shit. Oh . . . sorry . . . I have done that. Not telling.

  • Macmantoo

    Sal Mineo’s lover in the late 60’s early 70’s was a very young teen named Don Johnson. while Johnson was appearing in Fortune In Men’s Eyes at the Cornet Theater, they became involved. I managed a restaurant off the Strip there and they would be cuddled close together after the show most nights.

  • DenverBarbie

    I’ve always felt that James Dean and I would have gotten on pretty well. Despite his bad boy image, he always seemed to be a sweet and fragile thing looking for a mother-like figure- “mother-figure” seeming to be what I possess over people (regardless of whether or not I’ve ever understood why… I’m kind of an asshole).

    Y’all can use him for dirty things, I just want him back at my place for tea by the early afternoon.

  • DenverBarbie

    @Macmantoo: Don Johnson Don Johnson? Like, white blazers Don Johnson?! Well, I’ll be damned! Never knew that one.

  • Marie Cohn

    Leafing through this book, I was struck by the total lack of any photographic record of Scotty’s claims. That’s not to disprove them, but I am not convinced that he’s anything other than a fantasist of a very high order. And only an octogenarian Vidal is giving him any credence at this point.

  • Danny

    Considering how closet-gay Hollywood is today, it is no surprise it has always been that way.

  • pierre

    I’m shocked that nothing in this book shocks me.

  • Sohobod


    “Bowers’ book is not written rather well”

    What’s that old saying about ‘people in glass houses…’?

  • Steve

    James Dean. Or Montgomery Clift. Or a threesome with both.

  • prince of snides aka divkid

    lol. so, you’re rocking a matronly vibe. still, i bet you style it out wonderfully.

    it might be the shoes. it’s usually the shoes.

    as for young jimmy dean, i assure you dirty things couldn’t be further from my mind; i’m a respectable gentleman!

    i only want to cuddle him and ease all his existential angst about this ultimately meaningless universe wherein sensitive souls are crushed and cruelly exploited by unscrupulous creeps.

    once i’ve won over his trust ….. then i’ll pounce. bwahaahaaaa!
    *twiddles moustache in sinister fashion*

  • Isaac C

    I am just disgusted by the comments.

  • Isaac C

    And I will not even address the filthy article…

  • prince of snides aka divkid

    i have only, just now, for the first time, come across that picture of marlon brando sucking on a black peen.
    actuall. marlon fucking brando. for real.
    why am i the last person on the gay earth not to know about this!!!

  • PTBoat

    @Isaac C: @Callum:Although Novarro was out, the dildo story, about Novarro was made up by the author of Hollywood Babylon and is pure fiction. The trial transcripts are out there.

  • PTBoat

    @Callum: I read about this table years ago, as a blind item though, in a hollywood tell all. I wish I could remember which one now.

  • PTBoat

    @Marie Cohn: Just as there is very little literary record about any gays or their sex lives in the past. People who are afraid of losing careers, and of going to prison, don’t tend to take photos. If they do, their families tend to burn them, along with their diaries. It’s more so for famous people who are particularly intent on maintaining their image even long after their demise.

  • Jersey

    Steve Reeves or Paul Newman.

  • Macmantoo

    @DenverBarbie: Don Johnson of Miami Vice and Nash Bridges. He was very hot kid. This is just before he was in the Harrah Experiment.

  • Macmantoo

    It was never a secret that James Dean was bi or Monty Cliff was gay. There were always rumors about Cary Grant and Randolph Scott since at one point they were roomies. Navarro and Valentino were supposed lovers too. Or that Brando was bi. Those rumors on in some cases facts were always there. I had a cousin who worked for one of the studios used to tell me who was and who wasn’t.

    Even today the young “Hot studs” of today movies for most part swing both ways.

  • Franco

    Why would anyone want to read about this? Who cares? They’re dead!

  • PTBoat

    @Macmantoo: Brando admitted to being bi. There are actually photos of him having sex with a man.

  • PTBoat

    @Franco: There are several reasons. Gays have been hidden from history for years. Secondly, many people are curious about the humanity of these stars who are still valid, even if gone.

  • Mr. Robertson

    @Franco: Are you by any chance a 10th-grader taking US History?

  • Eric

    Steve Reeves in a heartbeat! Also early Rock…I remember being introduced to Rock Hudson when I was about 10 or so. My aunt worked at the studios as a nurse, I remember thinking he was really tall and really loud – very funny images.

  • geoff

    @Macmantoo: Harrod Experiment ?

  • geoff

    @geoff: ooops “HARRAD”

  • Macmantoo

    @geoff: Yeah Harrad, hey I live in Reno now, Harrah’s a biggie here.

  • Franco

    @Mr. Robertson: Yes that is who I am, thank you for the insult. It’s much appreciated.

  • Franco

    @PTBoat: I agree somewhat, but I don’t think revealing details of their sexual history is doing anything for their humanity. I never questioned that. Their sexuality is inconsequential. But I get that it means something, but it’s mostly based on rumour. I think the truth lies somewhere between the first and the fourtieth drink.

  • Mr. Robertson

    @Franco: Insult? I was going more for playful barb. Mea culpa, babe!

  • sam

    Yeah I bet 90% of those claims are fake.

  • Mark

    Who exactly is the surprise dead celeb outed here?

  • Marc

    What about Elvis? Heard some rumours/stores about him being bi or at least trying stuff out with guys.

  • ewe

    They’re all dead and gone except him.

  • TxWhtBoy

    Tab Hunter

  • hal


  • D P

    Jeffrey Hunter,
    Tab Hunter,
    Montgomery Clift,
    Edward Fox,
    Tyrone Power.

  • Ted B. (Charging Rhino)

    I’ll venture that half the “named” in the book are sheer invention or exaggeration…especially as there’s no-one to defend them or their reputations. And a straight-guy getting a BJ from a male hustler doesn’t make one bi or gay…just horny with low-standards.

    Though it’s certainly been documented in better-quality legitimate oral histories and Hollywood scrap-books that there was plenty of gay sex going-on over the 90-years since the film industry moved West to Hollywood from the East Coast.

  • DenverBarbie

    @prince of snides aka divkid: You bet, baby! I am nothing if not middle-aged chic! Though I keep the heels high and spiked- just to keep them remembering that I’m not yet out of my 20s. ;)

    …and I sincerely hope you truly do have a twiddlable mustache. (Regardless, pounce away!)

    @Macmantoo: That’s fascinating, thanks for sharing! I went off and Googled “Fortune and Men’s Eyes” after reading your comment- he was a pretty twinky thing, for sure.

  • Price Waterhouse

    It’s really too bad that none of the big names ever spilled the beans while they were still alive. The stories that must be out there that people took with them to the grave. FAscinating stuff. Oh, Ceasar Romero – I always found him attractive.

  • prince of snides aka divkid

    not sure if these squeeze under your “classic age” rubric:
    young warren beatty (with his air of (ahem) infectious liberal charm.)

    alain delon (possibly? though, some photos of him appear a tad too feminine-featured for my taste. for a definitive verdict i’d have to watch his films… in a foreign language, ferchissakes! ain’t gonna happen.

  • David Ehrenstein

    Alain Delon was ‘doscovered” by the great and always out French actor Jean-Claude Brialy. While he primarily loves the ladies the young Delon was fully aware of the effect he had on gay men — particularly Rene Clement who launched his career with “Purple Noon” and Luchin Visconti who gave him the role of a lifetime in his masterpeice “The Leopard.”

    James Dean may have been drop-dead gorgeous but according to jack Larson he was quite the manipulative little creep. Read what jack has to say about him in the book “Live Fast, Die Young — The Wild Ride of the Making of Rebel Without a Cause” by Al Weisel and Larry Frascella.

    Jack had an affair of sorts (more on the order of fuckbuddy) with Montgomery Clift pre-accident. Back then he was “a very happy alcohlic.” but after the accident (which nearly killed him) an addiction to painkillers took over, and proved to be the end of him.

  • Misty Mack

    An old agent who knew them all told me that Lena Horne loved to lie under the glass table. He was close friends with Cary Grant and always denied the gay rumors about him were true, although that may have been merely my friend’s prudishness. Another friend’s mother was a cook to a number of stars and said she saw Tony Curtis with any number of young boys at his house.

  • Marcus


    Brando’s first wife talked about him being bisexual as well.

  • Vatican Lokey

    For me, it would have to be Buster Crabbe, Guy Williams, and Randolph Scott.

  • B

    Re No 2 “I read the book and enjoyed it. I think it’s likely true,”

    Keep in mind that someone with first-hand experience with, say 3 of the people
    he mentioned who wants to write such a book is going to need a lot of “filler”.
    Even if some cases match what you know from elsewhere doesn’t mean a lot of it
    wasn’t made up, either by the author or by others who made comments the author

    I wouldn’t take what appears in such books seriously without hard evidence. But
    then I really don’t care about the sex lives of the individuals mentioned either.

  • prince of snides aka divkid

    @David Ehrenstein:
    thank you. encore, maestro!

    here’s one you may have forgotten — ALAN BATES!

    my sexual awakening occurred around age eight: late at night and home alone after the baby sitter had buggered off, i was sprawled on the sofa when suddenly shocked into consciousness by the commotion on the tv — the naked sweaty writhing forms of messrs bates and reed locked in some kind of jurassic age mating ritual… the universe stood still. my mouth fell open ….the key turned in the latch.

    instantly, i jammed my eyes closed feigning sleep just in time for my mum and “that man” to enter the room and see what was on the screen: “ha! the boy’s been watching a film about puffs…you’ll have to keep a eye on that lad of yours” he sneered to my mother. yes, indeed.

  • prince of snides aka divkid

    harry belafonte.

    shameful to relate, i can’t think of a single other hot old-time hollywood actor of colour (sidney poitier doesn’t do it for me.)

    actually, now that i come to think of it, other than these two, i can’t think of any golden age black leading men. there has to be more than two. surely. TLTG

  • prince of snides aka divkid

    @prince of snides aka divkid: yes, yes i knew along it was *anagrams. (red face).

  • 2-drop in

    I’d like to drop a deuce on Brando’s bongos.

  • Prince of Turds

    I’ll second THAT!

  • Knew the L.A./ Palm Springs Scenes, too

    I enjoyed the book and I, too, had reservations about the dirt dished in it; but, most folks who are older and have lived a gay existence certainly know about many famous and straight men that they or friends have tricked with. I think that Mr. Bowers was truthful in the book. Of course although he maintained he was friends with most, it seems that for a lot of them he was simply the “bartender”, whose role was to serve drinks and observe. But, there are many illicit, illegal and incomprehensible tasks and duties that folks do that others would find incredible, unbelievable and fantastic–and the sheltered lives of folks does not, in itself, discount that the truth is there. The ‘thing’ that I found really believable about Mr. Bowers was his understanding of the human animal and its need to be sexually gratified and that part may not be fathomed, nor explained logically and textually–but, most of us know that it is, again, the truth. I’ve read just about every autobiography and biography of the stars that Mr. Bowers encountered and it is FASCINATING to know exactly at what points in each stars life, Mr. Bowers ‘broke bread with them’ because I could remember the parties, dates, bed partners, studio-PR machines and details–and Mr. Bowers’ recollections were not in opposition to fitting into their own stories, like a missing jigsaw puzzle. It was a different time back then, but Man has not progressed so far that he is still not the recognizable animal that Mr. Bowers writes about.

  • Knew the L.A./ Palm Springs Scenes, too

    Why are you so angry? What about him offends you? Did you even read his book?

  • cagey

    I lived next to the house Scottty now shares with his wife. At the time it was owned by one of Scotty’s ex’-lovers. Scotty was a loya lfriend to this man until the man’s death. He came by three to four times a week to check on him, to make sure he had food and his health was okay. He catered and served as a bartender for this man’s familiy get togethers. And he did all of the handyman jobs that needed to be done. And he did this for free. ( His kindness has been rewarded with the fact that he now lives in this current home free of charge and he inherited a large amount of money from this gentleman.

    The owner of the house I rented used Scotty as a handyman. He he told me of many of the things he had witnessed over the years with Scotty.

    Scotty liked sex. He did try to get me into bed on more than one occasion. And he had told me about two dozen of the stories that are in this book. This was over 18 years ago. I believed him, then and i belive him now.

    Scotty is a kind, generous person. I do think he just wanted to get the truth out there, if for no other reason that to show how things had been, and that the world did not end because of sex

  • LadyL

    Way late to this particular thread; sigh. Where was I when this discussion was going on??
    I read the Bowers book and loved it, for the juicy gossip, sure, but also for making so many of these stars recognizably human beings with undeniable human needs. And for bringing forward a VERY hidden part of LGBT history, which is always a good thing.

  • Teleny

    Caught this late, but I say Montgomery Clift and I’d tell him to bring Elizabeth Taylor for a threesome! :)

  • casey

    Earl Holliman-Stole my heart in Rainmaker. He wasn’t a first-billed star, but god, he was, and stayed, gorgeous.

  • Pete

    After reading these my inclination is to rename them “The Tales of Scottie von Munchausen”. I mean he seems to have been involved with everyone about who there has been a rumor! While I don’t doubt for a minute that he was a hustler who occasionally serviced the Hollywood carriage trade, my inclination is to see these as a dotty old man’s recollection of all the salacious rumors he’d heard over the years into which he inserts himself as the essential player.

  • Daggerman

    ..yeah, I believe now is STILL the time not to be gay. What I mean is, society appears to have become more tolerant over the years but for example if you are gay you must keep it to yourself. IE–we still live in a time where people think if you act straight and butch you’re straight, if you act camp and effete your homosexual…which really can’t be more further than the truth…it seems like we humans can’t stand reality. In ‘reality’ it’s the other way round!

  • Doughosier

    I know Scotty, who’s still spry at 93 and I believe him. He’s still charming and was gorgeous when he was young. I can see why he was so popular.

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