Sir Alan Bates may have been married to Victoria Ward, but a new biography reveals the British actor had a thing for men.
Otherwise Engaged: The Life Of Alan Bates by Donald Spoto offers new details suggesting the strapping sex idol – known for his roles in Women In Love, The Fixer and The Entertainer, among others – got down with the boys. And one of his male mates came in the form of Olympic figure skater, John Curry (pictured after the jump). Daily Mail paraphrases the Olympic-sized details:
While he liked to appear publicly with women, and to cuddle with them privately, his deepest romances and his most passionate sexual life occurred with men.
Among them were the Olympic skater John Curry and the actor Peter Wyngarde, best known for his role as the television sleuth Jason King.
Alan enjoyed an intense, two-year romance with Curry while still married to Victoria Ward. When he later discovered that Curry was suffering the ravages of Aids, he tended his old flame throughout his last days. Curry eventually died in his arms.
His relationship with Wyngarde lasted a decade, and there were other serious, long-term male lovers.
The biography also delves into Bates’ early years behind the stage curtain, Princess Margaret’s attempt to get in his pants and speculation into why in the world he married – and fathered two children – with – Ward. Bates’ friend, Conrad Monk remarks:
She was actually very ambitious in her own quiet way.
Marrying Alan was her step to stardom. She was determined to get him as her husband and she went about it in just the right way. This was no time to be ‘out’ in the theatre. In a sense, Alan was an easy victim for her.
Damn. That’s some cold shit. Perhaps this AfterElton-provided, Women In Love-snipped video of Bates and Oliver Reed wrestling naked will warm things up a bit. Just as a side-note, Larry Kramer adapted Women In Love‘s screenplay from D.H. Lawrence’s novel of the same name:
AfterElton also passes along playwright Alan Bennett’s remarks on the late Bates:
He was an incorrigible romantic … He was always in love, or on the edge of love, and it was always with the one who was going to be the love of his life … No matter that he had told you exactly the same thing about somebody else six months earlier and six months before that … Status, gender or familiarity didn’t matter – always, this was going to be the real thing.
Poor, hopeful bastard…
John Curry doing his skating thing: