men on film

PHOTOS: Classic Hollywood stars who would’ve been popular on the apps

Classic Hollywood may have been a gay old place, but most gay actors were forced to hide their true identities for fear of career suicide. While that’s tragic enough, it’s also sad that these handsome men were often groomed to within an inch of their lives by the studio system.

We’ve searched for pics that some of our favorite actors of yesteryear — many of who played gay characters or were straight allies — might have posted if they were on the apps.

Click through to feast your eyes on the photos. Which one(s) would you have tapped, woofed, or DM’d?

Paul Newman

Considered by many to be Hollywood’s most classically handsome actor, Newman ascended to stardom with his searing portrayal of closeted Brick in 1958’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. He also scored major gay cred by trying for years to film Patricia Nell Warren’s heartbreaking novel The Front Runner, in which he hoped to play the gay track coach.

Clark Gable

He will eternally be known as the King of Hollywood. The rumor that he had gay director George Cukor fired from Gone With The Wind because he knew the truth about Gable’s hustler past has become tinsel town legend.

James Dean

The archetypal Hollywood bad boy. The homoeroticism in his scenes with Sal Mineo in the seminal drama Rebel Without A Cause is off the charts. Plus, Dean was a kept and, according to some, very naughty boy in the years before he achieved stardom.

Laurence Olivier

Considered by his peers as the greatest actor of the 20th century, Olivier was rumored to have had a sexual liaison with comic actor Danny Kaye, was close friends with gay icons such as John Gielgud and Noel Coward, plus he was part of one of classic Hollywood’s most homoerotic scenes  when he bathed with Tony Curtis in Spartacus.

Gregory Peck

Best-known for his Oscar-winning portrayal of stalwart Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird, there was nothing overtly gay about Peck but the sensitivity he brought to his characters continues to keep us enthralled. A respected humanitarian, Peck would have likely been an ally for LGBTQ+ equality.

Marlon Brando

The man who changed movie acting forever played a repressed gay military instructor in 1967’s Reflections in a Golden Eye. Rumors of same-sex liaisons followed Brando throughout his swift rise to stardom, particularly due to his close friendship with actor Wally Cox and this notorious photo.

Gene Kelly

Sorry Fred Astaire, Gene gets our vote for Hollywood’s greatest dancer. I mean, take a look at how he filled out those sailor pants in On The Town. Kelly’s gayest cred comes with directing the Barbra Streisand behemoth musical Hello Dolly! and his wistful turn in the Olivia Newton-John vehicle Xanadu.

Robert Redford

Whether you’re gay or straight, you probably swooned over Redford’s romantic leading man turn as Hubbell Gardner in The Way We Were. Props to him for playing a closeted actor in Inside Daisy Clover in 1965, at a time when playing gay was career suicide.

Rudolph Valentino

Hollywood’s first male sex symbol, Valentino’s sexual orientation was always suspect. He’s rumored to have had a clandestine affair with “sexual renegade” Samuel Steward and there are unsubstantiated claims he had an affair with fellow silent star Ramon Navarro, whom he reportedly gifted with an art deco dildo.

Cary Grant

Longtime roommate of handsome actor Randolph Scott, the versatile leading man was frequently dogged by rumors he was bisexual. When comic Chevy Chase joked that Grant was gay, he sued for slander.

Montgomery Clift

In a nutshell, Clift was the tortured gay patron saint of classic Hollywood. Although he had affairs with women, Clift’s inability to live openly undoubtedly led to his addictions and, ultimately, his early demise.

Don't forget to share: