Hollywood Gays: Conversations With: Cary Grant, Liberace, Tony Perkins, Paul Lynde, Cesar Romero, Randolph Scott...

Boze Hadleigh, Author Barricade Books $21.95 (384p) ISBN 978-1-56980-083-6
If all the world's a stage according to Shakespeare, it's all one big movie screen to Hadleigh (Hollywood, Babble On; Hollywood Lesbians), who's evidently taking up where the great gossip columnists of yesteryear left off. In this collection of interviews, each preceded by a chatty introduction, that Hadleigh has conducted over the years with 10 Hollywood stars, the author continues his probing of the ever-popular topic of the sexual proclivities of Hollywood actors. There's nothing very surprising about his choice of subjects--Paul Lynde, Liberace, Randolph Scott, et al.--all of whom, conveniently for legal purposes, are deceased. And though hearing about these stars in their own words often proves entertaining, most of the book's gay readership will find little here they haven't heard before. Two exceptions are the touching interview with producer David Lewis, who talks freely about his longtime companion, James Whale (director of the classic 1931 Frankenstein and of The Invisible Man), who committed suicide in 1957; and the talk with William Haines, whose career was destroyed by Louis B. Mayer after he was caught with another man in his cot at a YMCA. The book's style is suitably straightforward, though Hadleigh's banter often verges on the cute or leering. Readers will find much cocktail-party repartee here and will relish the references to other stars of dubious sexual orientation. But given the book's lack of down and dirty gossip, its potential readership may ultimately agree with actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell, as quoted by Hadleigh: ""It doesn't matter what you do in the bedroom as long as you don't do it in the street and frighten the horses."" Photos, not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1996
Release date: 08/01/1996
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