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Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars Hardcover – February 14, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press; First Edition edition (February 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802120075
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802120076
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (606 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“I have known Scotty Bowers for the better part of a century. I’m so pleased that he has finally decided to tell his story to the world. His startling memoir includes great figures like Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. Scotty doesn't lie—the stars sometimes do—and he knows everybody.”—Gore Vidal

“Mr. Bowers, 88, recalls his highly unorthodox life in a ribald memoir . . . [A] lurid, no-detail-too-excruciating account of a sexual Zelig who (if you believe him) trawled an X-rated underworld for over three decades without getting caught. . . . [A] lot of what Mr. Bowers has to say is pretty shocking. . . . Full Service at the very least highlights how sharply the rules of engagement for reporting celebrity gossip have changed. . . . [I]t’s much harder to keep details as salacious as the ones Mr. Bowers outlines under wraps.”—Brooks Barnes, New York Times

"A jaw-dropping firsthand account of closeted life in Hollywood during the '40s and '50s. The wholesome image of the postwar American family was acted, written, directed, and designed by people for whom such a life was never possible and Bowers writes about their pain and brilliance with the childlike wonder of Chauncey Gardiner. Turner Classic Movies will never quite look the same."—Griffin Dunne, Actor/Director

“[Scotty Bowers] made his reputation by sleeping with everyone in Hollywood who wasn’t actually Lassie, and now he tells all. If you ever suspected that Spencer Tracy was bisexual and Tyrone Power a coprophiliac, and if you happen to believe everything you read, here is all the testimony you require.”—Anthony Lane, The New Yorker

“[Q]uel scandale!”—Vanity Fair

“This handsome ex-Marine and his friendly gas station have long been alluded to in Hollywood memoirs. And now, at last, they go public.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“The book is like a 286-page gossip column from Hollywood’s golden age—it names all the names and spills all the secrets. Bowers was a . . . free-love advocate far ahead of his time who claimed Cary Grant, Spencer Tracy, Edith Piaf and the Duke of Windsor (to mention just a few) as lovers.”—W Magazine, “February’s Most Wanted”

“[A] tell-all book . . . .Cary Grant, Rock Hudson, George Cukor, Katharine Hepburn and Vivien Leigh are among those named by Bowers, now 88. . . . Younger readers—at least those raised in the Internet and TMZ age—may find nearly as shocking the fact that the stories were squelched by studio publicists and remained largely under wraps back in the day.”—Chicago Tribune

“Connoisseurs of lurid tell-alls and the golden age of Hollywood will almost certainly be entranced by Full Service.”—The Atlantic Wire

“The Scotty I knew was a guy who always seemed to be enjoying his life working morning, noon and night, with never a gripe; always with a smile to greet you, and never with an axe to grind. After a lifetime in Hollywood, that’s a remarkable feat and its own kind of Zen.”—David Patrick Columbia, New York Social Diary

"They said he'd never talk — but at long last, the legendary Scotty Bowers has told his story, with all the honesty, compassion and insight that made him a confidant of movie stars, directors, billionaires, and politicians. Bowers knew Hollywood like no one else, invited behind closed doors to observe firsthand the true stories of America's dream factory. This is juicy, juicy stuff—but just as importantly, it's a seminal chapter of American popular culture that gives us a richer understanding of the people, times, and culture of Hollywood's Golden Age."—William J. Mann, author of Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn

"A picaresque romp that unabashedly uncovers long-hidden sexual scandals during Hollywood's golden years."—John Rechy, author of City of Night

“Delicious with every salacious detail . . . The photographs alone are worth the price of admission.”—Huffington Post

“Controversial . . . vivid . . . As well as a titillating catalogue of sexual intrigue, the book is designed to expose of the hypocrisy and fear that swirled beneath the industry's on-screen glamour and crafted wholesomeness. . . . [Bowers] dramatically describes the climate of fear in an era when he worked as a bartender at Hollywood parties while the LAPD vice squad were prowling the hills in their patrol cars looking for parties and opportunities to arrest the participants.”—The Guardian (UK)

“After five years maintaining that sex secrets of Tinseltown’s elite, at the age of 88, Bowers is revealing all in a sensational new memoir.”—The Daily Express (UK)

Full Service opens the doors of the closeted, X-rated underworld of old Hollywood through three decades.”—The Daily Mail (UK)

“[Bowers] became the Mr. Fixit for screen icons who sought out the more lurid trappings of Tinseltown during its glory days. Wild affairs, gay romps and rampant prostitution were the order of the day and Bowers was the man they turned to for their salacious entertainment.”—The Daily Mirror (UK)

“Scotty Bowers—once a beacon of discretion—finally unveils the carnal peccadillos of many of the studio era’s biggest players. . . . For impromptu beach house read-a-loud moments . . . this book is a must.”—Lambda Literary

“[If] you're one of those people who still owns a vintage princess phone, watches Mad Men obsessively, and yearns to go back to a “simpler” time when men and women exchanged witty banter in mid-Atlantic accents instead of jumping into the sack, read Bowers’ book.”—Nerve.com

“[Full Service] is about to blow the door off of the Hollywood Closet. . . . Escandalo!”—Seattle Gay Scene

“None of us are ready for what appears to be the kickass Old Hollywood memoir of 2012: Scotty Bowers’s Full Service.”—AfterElton.com

About the Author

Scotty Bowers, now 88, still works as a bartender at private functions in Hollywood.
Lionel Friedberg is an Emmy-winning producer, director and professional writer.

Customer Reviews

Seems like a waste of money, and I just donate them.
Donna Kirkhart
The story interested me...and though it seems authentic as it relates to most data...it is very poorly written.
Another problem readers might have with this book is that some of it does not seem believable.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

298 of 326 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Hanna on January 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Somehow I was surprised that this was so well-written. Scotty Bowers seems like a nice, charming guy with boundless energy, curiosity and a great appetite for life who seems to have never had the slightest hang-up about sex. Of course having killer good looks and body didn't hurt. An interesting subtext about how witnessing real horror at Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima increased his desire to live fully after the war.
The book is overflowing with juicy, bizarre, often very surprising gossip which can be hilariously funny, sometimes sad, and frequently over-the-top salacious. All of the in-your-face sexuality and pathos is interesting because it involves people who were so idealized at the time - and some still are. Plenty of rumors are confirmed and legends shattered. This goes well beyond "Hollywood Babylon" in explicitness and naming names. A real page-turner. Definitely not a re-hash of tired, familiar stories or questionable speculation; Scotty knew and saw them all up close and decided his fascinating tale was worth sharing, now that most of the denizens of old Hollywood are gone. The book's tone is never mean-spirited.
Gore Vidal calls the book startling and vouches for Scotty's veracity.
For those with delicate sensibilities: approach with caution. Some readers will be offended by "distasteful" and unflattering details about favorite celebrities, but if you're going to tell this kind of story nowadays, you might as well go ALL the way, and Scotty does!
There is an interesting article about Bowers and this book in the Sunday, Jan. 29th New York Times. A Vanity Fair writer and award-winning documentary film-maker has signed a deal to make a documentary about Scotty. Shortly after "Full Service" was published, a writer for L.
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71 of 81 people found the following review helpful By John Erman on February 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Scotty worked for me for years. He tended bar, he pruned trees, and he packed us up when we moved away from Los Angeles. This book was like a visit with an old friend. But, Scotty was forever youthful, forever enthusiastic, and a nice guy. This comes through in the book, which is amazing, because some of his stories will raise your eyebrows. He describes life in Hollywood as it will never be again. I was happy to read at the conclusion that his current life is a happy one. He deserves it. And, if you choose to read this eminently readable book, I think you'll have a good time. I did.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By JGT on April 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Not really all that much new as far as dishing dirt on Hollywood stars. This book goes into more detail than some others but anyone who is interested in reading about movie stars will probably already know about who is gay or alcoholic or into kinky sex. Considering how many stars the author referred to as "dear friends" and "good buddies", I do find it rather odd that though there are a number of pictures of celebrities, there is not one photo of the author with any of the people named in the book.
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55 of 65 people found the following review helpful By J & K on May 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I think most people have met someone like Scotty Bowers in their lives. He's the type of person who brags constantly about his sexual conquests... and yet you never really believe the stories. That's what reading Full Service is like. The first half of Bowers's life is all 1930s Depression and WW2, then it's just a list of increasingly incredible sexual exploits and pimping. For example, 150 different women for Katherine Hepburn. Really? Come on! OK, some of it may be true but most of it reads like boastful exaggeration. The fact that everyone he's writing about is dead is also highly suspicious. And he really does have a high opinion of himself as a lover! Best read as a bit of a joke and for some intriguing Hollywood gossip than taken entirely on face value.
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207 of 271 people found the following review helpful By AndrewCF on February 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Original Story By: A Memoir of Broadway and HollywoodSecret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward, Professor, Tattoo Artist, and Sexual Renegade

Did Gore Vidal even read this book?

This autobiography of a "servicer" to the stars (because he is neither a madam nor a pimp and is an often-participant), Scotty Bowers, is trite, poorly written, and exasperating. It's devoid of wit and has a "nudge-nudge, wink-wink" feel to it despite the graphic depiction of his client's proclivities. This is a man who has waited until his late 80s to write his memoir, although he is often plagued by memory lapses. It is broadly painted, and Bowers somehow feels obligated to list screen credits for icons that the world knows. Bowers makes assumptions that famous film industry names are now unknown, such as Sydney Guilaroff and Orry-Kelly! But worse still, his revelations cannot be refuted, since most of the celebrities named are long gone. I have long been convinced that there is a trove of not-so-secret secrets well hidden by the Hollywood machine. Bowers doesn't even mention Van Johnson and Cesar Romero. But the intention of this book is to shock, but this annotated list of names is banal, as are most of the stories within. You might doze off at the inane analysis of the relationship between Rita Hayworth and her brother (not a sexual one).

I could rail about Bowers relationship to George Cukor. Cukor, though a brilliant director, was a prissy, mean-spirited and unattractive man (I know, having met him in the 70s).
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