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Hollywood Gays: Conversations With: Cary Grant, Liberace, Tony Perkins, Paul Lynde, Cesar Romero, Randolph Scott... Hardcover – August 1, 1996

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Barricade Books; First Edition edition (August 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569800839
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569800836
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,200,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.

Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Books like Vita Ruso's The Celluloid Closet (1980) and Kenneth Anger's Hollywood Babylon (1975) abound with rumors about the sexual appetites of Hollywood stars. Hadleigh on the other hand seeks to provide firsthand reports. An entertainment journalist since the 1960s, he conducted volumes of off-the-record interviews with celebrities reputed to be gay or bisexual such as Cary Grant, Paul Lynde, and Anthony Perkins, as well as less well-remembered actors like Randolph Scott and William Haines. In these interviews, often given only with the understanding that they would not be published during the star's life, Hadleigh attempts to get normally secretive actors to speak about their sexual lives. Some stars, including James Coco and Cesar Romero, speak freely and provide valuable accounts of what it was like to be gay in an industry filled with double lives and convenience marriages. Cary Grant and Anthony Perkins are more elusive, but they proffer revelations about co-workers and peers. Like his earlier volumes Conversations with My Elders (St. Martin's, 1988) and Lesbians in Hollywood (Baricade, 1994), Hadleigh's work is somewhat suspect. He claims that for most of these interviews, he was not allowed to tape record or take notes, and frequently the questions seem stiltedly reconstructed. Still, the interviews are highly entertaining and provide an important, mostly undocumented view of the film industry's social history. Recommended for both general readers looking for dish and scholars of gay history and film studies.?Ed Halter, New York Underground Film Festival
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

It is so hard to believe most of what Hadleigh writes, particularly regarding a snuggly-snuggly in a limousine by (the very closeted) Cary Grant.
George M Weatherford
If anything it's disproven by the mere fact that the author has such little to back him up that he has to resort to faking interviews and offering anonymous sources.
C. Garcia
I would have liked to know more though (a lot was hidden even still. the reader is told this. that right there gave me a sign that all is not right with this book).
J. Rose

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By C. Garcia on March 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
WOW. This guy should be ashamed to present this as even being remotely journalistic. No sources, no tapes and such outlandish, unbelievable dialogue that you are embarrassed for the writer. Cary Grant at 80 came on to this guy? Its so ridiculous its funny. Just one of the many obvious personal sexual fantasies the author shares with the reader. I'm sure many of these people he supposedly interviewed were gay or bi-sexual, but it's not proven in this book. If anything it's disproven by the mere fact that the author has such little to back him up that he has to resort to faking interviews and offering anonymous sources.

The most obvious example is the Cary Grant interview, but the rest are just as blatant. There is no way a private person like Grant would speak to a known liar like Boze, let alone discuss his homoosexuality with him, when he had sued Chevy Chase around the time of the interview for calling him a fag.

The book is a waste of money and time. There are great biographies out there that contain substantiated facts rather than gossip and lies.
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77 of 91 people found the following review helpful By "zara_azari" on March 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I totally agree with previous reviewer on all points. (I could not bring myself to rating this DISGUSTING GARBAGE, I mean 1 is too good for it! ) Let me just re-state those points... Firstly, please, pay attention that all of the men mentioned in this book are already dead. Secondly, I do believe that all of the men mentioned in the book were "more or less gay" (and I do not mean bisexual...I mean those men, who ARE GAY, but can't fully admit it, even to themselves). However, I DO NOT SEE how and why would they be so frank with this pompous tiny man... Tony Perkins, for example, was never known for his good demeanor, especially towadrs journalists. Thirdly, author's complete lack of a writer's imagination is obvious, because ASOLUTELY ALL MEN SOUND ALIKE (now, who in their sound state of mind would believe that Tony Perkins, Cary Grant, James Coco, and say Liberace were so much alike in their personal manner of speaking and their opinions on various subjects? ) IT IS ABSURD. Last but not least, throughout all of the so-called conversations, the author keeps interrupting people that he is "conversing" with, just to show how smart he is or to insert yet another sleazy piece of gossip. Had he really done that, I believe, he would have been immediately shut off, if not by Cary Grant, then definitely by Tony Perkins, for doing that. However, the bit about 80-year-old Cary Grant putting moves on the author absolutely takes the cake among all other absurd and disgusting insinuations, I have read so far about gay men in Hollywood. After all that Grant had lived and seen, I am sure he would have had much better taste in men, if in nothing else... Anyway, this book is worst than any of today's tabloid rubbish. Therefore, I have two questions...Read more ›
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By James Martin on August 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is more about the author, Boze Hadleigh, than the so-called interviews. We get to read about when he was born and his parents, how he got his name, his religion, and ALL about his beliefs. He keeps interrupting his (snicker) interviews to preach about intolerence to gays. I am gay and I was insulted at his pompous attitude. I thought I was getting a book on the history of gay celebrities not a term paper by the author on gays. However, the most unbelievable part of this whole book is the way he has practically every star coming on to him. PUH-LEASE! Look at his picture on the jacket and it is evident that this could not possibly be the case. Just because he is gay does not mean every gay star wants to jump into bed with him. It is absurd and a diservice to gay men to suggest that all gays want to have sex with a any man like this character. What a joke!
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Kitkatdiva on December 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
As a journalist myself, I can testify that Cary Grant never gave interviews, even for articles about him. When he HAD to give an interview, he managed never to say anything. So you can write off the Grant interview right away. No conceivable way would he EVER EVER have spoken to Boze Hadleigh. In fact, I can't see how anyone would.

Someone mentioned their curiosity as to why Hadleigh's interview subjects are always dead. Uh, libel laws. He doesn't want to be sued. As he surely would have been - just look at what Cary Grant did when Chevy Chase called him "queer." And here's Cary, talking to good old Boze and coming onto him. Right.

Boze joins Hector Arce and Charles Higham in that wonderful world of - hey, they're dead, let's say anything we want - even fake an interview. And don't ever forget their liberal use of anonymous sources.

We know in many cases that the men allegedly spoken to by Hadleigh were indeed gay. Some we suspected. Now, did these people speak to Hadleigh - knowing full well what he's about? Perhaps some did and just as perhaps, some didn't.

Why we can't love and admire these people for what they brought to us with their work, I don't know. Instead, people like Boze try desperately to out actors like Tyrone Power (I bring this up because Hadleigh works Romero mercilessly on the subject) and manage to overlook first person accounts of affairs with him, such as Mai Zetterling's "All Those Tomorrows," Lana Turner's "The Lady, The Legend, the Truth," Linda Christian's "Linda: My Own Story," and Gene Tierney's autobiography. But why listen to those liars when we have BOZE???
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More About the Author

Boze Hadleigh, author of Celebrity Feuds! and Hollywood and Whine, has written more than 15 books. He holds a master's degree in journalism, speaks five languages, and has been a winner on Jeopardy! Boze also writes extensively for magazines, and his work has appeared in more than 100 publications including TV Guide, Playboy, and Us. The author splits his time, when not traveling the world, between Beverly Hills and Sydney, Australia.