Saturday, 3 December 2011

DAUGHTER JUDY LEWIS WAS NOT THE ONLY SECRET IN CLARK GABLE'S CLOSET


(December 3)  Judy Lewis, the "secret" daughter of Hollywood stars Loretta Young and Clark Gable, died on November 25 at the age 76. Lewis was only 31 before she discovered she was the daughter of Hollywood royalty, then confronted Young in 1966.

"Loretta Young’s deception was contrived to protect her budding movie career and the box-office power of the matinee idol Gable, who was married to someone else when they conceived their child in snowed-in Washington State," The New York Times reports. "They were on location, shooting the 1935 film The Call of the Wild, fictional lovers in front of the camera and actual lovers outside its range."
Judy Lewis, in a publicity photo, around 1977.

But Judy Lewis was not the only secret Clark Gable did everything to conceal.

While many Hollywood historians continue to ignore the real truth about Clark Gable's sexuality, it is now indisputable that Gable was a deeply-closeted homo.

I blabbed about Gable's secret gay life with famed British biographer David Bret, who has written bios of Elvis Presley (Elvis: The Hollywood Years claims Elvis had an affair with actor Nick Adams and Col. Tom Parker blackmailed Presley by threatening to reveal "secret information" that Elvis was a homo), Joan Crawford, Errol Flynn, Maria Callas, and his good friend, the late Marlene Dietrich ("I was the last person she talked to - she called me two days before she died").

Bret also wrote the 2011 bio Elizabeth Taylor: The Lady, The Lover, The Legend 1932 -2011. Taylor once called Bret "a shit, but a lovable shit." But I digress.

Bret's 2008 bestselling biography Clark Gable: Tormented Star exposes Gable's secret gay life. And, let me tell you, it was extensive. Or at least it was "until 1942, when he 'became' straight," quips Bret.

So just how repressed was Clark Gable about his bisexuality?

"Gable was brought up in a gung-ho atmosphere working with his father in the oil fields," Bret explains. "On Friday night [the oil hands] would fetch the local prostitutes and had 10 minutes each. That's also the reason why Gable was so paranoid about cleanliness - from having sex with whores. And he did this because his father told him to. His father brought him up to believe he was a sissy. In the macho world of oilrigs, Gable was regarded as a bit of a pansy and his father called him that until the day he died. So Gable spent his entire life trying to prove he was a man."


David Brett
(Courtesy Random House)

There is a famous story Bret recalls in Tormented Star about why famed gay director George Cukor was fired from Gone With the Wind by David O. Selznick and replaced by The Wizard of Oz director Victor Fleming. Back at a 1937 party Cukor hosted, Gable spotted Cukor chatting with gay actor William Haines - whom Gable had serviced many times in his early years to further his career - and he assumed they were talking about him.

So, unable to look a "woman's director" in the eye, Gable had Cukor fired.

"Gable thought anyone who knew Haines had to be a raving queen," Bret says. "He didn't want others to think that of him."

Gable also outed other actors such as Johnny Mack Brown and Rod La Rocque to prevent himself from being outed.

"In those days there were two gangs in Hollywood - Joan Crawford's and Carole Lombard's," Bret explains. "Lombard is the one who termed 'fag hag.' These gangs went to all the gay bars in Hollywood and no one thought anything of it because [actors like Gable] all had beards. But Gable was more discreet with his relationships, like Rod La Rocque.

"But when Johnny Mack Brown was making the [1931] movie Laughing Sinners with Joan Crawford, Gable had him fired because he thought he could do the role better," Bret continues. "Then he threatened to out him if he revealed their affair."

If Clark Gable was once a debonair hero, he no longer is in my eyes.

"Yes, he was very hypocritical. [Outing men he slept with] did make me think of him lesser as a man," Bret agrees.

Here I must mention that Bret is long married to a woman but is also openly bisexual ("I get the best of both worlds!").

Says Bret, "Had I been in the same situation [as Gable], I would have done the same thing [stayed in the closet]. It was very difficult being gay in those days, much more than it is today. And today it's impossible. But today I'd also stick to my principles. Back then I would have made allowances because you would not have had a career."

The same might be said of Hollywood's current crop of closeted matinee idols.

"Others will be writing the same thing about them in 50 years," Bret says, noting of Gable, "It was okay [for him] to deny he's gay. But to ruin his boyfriend's career? That wasn't cool. But Hollywood is a cutthroat business."

Twitter.com/bugsburnett

11 comments:

  1. Fun! I'm in the middle of a movie with him and my idol Barbara Dyke Stanwyck. I stopped last night at the part where he out-manned her and made her go all "girly." Upside down and downside up!

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  2. Everyone seems to turn gay once they are dead!

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    1. Haha. Brilliant. David Bret is utter slime. Yuuuck!

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  3. I do not understand how David Bret found out that Rod La Rocque was gay?La Rocque has been dead for so many many years.How does David Bret find out that Rod La Rocque was gay?

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  4. If he had a love child with Loretta Young, he wasn't gay. He was bi-sexual. It exists. Get used to it.

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  5. Unless you have facts that can be verified by more than 2 living persons, it's all just "hear say". What big male movie star hasn't been called "Gay"? We do KNOW that Gable placed his penis in Young's vagina and a baby was born named Judy Lewis! Gable was also married to at least 5 women & slept with many more women throughout his time as a star! Just saying, before we go pointing the finger and making claims about an individual's sexuality, their should be more proof (photographs, films, letters, individuals statements etc.)! Like many, many straight men in Hollywood there is creditable reports that Gable did "make fun of homosexuals" by calling them names and such behind their backs & to their faces. Teasing and being a bully doesn't always mean the man is repressed or is trying to "hide something in his past". It can also indicate that Gable was just mean and typical in the cut-throat world of Hollywood.

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  6. Thank You!! Another Dip Sh** trying to sell a book....

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    1. I agree wholeheartedly! Without any physical evidence of any kind ...but plenty of evidence to the contrary, we, in the future, cannot rewrite history!
      Clark Gable and his legacy should NOT be tainted with UNFOUNDED accusations. His lifestyle points to one direction, and one direction ONLY! A gluttonous appetite for the ladies... nothing else.
      Clark Gable was straight as an arrow if you go by all physical evidence. PERIOD.

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  7. Clark Gable was straight any bod dont believe your dirty book Another Dip Sh** lier trying to sell a book f u c k you David Bret !

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  8. Growing up with a father like his would screw up any one. And Hollywood has always been ruthless.
    Don't care if Clark did what he thought he needed to survive.
    Still like him. And years later why smear his reputation...Brett is as bad as the father.

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