Tyrone Power III: Gay Rumors, Errol Flynn
So if Tyrone Power was off having gay liaisons while he was at Fox, it was in another part of the world in someone’s sub-sub-basement (while he was working 18 hours a day at Fox), because if Darryl Zanuck even had so much of a whiff of it, that would have been itsville.
Case in point: William Eythe. Heard of him? Most haven’t. He was being brought along as a leading man by Fox in the ’40s, working in The Ox Bow Incident, The Song of Bernadette, A Royal Scandal, etc. It was all systems go, since everyone else was in the service. He could have established himself the way that Dana Andrews had. When the gay rumors started to reach Zanuck, Zanuck suspended him. Then he farmed him out to England for B movies. Then he made him get married. Then he got rid of him. Now, that’s how Zanuck treated gay leading men. If Zanuck reacted that way with William Eythe, how far do you think Power’s star would have risen if any of these stories were true?
Let’s see how Zanuck behaved with Tyrone Power. When Power announced he was marrying Annabella, Zanuck called her into his office and offered her films in Europe to get her out of the country. She refused, saying that she would not leave her future husband. Zanuck then kept her from working in films. He was livid. He did not want Tyrone to get married. Compare that to [MGM’s] Louis B. Mayer, who married off Gene Raymond, Van Johnson, and Lord knows who else. Angry with Tyrone for disobeying him and getting married, Zanuck assigned him the film Daytime Wife, practically a programmer, with a 15-year-old co-star, Linda Darnell, who nearly drove him insane with her giggling and the love scenes being interrupted for her history lessons and with her blowing her lines.
I’ve heard several rumors regarding Power and Cesar Romero. And I have to laugh. The first one is guilt by association. If you have a gay friend, you’re gay. Well, if that’s true, I’m a lesbian and never knew it. I have so many gay friends, and I’m proud of it. No one in Hollywood or theater doesn’t have gay friends. Given what I’ve just said, I think it’s a fair guess that Cesar Romero would have had a great career digging ditches had Darryl Zanuck thought anything of the kind. And if everyone else knew this, as they seemed to, how would Zanuck not have known it?
And what story about Cesar Romero is true? That they were lovers? Or that Cesar Romero trolled the streets for Tyrone Power – so that someone could turn around and blackmail him or sell the story to Confidential or Whisper? And where is Zanuck while Cesar is violating the morals clause in his contract picking up hustlers – for Fox’s #1 star?
Lana Turner (above) went to her grave insisting that MGM and Fox conspired to break her and Power up. But a blind eye was turned to Cesar and Tyrone? Please. Cesar said that “Tyrone liked the ladies,” but I guess no one believed him. Tyrone’s cousin, Bill, who lived with him in the ’30s, said that if Tyrone was gay, it happened after 1939. I shouldn’t believe him? So I’m not supposed to believe his cousin or his friend, I’m not supposed to believe what common sense dictates, I’m supposed to believe what a hack who never met him says? Or what someone on a message board says?
Rock Hudson was nearly outed by Confidential magazine – fortunately for him, the studio was able to throw George Nader at the magazine instead. If you’ve read as many Confidential magazines as I have, though, they did out people between the lines. And sometimes not between the lines – sometimes right there on the page. They printed plenty about Tyrone, as did Whisper, but it always had to do with women. And Fred Otash, who wrote Investigation: Hollywood, worked for Confidential for years. Tyrone is prominent in Fred’s book for his relationship with Anita Ekberg. I interviewed Fred at some length – do you know what he used to do? Wiretaps. He has an entire transcript of Rock Hudson’s and Phyllis Gates’ divorce discussion. He knew everything about everybody, and never did anything cross his desk about Tyrone Power and men.
Once somebody dies, you can say what you want, and no one can sue you. The publishers and agents bank on this. I want everybody to go out and buy or take a look at Dirk Bogarde’s biography by John Coldstream. Take a look at the notes in the back. Fifty pages of them. He has practically every single sentence referenced with the name of his source, or the document the story or quote came from. Then take a look at the two Power biographies and show me one source note. Produce for me some of the people in the Hector Arce book who told the most outrageous stories. You can’t. Now, the Lawrence Guiles book is okay, it’s just woefully incomplete. Arce just plain makes up stuff or leaves out whatever doesn’t fit his agenda. He leaves out Mary Roblee, one of Tyrone’s girlfriends, a very serious relationship, and I think he gives Mai Zetterling, who lived with Tyrone, a half a sentence.
Follow-up post: “Tyrone Power: Sexual Orientation Rumors.”
Every man is capable of having sex with either a female or a male. At various ages of his life he can prefer one or the other depending on circumstances. The media wants
To sensationalise gay sex as it sells mags. Its about time people stopped categorising people into stereotypes based on sexual preference. Human beings are much more sophisticated than being boxed into a category to sell news.
You base a lot of your argument here around the case of William Eythe. The problem with this is, there’s a big difference between William Eythe and Tyrone Power - i.e., Power was worth a heckuva lot of money to the studio and Eythe was worth zero. If an actor is worth a heckuva lot of money to a studio, wouldn’t it follow that the studio would make every effort to protect him?
I think Tyrone was most likely hetrosexual i find it strange that a actor has to be gay his wife is also gay; i think such things are highly unlikely. Its more likely they were what they said they were. Also letters at fox concerning Clifton Webb for laura shows that the head of fox; Zanuck was not keen on webb because he thought Webb was fly meaning homosexual, and that he was not keen on him getting the part in Laura, see the film on DVD extras were the letters are read aloud; during the narration of the film, there is no way Zanuck would have put up with Powers gay affairs.
Is there any chance of a page or three on Brando on his bing page as i am feed up with Daily mail article on poor brando i find it hard to believe he slept with grant , hudson and mr peck!
i think the mail need correcting how does it manage to place its articles on “respectable” web sites of film stars. When the globe and others cant? how does it get away with it?
I did suggest to microsoft the film pages need constant updating to weed out the garbage
its up for discussion who knows whether they would ever do anything? i wish someone would the film websites are a mess.
I agree with you completely about Tyrone. I read the Hector Arce book cover to cover, and I have got to let it out. I was really frustrated with his mediocre style of nuance, and thought he was not factual but “fantactual” (my word for fantasy mixed with a little fact and a lot of dreaming up things for monitary purposes). I noticed that he also wrote two other biographies the same year about Gary Cooper and Groucho Marx. He inferred he was a very close friend of Groucho, and helped him write his biography. I have done so much research on Tyrone Power’s life, and have come to the conclusion that he was most likely not gay, and that at this point it does not really matter, since he is deceased, and sadly mostly forgotten (except in blogs and paragraphs that drift through the internet). I think Tyrone was so desirable that EVERYBODY wanted him, by whatever they could have him, and Hector Arce may have had a secret desire to have him, and let his own fantasy get the better of him. He also was into tabloid writing and wanted to make money. I am so frustrated with the fact that so many blogs take it seriously, and believe that Hector Arce’s suppositions and innuendo’s are fact. I guess they believe that Alice really went down the rabbit hole also.
I think the lives of all of the Ty Powers is very interesting.they did amazing work for the arts stage and screen .I was actually searching through Trove recently and was a little amazed to see Tyrone powers snr spent quite some time here in Australia on stage in 1899/ 1900 with his wife at the time actress Edith Crane.. They arrived in Australia. On 13/dec /1899 in Tess of the D’Urbervilles after the play ” The Only Way” amazing .. A great history for all the Power family. Regards .Col
Feel free to leave your comment about the Alt Film Guide article “Tyrone Power IV: Bisexuality, Cesar Romero Rumors” in the space below. Note: Different views and opinions are perfectly fine, but courtesy and respect are imperative. Abusive, bigoted, trollish, baseless (spreading rumors or misinformation), and inflammatory comments and/or remarks will be deleted, and such commenters may be banned.
You just proved my point when you deleted my comment about your speculative monologue.
Afraid of a debate based on fact? I am sure that would fall under one of your abonentów categories!
I love Tyrone Power and I do not care what side of the coin he was on. I just adore him, they do not make gents like him anymore and I have seen every single film he ever made, I know this much, he has made several generations of ladies happy.
Gay or not he still was a good actor love to watch all those old movies with my parents they were good times
I LIVE THROUGH THESE WONDERFUL MOVIES TYRONE POWER MADE IN HOLLYWOOD……..I CAN TELL YOU GAY OR NO GAY,,THEY DONT MAKE LIKE THAT ANYMORE…THERE WERE TALK ABOUT HIM BEING GAY,,,DOES IT MATTER….? HE WAS JUST TOO GOOD LOOKING ,,,IN FACT EVERY BODY LOVED TYRONE POWER…..THANKS QUERINO
Ty was a great actor,that all that matters to me people need to stop trying to down great the dead.As for cary grant he was one of my favorite leading men.
Yes, because we all know Scott Bowers has no reason to lie. And, seriously, you obviously have NEVER met Andre, because that “self-hating gay or closeted” line made me laugh! One, Andre is gorgeous! Two, he’s out. Three, he’s never been self-loathing about being gay. He’s a historian and historians go where the facts take them. Just because some hustler wrote a book with stories that no one can verify, doesn’t make it gospel. Just like with Cary Grant or Clark Gable, there is just no facts to prove the case. I, myself, have done my share of study on Clark Gable’s life. Like what Andre said, if he was having gay liasons, it was so well covered up and so infrequent that no one can find traces of any. All you can find is lots of stories of what a lousy lay he was (and there are LOTS). Every historian who has read the Bower’s book has pretty much written it off because most of the stories are not verifiable. You need facts to prove a case. I could tell you about my wild night with George Clooney but it doesn’t make it true, does it?
another self hating gay man or a closet case washes up on the shore and delivers another oh no Ty Power could not be gay he loved women. Yeah right, so of course he discounts romero’s interview in gay hollywood, and is another one who discounts arce’s books because he doesn’t list any sources. I suggest that Soares picks up a copy of scotty bowers full service where he writes about Powers gay affairs and sexual practices, but no doubt he will call him also a liar.
For sure, it’s difficult to separate fact from fiction when it comes to sexuality in Hollywood. I’ve had several friends who worked in the industry in various capacities (journalist, costume designer, actors) going back to the 1940s, and I’ve read the most reliable accounts I can find (written by William J. Mann). The best I come up with is that Power appears to have been bisexual but one can’t say for sure. What confuses people is that many stars dabbled in a number of places for one reason or another. As you suggest, studio moguls were inconsistent in how they treated their stars vis a vis rumors of behavior that might damage their careers — and the press, as well.
I have loved Tyrone Power since I was nine and saw him in Captain from Castile. He was absolutely the most stunning man I have every seen since then or since. If he was bisexual who cares no one could have resisted. Also, if Zanuck knew he was a very big star at 20th Century don’t you think they would have hid any signs of his homosexuality…..
I don’t understand why this is of any importance or how it is anyone’s business. Who cares about who is having sex with whom? Do gay people need to have stars to prove a point? Or do heterosexuals need stars to prove a point? No one cares about your sex life why do you need to know about someone else’s? People who do know should be trusted to keep a confidence especially when the person is not here to defend themselves. At the end of the day its none of your business.
Thanks for your willingness to look at fact based info. I’m getting bored with all the wishful “gay” branding. One could be lead to believe that 75% of all admirable, creative and talented people of the past were really gay. Such nonsense!
I had the pleasure and good fortune to work with Cesar Romero many times, and have spent time in his home also. Cesar had great stories to tell, and I was fascinated by them. I remember standing in the Biltmore Bowl alone with him, and he was very animated talking about when the Oscars were held there, and we talked about Carmen Miranda and her scandals there.
Another time in the Crystal Ballroom here Cesar and I walked in where the Manny Harmon Orchestra was rehearsing for a gig there. Manny, with his highly made-up face, screeched “Oh, BUTCH!” to Cesar and came trotting over for a kiss and hug.. Cesar’s nickname had always been “Butch”. Over a span of a few years, I always found him to be a gentleman, very wise, funny, subdued, and just brimming with stories. Some of those stories had to do with Ty Power. And regardless of what anyone says, believe me, they were much closer than friends. I loved hearing about that trip to Argentina and Eva Peron and more.
Cesar knew everyone, and had a silver-framed picture of Joan Crawford in his home, and I still remember it was signed “To Butch, with Love, from Joanie and Princess”. Cesar also sent a signed pic to my Mom, who was very ill, and had said “I think he’s a doll”. He was gracious and patient, and endured a great many stories about him, true and untrue, with poise and dignity. And he was always so handsome; I have several pics of me with him, and over the years in the pics, I obviously got older. Cesar, however, looks almost exactly the same in them all, timelessly, with a brilliant smile and broad shoulders. I’m proud to have known him.
I’d read several years ago that Tyrone and Errol Flynn were gay lovers and that there had been some kind of a “sex scandal trial” involving both back in the ’50s….naturally it stung my curiosity as both of them were supposed to be such macho type images to the masses….but my reaction was, yeah whatever, so who shivs a git? That’s their problem, not mine. Celebs, Hollywood and otherwise, do not stand fifteen feet tall nor can they walk on water any more than you or I could. Hollywood has always been nothing but a propaganda mill and true art and entertainment were just by-products…it’s just that it wasn’t so blatant back in the ’30s when some of the Glittering Ghetto’s true masterpieces were being rolled out…now it would take five good sized men and a boy to drag me to a movie theater as much junk celluloid as is out there now.
One last thought. Why do people still care about who is gay and who is straight in Hollywood. Doesn’t affect my life in anyway. These people are truly more illusion then real to us all, so why in 2013 do people want details of some one else’s sex life? Our society needs to mature a bit.
Why is it a handsome actor always gets the gay finger pointed at them sooner or later. Whats behind it? I have a feeling it’s that they either intimidate some men, or some men find they are attracted to them and it freaks them out,,,soooo they lash out at the poor guy/actor. I have gay friends, and have had them for years. The fact that they are guy doesn’t enter my mind. So, having said that, if I looked like Tyrone Power, and had his grace/bearing, I wouldn’t give a hoot what people thought. In fact, it might be a fair trade off………
to each his or her own, live and let live,,i know a lot of gay people, and they are a lot gayer than us straights, great company, iv never been touched on the arse by any,..
Randolph Scott was also gay, and said so once he was older and out of the business. It caused little apparent trouble for his long career as a star of westerns and adventures. Little effort was made to quash the private lives of gay stars as long as they were discrete and worth money to the studio. Journalism in the thirties and forties rarely made mention of homosexuality among the rich and famous. Confidential did so later, but only vaguely and often falsely and randomly. Affairs between men and women were much more likely to be picked up by the media of the day, that’s why a studio head might overlook or not be aware of an affair between men but be concerned with one between an man and a woman. There’s no reason to doubt that Tyrone Power may have been involved with men, there’s nothing wrong with that.
I have some doubts about your allegations regarding ty power’s bi sexuality which you point out is not true. In hollywood gays hadleigh in his interview with Romero states that Power was bi-sexual and Romero talks about Power indicating a long sexual relationship sharing a house when making captain from castile and more. There is the the power bio. by Hector Arce that you also discount. In Maureen O’ Hara’s autobio. she writes about finding John Ford having sex with her male lead, which seems to be clearly ty power (this was during the making of the long gray line). Its odd that you take female takes on power as truth yet discount any male account of his bi sexuality. Wilder as you mention in your piece was a notorious homophobe, and both Laughton and power no doubt knew this and would go out of there way to hide this from him. Also it is wildly known that Annabella was a lesbian, and I don’t buy the Zanuck story, do you have proof of this. who told you this. Romero’s career did go south of the border because of his refusal to marry under pressure from the studio, and if the Acre book was so full of lies why didn’t the Power family sue?
hi,,,I am not trying to pick a fight with you at all, I am just trying to understand where you are coming from. Its almost as if you want Power to be Bi or Gay..we can never know this, and as it stands he was a heterosexual man as far as any real evidence goes. Why not appreciate his work, admire his good looks and grace, and leave the stars where they belong, in heaven. Just because you’re handsome doesn’t mean you’re gay.
nunca entendere porque la gente se mete tanto en la cama de los demas, solo las mentes reducidas se ocupan de eso.-
entre otras cosas, no me importa la sexualidad de power, pero nadie le va a sacar el titulo de EL HOMBRE MAS HERMOSO QUE CREO DIOS.-
But I’ve got to ask. Whether Ty Power is gay, bi, straight or what-not, how do you know that William Eyth is gay? Just because his career petered out, as happens to hundreds of actors? What is your source on that? Just curious, as you mention that so many people say/write someone is gay without giving sources.
You did a good book on Ramon Novarro by the way.
That statement is Maria Ciaccia’s, not my own. This post is part of a lengthy q&a with Tyrone Power researcher Ciaccia. (I need to clarify that. I can see how it would be confusing to someone who lands on this page.)
Now, William Eythe was Lon McCallister’s lover for some time (if I remember correctly, until the time Eythe died).
While working on the Novarro biography, I met a number of McCallister’s friends. Unfortunately, McCallister wouldn’t discuss the issue in public.
And I’m glad you enjoyed “Beyond Paradise.”
While Power may not have been gay, your argument that he would NEVER have had a career at Fox if he was, just doesn’t hold water. Ironically, this is reinforced by the fact the Cesar Romero, Hollywood’s Favorite (and well known) Beard had a career there for over 14 years, and made at least 14 films there in the process. Also comparing Power to William Eythe — of all people — is like comparing Marlon Brando to Howdy Doody. Eythe would NEVER have made it as a leading man.
Having said that, while it is indeed worth noting that Power was never outed by magazines like Confidential and such, it wasn’t Nader who was thrown under the bus when they were trying to squash rumors about Hudson. It was Tab Hunter and his ‘Pajama Parties’. Henry Willson threw him to the wolves, and his career never recovered.
agreed…..you hit the nail on the head.