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Raquel Welch: Ben-Hur star Stephen Boyd was gay

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  1. It’s an anecdote from an old actress about events over 45 years ago.

    How is this news, of ANY kind?

    1. danielmclion 13 Feb 2012, 1:38pm

      It’s very important to let the world know that so called straight actors were not straight at all. The homophobia in Hollywood exists in a unbelievable way, even today! Not only actors but camera men and the whole crew have to pretend to be straight or lose their jobs!!! I know former lovers who have married because they came under suspicion to be gay and outcasted! Same thing with sports men! You cannot be gay as a socker player and thus they pretend to be straight and thus there aren’t gay socker players. It’s the Awfull truth and time to make it public. At least when it cannot harm the person anymore like Stephen Boyd but will make it clear he too was factually blackmailed by a heterosexual mafia in Hollywood.

    2. David Myers 14 Feb 2012, 9:05am

      Don’t be such an idiot. Our history, all of it, is important. Thank you Raquel for this recollection and your gracious acceptance of Boyd’s polite rejection.

  2. TheLizzie12 13 Feb 2012, 1:11pm

    Stephen Boyd played Messala in 1959’s Ben Hur as gay and in love with Ben Hur (Charlton Heston) butr no one told ‘Chuck’. Its a great story, told in Vito Russo’s book Celluloid Closet and in the excellent documentary film based on Vito’s book. Boyd should have been nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for that film, but was overlooked. I wonder why?

    1. I have read Vito’s book more than once, and I have the DVD narrated by Lily Tomlin.

      Also, the story of how the adorable and virile Stephen Boyd excelled as Massala by portraying a gay attachment to Ben-Hur was told on film by Gore Vidal who had actually coached Boyd during the shoot.

      Boyd’s close-up in that scene is as clear in my mind as the day I first saw it… an unforgettable actor, and I’m so happy to hear he was gay and a well-kept secret in those awful days in Hollywood.

  3. Concerned resident e3 13 Feb 2012, 1:32pm

    This is old old news. Gore Vidal outed him in his autobiography “Palimpsest” in 1995

    1. Concerned resident e3 13 Feb 2012, 1:34pm

      Btw Vidal was the screenwriter and he told Boyd to play the part gay. As TheLizzie says this was also covered in the Celluloid Closet.

    2. Not everyone reads the grandiose Gore Vidal… but thanks for the lead.

      1. Mr. Ripley's Asscrack 13 Feb 2012, 8:52pm

        Speak for yourself, Jonpol. Try Lincoln, it’s very dry!

        1. eh, eh… fair enough, Mr. Ripley.

          Lincoln?

          1. David Myers 14 Feb 2012, 9:15am

            Jonpol, don’t take Mr. Ripley’s word for it. Vidal’s “Lincoln” is probably the best Lincoln book I’ve ever read other than “Team of Rivals – The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” – by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Both books show tremendous insight into the genius that was Lincoln and how he played his rivals (all in his cabinet) like a fantastic politician, magician, and psychologist. In the end they were all totally thankful that Lincoln, not them had won the responsibility for his near impossible task. Both books well worth reading if this era and history interest you.

          2. Very tempting, David, thank you.

            Last year my partner read a book which contained Lincoln’s intimate correspondence with his ‘favorites’, but he said the book was disjointed, basically a collection of affectionate letters with the odd commentary.

            I’m more acquainted with Lincoln as ‘Oh Captain, my Captain’, but I have yet to find a letter to Lincoln from Whitman.

  4. DUH, Raquel! I think you were the only one who DIDN’T know. (You and Chuck, that is, though I have serious supicions about Chuck and his ‘macho’ persona, but he was a moron also).

  5. danielmclion 13 Feb 2012, 1:51pm

    Maybe it’s indeed old news. You may know it but many dont and it is not really publicly known. Like I wrote here before, awareness and unveiling the truth, I.o.w. undermining the heterosexual Hollywood mafia is very important! Here in the Netherlands, of all places, gay soccer players are still in the closset. Actually in their own vaults! :(

  6. Paddyswurds 13 Feb 2012, 2:25pm

    Yet another banal non news story from PN. Unusual for a Monday to be so bereft of anything resembling a worthy news story. How is this in any way something any of us need to hear….. the man is dead ffs. Let him rest in peace.

    1. thank you for some kindness toward a fine actor.
      and i believe he was not gay & loved women period…

  7. Paddyswurds 13 Feb 2012, 2:33pm

    …and Raquel Welch’s claim to know he was gay is somewhat diminished by the fact that she thought he was Welsh and didn’t know he was Irish.

  8. davidjohng 13 Feb 2012, 3:14pm

    “an actress is a little bit more than a woman but an actor is a little bit less than a man?”
    What the hell does this really mean? He sounds kinda sad. And if you have to live your whole life in a closet and even marry the opposite because of your career, as he apparently did, it really is sad. Is he really saying that being a gay man is being less than a man? Unfortunately alot of people think this including alot of gay men. And that’s sad.

    1. The history of the film industry in Hollywood reflects the American religious homophobia of the 20th century.

      Vito Rosso’s work is a a tremendous insight into Tinseltown… definitely worth a read.

      1. the film is also worth a look, it’s available on youtube. Don’t miss Gore Vidal’s description of Will Hayes as “looking not unlike Mickey Mouse” and damned if he didn’t!

    2. Well said, davidjohng. I thought the same on imagining that scene and those words spoken. It’s not apologising for being unable to satisfy her sexually: it’s apologising for being unable to satisfy her because he is not “a real man”. A very negative self-view. On the other hand, when under pressure from a voluptuous and horny female one might recourse to such self-diminishment. Much the same as saying, “Sorry, sweetie, but really I’m a bit of a girl, you know!”

  9. Yeah, it’s old news but still…now I want to see “Fantastic Voyage” again.

    1. Spanner1960 13 Feb 2012, 5:12pm

      That was a great film.

      1. Mr. Ripley's Asscrack 13 Feb 2012, 8:53pm

        …for bulges!! :-o

  10. Spanner1960 13 Feb 2012, 5:14pm

    Well, considering Raquel “Squelch” was judged by many to be the hottest property around in those days, it must have been slightly obvious that she was totally smitten by him, and that he showed no interest. If that doesn’t ring alarm bells, I don’t know what does.

  11. Raquel Welch as become a bitter dried up conservative.

  12. Michiko Kimura 27 Jul 2012, 9:08am

    Thank you, Raquel Squelch, a great Superstar, for the precioius information. I love Boyd’s wildness. But I’ve been wondered why he had been single. Maybe, you are right.

    1. Welch’s comments mean nothing
      he was married twice
      he died married to a woman
      cut the bull about BenHur
      he was great actor doing his work
      Boyd once said he didn’t like amateurs..
      go figure

      1. In total all his marriages lasted less than a year.

  13. I agree that the comment attributed back to Welch by Boyd is a sad reveal of self-denigration on Boyd’s part, but Rock Hudson’s biography through this same era isn’t without some too. For a closeted gay man in his 30s in the 1960s, particularly one with high public visibility, it was an all too common component of his emotional baggage.

    That is makes those reading it now, gay or straight, recoil with some distaste could be taken as a left-handed tribute to a little progress since.

  14. Ricardo Bell 21 Jan, 6:52pm

    Of course, if a man turns down Raquel Welch he must be gay! Boyd was a very dedicated, twice- married actor who may not have been attracted to her!

  15. Even if Boyd was married twice, first to Mariella di Sarzana for less than a month ! that obviously didn’t work out … and then to secretary Elizabeth Mills just for a few months until his death.
    This is really not very compelling evidence for his being straight.
    But OMG!…. I guess this means Raquel Welch is a heterosexual

  16. Ricardo Bell 1 Feb, 4:15pm

    Of course, If you turn down Raquel Welch you must be gay! No, Boyd seemed to be a dedicated actor serious about his craft ..who was married twice.

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