He stood with John Wayne in The Alamo. He wooed Elizabeth Taylor in Butterfield 8. And he took a Walk on the Wild Side in 1962. He was Laurence Harvey, one of Hollywood’s most versatile leading men.
British actor John FRASER wrote in his memoir Close Up that Harvey was gay, and that his lover was his manager James Woolf. “As a teenager, he started out living with Hermione Baddeley, a blowsy star of intimate revue more than twice his age. Then he married Margaret Leighton, old enough to be his mother, but a woman of style. When this marriage was over, he married Joan Cohn, widow of Harry Cohn, managing director of Columbia Studios. Throughout all these career marriages, he still managed to string Jimmy Woolf along.” Eventually he married Paulene Stone. Harvey met Stone on the set of A Dandy in Aspic, and while still married to Cohn he became a father for the first time when Stone gave birth to a daughter, Domino, in 1969. Harvey divorced Cohn (who was 17 years his senior) and married Stone in 1972.
Noël COWARD once commented on Harvey’s unhappy marriage to actress Margaret Leighton: “It really isn’t surprising that homosexuality is becoming as normal as blueberry pie.”
Numerous accounts contend Harvey was bisexual. In his account of being Frank Sinatra's valet, Mr. S: My Life with Frank Sinatra (2003), George Jacobs writes that Harvey often made passes at him while visiting Sinatra. According to Jacobs, Sinatra was aware of Harvey's sexuality.
A heavy smoker and drinker, Harvey died from stomach cancer at the age of 45. His daughter, Domino (1969–2005), who later became a bounty hunter, was only 35 when she died. They are buried together in Santa Barbara Cemetery in Santa Barbara, California, USA.
Stern, Keith (2009-09-01). Queers in History: The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Historical Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals (Kindle Locations 5981-5989). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.
Reach for the Top: The Turbulent Life of Laurence Harvey (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series) by Anne Sinai
Paperback: 408 pages
Publisher: Scarecrow Press; Reprint edition (February 9, 2007)
Amazon: Reach for the Top: The Turbulent Life of Laurence Harvey
The popular screen and stage star Laurence Harvey (1928-1973) is best remembered for his stellar performance in the film The Manchurian Candidate—a 20th century classic. Of his 50 films, Room At the Top not only brought sexual permissiveness to American and British screens and an Oscar nomination, but it also branded him a heartthrob sensation.
For all his fame and fortune, Harvey's short life was riddled with controversy, demonized by critics, and fraught with tragedy. In this revealing biography by Harvey's sister-in-law, readers are provided a close-up view of his career, his three marriages and his longtime sexual affair with one of his male producers. It also details his battle with cancer and his failure to acknowledge its seriousness.
Packed with personal anecdotes, more than twenty black and white photographs, and a filmography, Reach for the Top: The Turbulent Life of Laurence Harvey will fascinate film students, scholars, and fans of the actor.
The Prince: Laurence Harvey: Public and Private Life of Laurence Harvey by Des Hickey and Gus Smith
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Star; New Ed edition (February 1976)
Amazon: The Prince: Laurence Harvey: Public and Private Life of Laurence Harvey
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