In 1956 Bates debuted on stage in the West End, starring in Look Back in Anger, the role that made him a star. He was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in The Fixer in 1968. In 2001 he played the butler in Robert Altman’s Gosford Park.
Donald SPOTO’s 2007 biography Otherwise Engaged: The Life of Alan Bates documents Bates’ gay relationships, including ten years with actor Peter Wyngarde and two years with figure skater John CURRY. When Curry was suffering the ravages of AIDS, Bates cared for him through his last days. Curry eventually died in his arms. (
The actor Nickolas Grace has spoken about his intense affair with Bates, who was terrified of being outed. "I told him labels didn’t matter, but that we must be who we are. But he just could not accept that. Alan was at ease as long as he pretended—and he insisted on pretending—that our relationship was not what it was, and was not disclosed to or evident to others."
Bates was married to Victoria Ward from 1970 until her death from a wasting disease in 1992, although they had separated many years earlier. They had twin sons born in November 1970, the actors Benedick Bates and Tristan Bates. Tristan died following an asthma attack in Tokyo in 1990. Bates had numerous homosexual relationships throughout his life, including those with actors Nickolas Grace and Peter Wyngarde, and Olympic skater John Curry. Even when homosexuality was partially decriminalised in Britain in 1967, Bates rigorously avoided interviews and questions about his personal life, and even denied to his male lovers that there was a gay component in his nature. While throughout his life Bates sought to be regarded as a ladies' man or at least as a man who, as an actor, could appear attractive to and attracted by women, he also chose to take on many roles with an aspect of homosexuality or bisexuality. He let this part of his life appear as he played the role of the sexually frustrated Rupert in the 1970 film Women in Love.
Alan Bates was a dynamic, off-beat leading man in many popular films of the 1960s and ’70s. He was well known for roles in Georgv Girl, cult classic King of Hearts, Women in Love, An Unmarried Woman, and Nijnsky. Donald SPOTO’s 2007 biography Otherwise Engaged: The Life of Alan Bates documents Bates’ gay relationships, including ten years with actor Peter Wyngarde and two years with figure skater John Curry. When Curry was suffering the ravages of AIDS, Bates cared for him through his last days. Curry eventually died in his arms.
In the later years of his life, Bates had a relationship with the Welsh actress Angharad Rees and in the last years, his companion was his lifelong friend, actress Joanna Pettet, his co-star in the 1964 Broadway play Poor Richard. They divided their time between New York and London. (Picture: Nickolas Grace)
Bates had undergone a hip replacement shortly before he was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer in January 2003. He suffered a stroke later that year, and died in December after going into a coma.
The posthumous publication of Donald Spoto's 2007 book, Otherwise Engaged: The Life of Alan Bates, is the only authorised biography of Alan Bates. It was written with the full and complete cooperation of his son Benedick Bates and Bates's younger brother Martin, and includes more than one hundred interviews with people such as Michael Linnit and Rosalind Chatto.
Bates and his family set up the Tristan Bates Theatre at the Actors' Centre in Covent Garden, in memory of his son, Tristan, who died at the age of 19. Tristan's twin brother, Benedick, is a vice-director.
Stern, Keith. Queers in History: The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Historical Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals. Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.
John Anthony Curry, OBE (9 September 1949 – 15 April 1994) was a British figure skater. He was the 1976 Olympic and World Champion. He was famous for combining ballet and modern dance influences into his skating.
Curry was born on 9 September 1949 in Birmingham, England. He was educated at Solihull School, an Independent School in the West Midlands followed later by St Andrews, an independent boarding school in Somerset. As a child, Curry wanted to become a dancer, but his father disapproved of dance as an activity for boys, so instead at the age of 7 he began to take figure skating lessons.
For the first several years, Curry's involvement with skating was rather casual. Curry's father died when he was 15; he then moved to London to study with Arnold Gerschwiler, who coached him to his first British title in 1971. In 1972, Curry found an American sponsor who enabled him to study in the United States with Gus Lussi and Carlo Fassi.
Fassi coached Curry to European, World, and Olympic titles in 1976.
Curry was the flag bearer at the 1976 Winter Olympics for Great Britain. He was also voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1976.
As an amateur competitor, Curry was noted for his ballet-like posture and extension, and his superb body control. Along with Canadian skater Toller Cranston, Curry was responsible for bringing the artistic and presentation aspects of men's figure skating to a new level. At the peak of his competitive career, Curry was also accomplished both at compulsory figures and the athletic (jumping) aspects of free skating. Curry's skating was unusual in that his jumps were performed counter-clockwise but most of his spins (except flying spins) were performed clockwise.
Following the 1976 World Championships, Curry turned professional and founded a touring skating company along the same lines as a traditional dance company. Besides choreographing routines for the company himself, Curry commissioned works from such noted dance choreographers as Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Peter Martins and Twyla Tharp. Curry was reportedly a difficult person to get along with, and a dispute with the business managers of his company forced it to suspend operations in the mid-1980s. After that, Curry performed only rarely in public.
Curry's Broadway theatre credits include Icedancing (1978) as a performer and director and the 1980 revival of Brigadoon as an actor and the Roundabout Theatre 1989 revival of Privates on Parade as an actor.
Prior to the 1976 World Championships, Curry was outed as gay by a German tabloid newspaper, Bild-Zeitung. It caused a brief scandal in Europe at the time, but Curry's sexual orientation was generally ignored by the press and public for many years afterwards.
In 1987 Curry was diagnosed with HIV, and in 1991 with AIDS. Before his death, he spoke openly to the press about both his disease and his sexual orientation. He spent the last years of his life with his mother. He died of an AIDS-related heart attack on 15 April 1994 in Binton; he was 44 years old. A 2007 biography of actor Alan Bates claimed that Curry and Bates had a two-year affair, and that Curry died in Bates' arms.
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
Amazon (Paperback): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500563323/?tag=e
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MZG0VHY/?tag=e
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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