This post is strictly related to the one I posted sometime ago about Bill Harris, Jack Fontan, Ray Hunger and Alexander Jensen Yow (http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1347308.html
), i.e. it's about those beautiful men whose beauty still fascinates us from glossy black an white pictures. They were friends, lovers and sometime long-time partners of photographers, painters, writers, and sometime they were kept men, like Bill Miller. Today I will tell you the story of Otis Bigelow "the best-looking man in Manhattan in 1940, the one who had chosen a beautiful sailor over a suntanned millionaire", only to be betrayed by the beautiful sailor with the same suntanned millionaire, and the one who inspired Gordon Merrick to write the first "happily ever after" Gay Romance; the beautiful sailor was Bill Miller, a man who is listed at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale where his papers are collected as "designer" but of whom you will not find any info on the net as an artist, but plenty you will find as a lover of millionaires and notable artists. He collaborated with Kinsey, sharing his personal journals where he recorded all his sexual encounters with various men. (Picture left: Otis Bigelow, right: Bill Miller)
Following an excerpt from The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America by Charles Kaiser
"Otis Bigelow lived in Manhattan. He would never think of himself the same way again after the summer of 1942. Bigelow turned twenty-two that June. A striking native of Exeter, New Hampshire, where his father had been a master at the Phillips Exeter Academy, Bigelow was an only child.Otis Munro Bigelow III was a playwright and theatrical agent whose varied career in the performing arts included acting and dancing. He was the best-looking man in Manhattan in 1940, the one who had chosen a beautiful sailor (Christian William “Bill” Miller) over a suntanned millionaire (George Gallowhur), only to be betrayed by the beautiful sailor with the same suntanned millionaire. Otis is also the one who inspired his then roommate Gordon Merrick to write his happily ever after gay romances. Otis M. Bigelow died in 2007 and was survived by Thierry Mahe, his life partner of more than 50 years.( Collapse )
Otis Munro Bigelow III, the best-looking man in Manhattan in 1940, the one who had chosen a beautiful sailor over a suntanned millionaire, was a playwright and retired theatrical agent whose varied career in the performing arts included acting and dancing. He was born on June 2, 1920, in Exeter, NH. The only child of Otis M., who taught Romance languages at Phillips Exeter Academy, and Ruth Spalding Bigelow, he prepared for college at Phillips Exeter, where he took the lead in theatrical productions. As a teenager, "Ote" Bigelow had already performed in summer stock and looked forward to a stage career.( Collapse )
Monroe Wheeler and Glenway Wescott’s friends included a number of younger lovers. One, Christian William Miller, or Bill Miller (August 7, 1921 - 1995), had been one of the most strikingly beautiful of George Platt Lynes’s models. Miller was a lover of Wheeler’s and a family friend for many years. A later Wheeler intimate, Ralph Pomeroy, remembered, "Bill would go to a gallery and all the women and all the men would faint!" Wescott’s young friend Bernard Perlin said, "Bill Miller was ga-ga-gorgeous!" (Glenway Wescott Personally: A Biography by Jerry Rosco
)( Collapse )
Richard Barr (6 September 1917 – 9 January 1989) was an award-winning American theater director and producer. He served as the president of the League of American Theatres and Producers from 1967 until his death.
Richard Barr was born on 6 September 1917 in Washington, D.C. under the name Richard Baer to parents David Alphonse Baer and Ruth Nanette Israel. In 1938, he graduated from Princeton University, where he had acted in various plays. From 1941 through 1945, Barr served as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force in World War II. He died of AIDS-related liver failure at Mount Sinai Hospital on 9 January 1989.
Richard Barr began his theatrical career as an actor in the company of Orson Welles at the Mercury Theatre. His first professional appearance came there in a production of Danton's Death in 1938. Later that year, he took part in the infamous radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds. Other than a brief stint of variety theatre at the Provincetown Playhouse in 1940, Barr remained with the company until he left for the war in 1941. After the war, Barr became an accomplished director and producer. In 1961, he won his first drama desk award. His 1962 original Broadway production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? earned him two Tony Awards: Best Play and Best Producer (dramatic). His 1979 original Broadway production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street earned him the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical and the Tony Award for Best Musical. In 1967 Barr was elected president of what was then known as the League of American Theatres and Producers, an office he would hold until his death in 1989. As president he shifted Broadway's curtain times from 8:30 PM to 7:30 PM in an effort to bring in more businessmen during the weeknights. The experiment was considered a success, though curtain times were later shifted to 8:00 PM, where they have remained to this day.
In 1938, Otis Bigelow, later a playwright and theatrical agent, while performing summer stock in Rye Beach, New Hampshire, met Gordon Merrick, an actor who had just graduated from Princeton. Bigelow and Merrick used to kiss, but nothing more. Although they shared an apartment when they reached New York, Bigelow was still planning to marry a woman. And quite quickly Gordon decided that he was "very into not being gay," Bigelow recalled.
Three decades later, Merrick wrote The Lord Won't Mind, one of the first gay novels to become a best-seller in the seventies, and he modeled one of its beautiful young men after Bigelow. The other man sharing their apartment was Richard Barr, another Princeton graduate who went to work for the Mercury Theatre that fall and partecipated in Orson Welles's menacing broadcast of The War of the Worlds. Later, Barr became one of the Broadway's most illustrious impresarios. He was Edward Albee's confidant and produced many of Albee's most important plays, including The Zoo Story, Tiny Alice and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? He coproduced Mart Crowley's The Boys in the Band in 1968, and, eleven years later, Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd. For twenty-one years, he was president of the League of American Theatres and Producers. --The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America by Charles Kaiser
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)
Amazon: Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time
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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