elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Denham Fouts (May 9, 1914 – December 16, 1948)

Denham Fouts was an American male prostitute, socialite and literary muse. He served as the inspiration for characters by Truman Capote, Gore Vidal, Christopher Isherwood and Gavin Lambert. His friends, who called him Denny, included Christopher Isherwood, Brion Gysin, Glenway Wescott, Truman Capote, George Platt Lynes, Jane Bowles and Paul Bowles, Jean and Cyril Connolly and Michael Wishart. Isherwood described him as a mythic figure, "the most expensive male prostitute in the world" and Capote considered him the "Best-Kept Boy in the World". Fouts was an opium addict, and at one time boyfriend of artist Peter Watson. Fouts spent much of his later life dissolute, spending time "in bed like a corpse, sheet to his chin, a cigarette between his lips turning to ash. His lover Anthony Watson-Gandy, a writer and translator, would remove the cigarette just before it burned his lips." Fouts died in 1948, at the Pensione Foggetti, in Rome, at the age of 35 of a "hypoplastic aorta and hypertrophy of left ventricle". His body was buried in the first zone, 11th row, of the city's Protestant Cemetery. A friend, John Goodwin, told Christopher Isherwood that Fouts was found dead in his bathroom.

Timeline & Places:

• May 9, 1914: born.

• December 16, 1948: died. Buried at Campo Cestio, Via Caio Cestio, 6, 00153 Roma RM, Italia


Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time
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Queer Places, Vol. 3.1: Retracing the Steps of LGBTQ people around the World
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Queer Italy: Retracing the Steps of LGBTQ people around the World
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