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Forman Brown (January 8, 1901 - January 10, 1996)

Forman Brown was one of the world's leaders in puppet theatre in his day, as well as an important early gay novelist. He was a member of the Yale Puppeteers and the driving force behind Turnabout Theatre.
Born: 1901, Otsego, Michigan, United States
Died: 1996, Los Angeles, California, United States
Education: University of Michigan
Books: Better Angel, The Generous Jefferson Bartleby Jones
Movies: Bandits and Ballads, An Old Spanish Onion
People also search for: Leslie Trawin, Friedrich Hollaender, Alfred J. Goulding, Stanley Rauh, Edward Mann, Bert Gilroy
Lived: Turnabout House, 1141 N El Centro Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038, USA (34.09186, -118.32464)

Forman Brown was one of the world's leaders in puppet theatre in his day, as well as an important early gay novelist. Along with Yale Puppeteers Harry Burnett and Richard Brandon (Brown's life-long lover), Brown launched Turnabout Theatre in 1941 as "a vehicle for performing both puppet plays and revues for adults.” It attracted celebrity attention and support from some of Hollywood's biggest names, e.g., Greta Garbo, Marie Dressler, and Douglas Fairbanks, as well as other notable figures including Albert Einstein. In 1933, Brown wrote, under the pseudonym Richard Meeker, a novel called Better Angel about a young man coming to terms with his homosexuality. This novel is regarded as "the first American novel to present the 'gay' experience in a healthy light." Richard Brandon, the youngest of the three Yale Puppeteers, was the first to die. He was 80 when he died at Turnabout House in Hollywood, the home the three men had occupied for the last several years.
Together from 1928 to 1985: 57 years.
Forman Brown aka Richard Meeker (January 8, 1901 - January 10, 1996)
Richard Brandon (1905 – May 4, 1985)



Days of Love edited by Elisa Rolle
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
ISBN-10: 1500563323
Release Date: September 21, 2014
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
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This was the home of the Turnabout Players, Forman Brown, Harry Burnett, and Roddy Brandon. These three gay men, who lived together as a family for over sixty years, founded Hollywood's Turnabout Theater. They took the city by storm in the 1940s and 1950s. Forman Brown was also the author of “Better Angel,” an autobiographical novel published in 1933, often considered the first American gay novel. It was published under the pen name, Richard Meeker.
Address: 1141 N El Centro Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038, USA (34.09186, -118.32464)
Type: Private Property
Place
“Since the mid-1970s, I’d been attending Harry and Forman’s annual birthday party or dragging friends to performances they presented for longtime fans on the small stage of a big, ramshackle Hollywood home they shared. Turnabout House was almost as enchanting as the theatre itself. Leaving today’s decaying Hollywood, one stepped back into 1927, to a world crowded with dusty photos of mostly forgotten stars, posters, and memorabilia from the puppeteers’ touring days, and pictures of the artists who populated their several theaters. Like most old troupers, whose real terror is that nobody will ask, Forman played the shy schoolboy then quickly let himself be talked into plunking down at the piano to sing three or four of his hundreds of songs. Before a heart condition forced him to spend his last months on the living room couch, Roddy was the busy mother hen, cooking, cleaning, and continuing to organize things as he’d done for more than 50 years. Harry kept manufacturing puppets in his garage workshop, until at 85 he tired of them. Then I’d usually find him in a favorite tattered chair, knitting little woollen hats that he gave to anyone who dropped by. He donated hundreds of them to a children’s hospital. Until his eyesight began to fail, he insisted on working his favorite puppet, Simon Legree, or he’d flourish a soiled handkerchief and do the same tricks for guests that he did for David and me on those distant yesterdays when we were kids. While their time necessarily kept Harry, Forman and Roddy circumspect about their homosexuality, they pretty much lived the lives they wanted to live, busy and content in their work, with a legion of friends, young and old, who popped in at Turnabout House on a regular basis. For those who didn’t know they were gay (or didn’t care to let on), it didn’t matter. Being “artistic” was quite acceptable.” Rare Birds, By Dan Bessie
Life
Who: Forman Brown aka Richard Meeker (January 8, 1901 - January 10, 1996) and Richard Brandon (1905 – May 4, 1985)
Forman Brown was one of the world's leaders in puppet theatre in his day, as well as an important early gay novelist. Along with Yale Puppeteers Harry Burnett and Richard Brandon (Brown's life-long lover), Brown launched Turnabout Theatre in 1941 as "a vehicle for performing both puppet plays and revues for adults.” It attracted celebrity attention and support from some of Hollywood's biggest names, e.g., Greta Garbo, Marie Dressler, and Douglas Fairbanks, as well as other notable figures including Albert Einstein. In 1933, Brown wrote, under the pseudonym Richard Meeker, a novel called Better Angel about a young man coming to terms with his homosexuality. This novel is regarded as "the first American novel to present the 'gay' experience in a healthy light." Richard Brandon, the youngest of the three Yale Puppeteers, was the first to die. He was 80 when he died at Turnabout House in Hollywood, the home the three men had occupied for the last several years.



Queer Places, Vol. 1 edited by Elisa Rolle
ISBN-13: 978-1532901904
ISBN-10: 1532901909
Release Date: July 24, 2016
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Tags: days of love, queer places
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