The Casting Couch. ⋆ Historian Alan Royle
Claudette Colbert was a big star, but even she admitted to getting her start in Hollywood via someone’s ‘casting couch’. In fact, she told an interviewer that the only star she knew of who made it without resorting to the ‘couch’ was Bette Davis. She did not elaborate on that statement, but given Bette’s prestigious Broadway reputation, it might be reasonable to assume that she was too valuable to risk losing her to another studio. Besides, she was signed up long before she arrived in good old Tinsel Town anyway. Rudolph Valentino Ramon Novarro Antonio Moreno Back in the era of silent movies the three great Latin lovers of the silver screen were Rudolf Valentino, Ramon Novarro and Antonio Moreno. And all three were gay. Valentino married two lesbians, Jean Acker in 1919 and Natacha Rambova in 1923. Both were lovers of Hollywood’s Queen of the Lesbians, Alla Nazimova. Neither of Rudolf’s marriages was consummated because he was deeply in love with his cameraman Paul Ivano. All Hollywood knew that Novarro was a gay alcoholic with a preference for young male prostitutes, yet his public had no idea whatsoever. Moreno starred in Clara Bow’s It (1927) and at the height of [...]