Ex-movie idol tells all, with a twist
Farley Granger had relationships with some of Hollywood's leading women - and men.
Published April 14, 2007
LOS ANGELES - In Farley Granger's new memoir Include Me Out (St. Martin's Press, $17.79 on Amazon, 272 pages), the former screen idol makes an unusual revela- tion in a Hollywood tell-all: He is bisexual.
Granger tells of a Honolulu night that epitomized his life. A 21-year-old virgin and wartime Navy recruit, he wanted to change his status. He did so with a young and lovely prostitute. He was about to leave the premises when he encountered a handsome Navy officer. Granger was in bed again.
"I lost my virginity twice in one night," he writes.
The 81-year-old Granger, whose movies included the Alfred Hitchcock thrillers Rope and Strangers on a Train, recently talked about his relationships in an interview from his apartment in New York.
"My lifelong romance with Shelley (Winters) was very much a love affair. It evolved into a very complex relationship, and we were close until the day she died," he said.
Granger also writes about his same-sex celebrity affairs. For a time, he lived with Arthur Laurents, writer of the stage and movie versions of West Side Story and Gypsy.
Since the 1960s, Granger's companion has been Robert Calhoun, who shares the writing credit on Include Me Out.
Until now, Granger has not discussed his bisexuality publicly.
"I had never hidden anything, and nobody asked me any questions," he said. "My only outing came eight or 10 years ago when I was an old man. Arthur Laurents gave an interview in which he outed me publicly."
Homosexuality was a difficult matter during most of Hollywood's history. Rock Hudson had to marry to quell reports of his affairs with men. Only when he was dying of AIDS was his true background disclosed.
Farley Granger Jr. was born in San Jose, Calif., where his father owned a thriving auto dealership. The 1929 stock market crash impoverished the family, and they moved to Los Angeles for better opportunities.
Young Granger entered the movie trade the old-fashioned way. He was spotted in a local play, had a movie test and got a $100 weekly contract with Samuel Goldwyn's studio, MGM. His father signed the contract because Farley was only 17. He first played a Russian youth in North Star, then was loaned to 20th Century Fox for another war film, Purple Heart.
His darkly handsome looks attracted an enthusiastic following of teenage girls.
He managed to keep his bisexuality a secret during his Hollywood career.
"There were cliques for gays, like the one that met at (director) George Cukor's house," he recalled. "I was never invited, and I don't think I would have gone if I had been." He became friends with Judy Garland and others who met Sundays at Gene Kelly's house for competitive sports in the back yard and charades indoors.
[Last modified April 13, 2007, 12:40:48]
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