Book Blows Lid Off Queer Hollywood

For years, biographies of golden-age movie stars have mentioned or alluded to the existence in Hollywood of a Richfield gas station where box-office gold got more than their mufflers serviced. The place was run by an ex-Marine known as Scotty, whom reporter David Ehrenstein once called Hollywood’s “famous male madam.” In “Kate,” a biography of Katharine Hepburn, William Mann writes: “For decades, an interview with Scotty…has been passionately sought after by historians. He represents a vanished world, a living link to a secret Hollywood.” Now in his 80s, Scotty has decided to open up: a book based on interviews with him — dozens and dozens of them — has just been sold to Grove/Atlantic. Publication is tentatively planned for next Valentine’s Day. (When I have an official title, I’ll let you know.)

In the book, the bisexual Scotty pulls back the curtain on all the stars with whom he himself slept or for whom he procured one of his hunky young colleagues. Previous Hollywood histories or biographies have mentioned some of the stars to whom Scotty gave pleasure: Humphrey Bogart, Vivien Leigh, Spencer Tracy. (Leigh wasn’t serviced at the gas station; most of the work done by Scotty himself was “off-site.”) Some official biographers of these people will undoubtedly try to undermine Scotty’s credibility, but apparently the new book has too many accurate-sounding details to be dismissed summarily. Scotty reveals some names not generally included in the usual round-up of bi/gay Hollywood players, and apparently dishes up a story involving Charles Laughton and a sex act that will give new meaning to the term “mayonnaise sandwich.” Spread the word.

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