11-15-1958

Tyrone Power

TYRONE POWER, American actor, died (b. 1914); American film and stage actor who appeared in dozens of films from the 1930s to the 1950s, often as a swashbuckler or romantic lead, in such movies as The Mark of Zorro, The Black Swan, Prince of Foxes, The Black Rose and Captain from Castile.

Though famous for his dark, classically handsome looks that made him a matinee idol from his first film appearance, Power was not just handsome but very versatile.

More than twenty years after Tyrone Power’s death, Hector Arce cited anonymous sources to support his claim that Power was bisexual. Up until that time, no claims to this effect had been made. In his 1994 autobiography Crying With Laughter, the British comedian and actor Bob Monkhouse claimed that he had rejected advances from Power. The fashion critic Mr. Blackwell, in his 1995 autobiography From Rags to Bitches claimed that he met Power when a young actor for “romantic moments in his dressing room and took long rides speeding down Sunset to Malibu“.

According to William J. Mann, in his book Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood, 1910-1969, Power was involved in homosexual relationships. In his book,The Evening Crowd at Kirmser’s: A Gay Life in the 1940s, Ricardo J. Brown confirms that he had heard in New York that there were “a lot of queer people in the theater and the movies”, among them Tyrone Power and Tallulah Bankhead. In Oops, I Lost My Sense of Humor, Lois M. Santalo writes that “many stars of the silver screen, dating back to Tyrone Power, had been gay”.In Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon’s (both of Sydney University) Who’s Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History: From World War II to the Present Day, Power is listed among the “Top box office stars who were Gay or bisexual”.