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January 14, 2010

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Sandy

One late-summer week in the waning 1980s, when Vincent Price was in Boston to wrap up his 'Mystery!' intros for public television, he'd brought "my wife, the actress Coral Browne" (as he always put it) along. I wrote VP's intros, and I loved Coral and always looked forward to her last-week-of-taping visits each summer. Plus, I'd just read in 'Time,' in a review of Cecil Beaton's recently released diaries, that she (along with Garbo and others) had been a one-time lover of CB's. We were having lunch in the green room and I brought the subject up.
SL: "Coral, I was reading a review of Cecil Beaton's diaries..."
VP: "Careful."
CB: "Yes?"
SL: "And it said that you had had a liaison with him."
CB: "Yes, that's right."
SL: "Forgive me, but I always thought he was gay."
CB: "He may have been gay, darling, but he was like a rat up the drainpipe with me."

fraught

Sandy: lol, Stop you're killing me.

columnist

Gary Cooper was indeed a very good-looking man. It is sad to read of the secret lives gay men (and women presumably) had to live because of social mores, but good that in many places these restrictions no longer apply or matter. That said, bigotry and hatred still exist in spades in some communities, including in the dear old U S of A, when up until about 10 years ago, I never would have thought it was an issue there.

Sandy

Fraught: Thank you. Remember, Coral was Australian after all.

Rosemarie

hello, I'm doing a research project on Cecil Beaton, and i have been trying to find his portrait of "George "Dadie" Rylands" dressed as the Duchess of Malfi.. would you be able to tell me if the photo you have above (on the right) is the image i am after..? That is the image i am always coming across when i search for it.
Thanks

Band of Thebes

Rosemarie, apologies for not identifying the photos. In addition to Beaton's self-portrait I show (left to right) Audrey Hepburn, Gary Cooper, and Greta Garbo in white. I think the Ryland photo you seek is here: http://gvarts.blogspot.com/2010/03/cecil-beaton-1904-1980-photographer-set.html

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