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Scotty Bowers, Who Wrote of Providing Sex to Stars, Dies at 96

Scotty Bowers in the 1950s in Los Angeles with the actresses Valerie Vernon, left, and Constance Dowling. He claimed in a 2012 book to have arranged sexual liaisons for a long list of stars.

When Mr. Bowers’s book...

When Mr. Bowers’s book was published, some critics wondered whether it was entirely credible and faulted it for being more salacious than revelatory.

“Not many of the names outed in this book have not been outed before,” the film critic David Thomson wrote in The Observer of London[1], “and now that they are all dead it is hard for the ordinary stargazer to know what to believe or trust. The true secret lives of the stars were the imagined existences we gave to them.”

In a scene in the documentary, a man at a book signing challenged Mr. Bowers about spilling the secrets of the stars. He responded by noting that the sexual activities of many of them were well known in show-business circles.

“A lot of people at the time knew who these people were and what they were, so it’s not a secret, really,” he told the man. “It may be a secret to some square that lives in Illinois, but people who lived in Hollywood, they knew these people.”

To Mr. Tyrnauer, breaking through the false facade the movie industry built around itself was important.

“His story comprises an alternate history of Hollywood in the postwar period,” he said by email, “correcting the decades of ‘straight-washing’ of famous people’s manufactured images. Scotty’s personal history is an important corrective to a falsified historical record, forged in a more repressive era.”

“That he lived so long,” he added, “and was willing and able to share his memories and insights of that period (after assiduously keeping them secret for so long) is something I think the world — and Hollywood itself — will long thank him for.”

References

  1. ^ The Observer of London (www.theguardian.com)

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