Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Alan Bates


He could have been as recognizable a household name as his contemporary fellow British actors Michael Caine and Sean Connery, but Alan Bates selected roles for reasons other than celebrity. Otherwise Engaged: The Life Of Alan Bates by Donald Spoto offers many details suggesting that the sexy actor known for his roles in Women In Love, The Fixer and The Entertainer was romantically involved with numerous men over the course of his life.  The photo above of Alan is said to be a late-1960s classic physique pose by onetime lover Peter Wyngarde, a noted photographer of the time. 

Bates in The Fixer
It's reported that young Alan spent two years in the Royal Air Force before he joined the new English Stage Company at the Royal Court Theatre. His West End debut happened in 1956 at the age of 22. He was more than good looking.  Bates had an ability to seduce his audiences with his mannerisms and subtle gestures.  Four years later after his debut, Bates appeared in his first film The Entertainer (1960) in which he plays one of Laurence Olivier's sons. More than 50 film roles followed.  The Fixer (1968) earned an Academy Award nomination for Alan.


Bates played the madcap lead in the 1960s classic Georgy Girl. Alan spent five consecutive days filming love scenes on an uncomfortable settee, which he came to hate enough to state “I've become intimately acquainted with every broken spring in that thing. I'm as inventive as the next guy, but there are only so many ways you can use a sofa—especially one designed by the Marquis de Sade.”
 
Before his marriage in 1970, it's reported that the love life of Alan Bates had been a complex one, involving many sexual relationships with both women and men.  But when it came to male lovers, it seems that Alan preferred to keep his relationships in the closet as much as possible, which was typical for most men who desired a successful mainstream life and career in that era.  It's believed that his fears about being labeled a homosexual or bisexual were formed early in his life by a deeply conservative Baptist background in Derbyshire.  Good looking and charming in an unpretentious way, Bates was highly desirable boyfriend material by both sexes.  His decision to marry Victoria, a friend for several years, was made only after they discovered in 1970 that she was pregnant with twins. Their twin sons, Benedick and Tristan, were born in 1971.
 
Alan Bates in the legendary nude wrestling scene (with Oliver Reed) from 1969's Women in Love remains as charged today as when the film was first released.<iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/xY_Kb5Qkj-4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

In his 60s, Alan Bates continued to divide his time among films, theatre and television. After his death there was an outpouring of affection and respect for his work.
 <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/8ARoL03x2SI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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