Friday, January 22, 2016

Hollywood Elite: Wonderful Warren

This photo (right) is reported to be of  a young Warren Beatty. 

Fast forward to today, and Mr. Beatty is in very good company...along with Orson Welles and Woody Allen, Mr. Beatty is among the elite Hollywood stars to receive Oscar nominations in the best picture, actor, director, and screenplay categories. Beatty achieved this honor twice, first with Heaven Can Wait and the with Reds.

According to the book Star: How Warren Beatty Seduced America, by Peter Biskind, young Warren had gay friends in good places when he began his career. It's reported that while in New York, Beatty met and became friends with William Inge, a gay playwright whose coming-of-age dramas A Loss of Roses and Splendor in the Grass marked the actor’s Broadway and Hollywood debuts. According to the book, Inge's close circle of gay friends referred to Inge as the straight Warren's “fairy godfather.” It also notes that Beatty likewise worked his charm on Tennessee Williams, landing The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone.

The heterosexual star is legendary for romancing women in real life...and  his 1975 film Shampo also broke new ground by breaking down stereotypes...the movie is about a free-swinging ladies hairdresser in Los Angeles.  While not correcting anyone (usually the straight males of his female clients) when they think he's stereotypically gay, George Roundy (Warren)  is busy having sex with just about all his lady clients. During the course of the movie, George devolves from being a thoughtless horny straight man into nothing more than a plaything of his lady clients, who realizes he's a victim of his own creation.

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