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Viewing Single Post From: OLTL/ATWT: Farley Granger to be honored
Steve Frame
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I thought I had read he died last year. I am happy to see he is still around. I really like him. - SF

Original Article: http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/80-...07-1377101.html

Farley Granger to receive Artistic Achievement Award

By LOU GAUL
phillyBurbs.com


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Decades before the birth of the term gay pride, Farley Granger refused to live a lie.

The actor, now 82, never backed away from his bisexuality and stood up to those who questioned his sexual orientation.

“Everyone asks me if I was in the closet as a young actor in Hollywood, and I really wasn’t,” Granger said during a telephone interview from his New York apartment. “I lived my life the way I wanted and hid nothing from anybody.

“The only time it came up was with (producer) Samuel Goldwyn (for whom he did his first movie, 1943’s “The North Star”). I was called to his office by one of his vice presidents. Goldwyn didn’t say anything. He just stayed behind his desk like a steel rod.

“The (studio) vice president said, ‘It has come to our attention that you were having dinner with a known homosexual.’ I blew my stack and said, ‘How dare you say anything like that!’ ”

Goldwyn let the matter drop, and Granger’s career went forward.

The veteran actor will be honored for his courage and body of work by receiving the Artistic Achievement Award on July 18, 7 p.m. at the Prince Music Theater, during the 13th Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, running now through July 24. He will also attend a special meet-and-greet reception on July 18, 5 to 7 p.m. (See accompanying story.)

“Granger’s rich and diverse career has included a role in gay Italian director Luchino Visconti’s ‘Senso’ (1954), stage work around the world in productions like ‘The King and I’ with Barbara Cook and numerous television appearances that include a stint on ‘As the World Turns,’” special-event-programmer Lewis Tice writes in the festival’s guide. “We are honored to present our 2007 Artistic Award to a gentleman who has followed his dreams of becoming an actor and never failed to wear his heart, emotions and passionate loves on his sleeve.”

For Granger, the honor was clearly unexpected.

“It was a total surprise and means a lot to me,” he said. “This award speaks to my whole life, and that’s wonderful. I’m very proud of that.”

Granger, who recently wrote his autobiography, “Count Me Out: My Life From Goldwyn to Broadway” (St. Martin’s Press; $26.95), with his partner, TV producer Robert Calhoun, had relationships with Shelley Winters, composer Leonard Bernstein, Patricia O’Neal and writer Arthur Laurents while pursuing an acting career.

He enjoyed motion-picture success with classics such as Nicholas Ray’s “They Live by Night” (1948) with Cathy O’Donnell, Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope” (1948) with Jimmy Stewart and Hitchcock’s “Strangers on a Train” (1951) with Robert Walker. (“Rope” will be screened after
Granger speaks with the audience and receives his award on July 18.)

“Rope” and “Strangers” involve carefully planned murders and have become classic dark thrillers with sexually oriented elements that remained unmentioned during the filming of both Hitchcock pictures.

‘Strangers’ had some homo-erotic undertones, and ‘Rope’ was based on the Leopold and Loeb case (involving two young, brilliant, sexually involved men who plotted to create the perfect crime by murdering a 14-year-old boy),” Granger said. “Everyone knew what those films were about, but the word homosexual was never said on the set by anyone.”

Here are Granger’s thoughts on numerous topics:

On Hollywood’s golden age

“Even though studio bosses didn’t like actors, they did give them a safe haven to work and learn. Everything wasn’t riding on one film being a hit. If you were Jimmy Stewart or Cary Grant and had a movie that didn’t work (at the box office), you didn’t have to worry, because you were already signed up for two more pictures down the line.”

On Hollywood today

“It’s too corporate for artists. The films I like the most are not the ones with special effects, though I like many of them, particularly the ‘Harry Potter’ titles. But I’d rather see a smaller film like ‘Little Miss Sunshine,” the kind of movie that’s unique and has its own voice.”

On acting as a career

“You have to be tough to survive in this business. It’s not for the thin skinned.”

On Hollywood parties

Gene Kelly had the best ones, with people like Lena Horne and Judy Garland singing at a piano. Musicians didn’t give a hoot about one’s sexual orientation. They were the best.”

On working with Hitchcock

“There were many stories about Mr. Hitchcock not treating actors well, but he was terrific to me. People claimed that he said, ‘You should treat actors like cattle.’ Mr. Hitchcock said he never said that, but he loved publicity and putting one over on people.”

On staying in the closet now

“I think things are better (for gay actors) today and it gets better with each passing year, but I would tell any (closeted) actor to weigh coming out carefully. It could hurt his career on some level, but he would probably be a happier person, and that’s the most important thing.”

July 12, 2007 7:54 PM
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