Langella's Book Stops Short At Revealing Bisexuality

Categories: Celebs

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Frank Langella. Photo: broadwayworld.com
I've praised Frank Langella's memoir, Dropped Names, several times, admiring its candor and insight--though I did note the weirdness of him writing about Anthony Perkins coming on to him without ever revealing whether the author bit the bait.

Langella's book serves up steaming truckloads of dish about other icons, but when it comes to the actor's own availability, all he'll say is that at the height of the sexual revolution, he felt like he was cashing in his winning lottery ticket all the time.

True, he doesn't mention Whoopi Goldberg at all, and he never details any possible sex with Jackie Kennedy and Liz Taylor, to name two legends who were smitten with him.

But he does write about dating Liz, who wanted to marry him.

And he does include a chapter where Yvonne DeCarlo pursues and gets his genitals.

But gay stuff? Not much except for a titillating mention of a backstage grope session with Raul Julia and Jill Clayburgh and a hint of a frisson between him and Julia that wasn't fulfilled.

Well, someone else has caught on to the same coyness.

A review by Michael Ladenson on talkinbroadway.com says:

"As several of the memoir's gay characters circle around his charismatic young self, Mr. Langella leaves flirtaciously open the possibility that he played both sides of the street.

"As he basks in Noel Coward's attentions, feeds shrimp to Roddy McDowall, and commiserates with Dominick Dunne about the agonies of the closet, he hides coquettishly behind his fan in a way that seems rather archaic in 2012."

Seems like Dropped Names may have dropped an opportunity--but it's still a priceless read.


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28 comments
Tony fan
Tony fan

I'm so glad you asked this question. What I thought was that Anthony Perkins was very sick, and if he recognized Frank, decided not to talk to him. Then he took a walk, which Frank interpreted as being hopelessly demented. Finally, Frank calls Perkins a "beautiful cover on a book written in guilt and shame". I don't know where he gets this stuff, but I'm not convinced. Anthony Perkins worked to the end and showed a lot of courage and grace. He had nothing to be ashamed of, and tried to help others who were suffering. Who is Frank Langella trying to help?

rolph
rolph

Musto wrote no such thing. He simply said the men he'd met who said they were bisexual turned out to be closeted gays. His writeup asked for others' experiences.

SammyG
SammyG

Frank Langela is bisexual; but then again the bigoted Michael Musto years ago wrote about how he does not believe in male bisexuality and this makes him no better than the Bachmanns, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, and Rev. Fred Phelps.

Malone Sizelove
Malone Sizelove

I've always lusted after this man. 

I think it's refreshing it's not another "Yes, I AM gay" memoir, and I am sure he knew what he was doing as he was writing it. To me, he's always been a class act and this book he's written only continues to confirm that to me.

Johnq
Johnq

was raul julia gay? i had no idea...

Mundane
Mundane

Interesting read, but I won't assume since there's no actual facts, only assumptions based on his worded passages.  Plus, since he said he's straight, I'll go by his word alone (even though his sexuality shouldn't be important or anyone's business).

Savannah Montgomery
Savannah Montgomery

Granted, I haven't read the book, yet, but it "smells" like a celeb's version of "on the DL"...and the end of the first act of "Dracula" was played as soft porn...the entire theater straight/gay was buzzing about it at intermission!

normadesmond
normadesmond

YES!

i just finished it last night and have thought the same thing as i've read. all i could do is deduce that he dipped his langella in many ink bottles, jackie and elizabeth being two of them. thing is, his pov seemed sogay, i felt he also walked like a duck.

Gregorama
Gregorama

If I'd had sex with Whoopi Goldberg, I don't think I'd want to discuss it either....

Jqx5
Jqx5

Why don't they come out when they're hot instead of crusty?

anonTWO
anonTWO

Dominick Dunne did not spell out his sexuality in his photographic memoir "the way we lived then" but in that book he did relate of incident where someone ( a male) he picked up to  'party with" placed a paper bag over his head and began dropping lit matches on him.When I read that incident I knew that pick up was a sexual (homosexual) encounter gone wrong, happens all the time unfortunately.I was impressed with Dunne bravery in that incident, Dunne recalled he began saying "May God have mercy on the person who is trying to kill me" over and over again, the guy got creeped out and left.

anonTWO
anonTWO

i was too disturbed to read more into langella's last meeting with perkins. was perkins cruising  for "anonymous" sex while on his death bed?

anonTWO
anonTWO

YES I thought the same thing after I read the book. If Langella is not bi, he damn sure came close to it. Reread Langella's chapter about Roddy McDowell, the last sentence in that chapter made me LOL.Maybe Langella is not squeamish about his sexuality maybe he thinks it is not worth spelling out.he also did not spell out his relationship with Jackie O, I got the (wrong?) impression he was some kind of boy toy for her.

Southern Dave
Southern Dave

I bought Frank Langella's book because of your coverage. While awaiting its delivery, I read his  beautifully written chapter on Rita Hayworth in Newsweek. Liked the book very much (Langella is a real writer, with many amusing turns of phrase), but you're right; he plays peek-a-boo with the reader a bit much. Sort of like a coy, verbal striptease.

And when I recommended the book to a New York actor friend, the first thing he said was, "Does he write about the men he's slept with?"

Maybe the guys will be the sequel.

Tybalt
Tybalt

I loved the book, but you're right, he goes on and on about Noel Coward and Charles Laughton being gay and tells a story about  Olivier hitting on a guy and talks to Dominick Dunne about how awful it is for him to have been in the closet.

But then Langella clenches his lips about himself! Typical show biz bull.

Isis
Isis

Strange that he should be so squeamish about revealing that. Maybe because he's played one too many fruitcakes?

Loins
Loins

A) When did he say he was straight???

B) His sexuality shouldn't be of anyone's business? But he's a famous public figure. Celebrities are regularly written about and dissected, whether they want to be or not, and they know that's the way it is. And he's written a dishy book, making sure to include some stuff about his own sexuality (including a blowjob he got from Yvonne DeCarlo). And a lot of stuff about other people's sexuality.

If HIS sexuality is no one's business, then why is he telling us about other celebrities' gay tendencies?

Teatro
Teatro

In this case, Langella didn't come out either time.

Tybalt
Tybalt

I believe that's mentioned in the above blog.

Mundane
Mundane

- Go look for it. There's two articles I found saying so. One is recent and the other around early 1970s.  - Meh, you're free to think whatever you want of course, but I don't agree with prying into anyone's life just because of their profession & that they're a 'public figure'. Some of the people he's mentioned in the book were already talked about when it came to their sexuality, such as Perkins and a few more, but he's mostly talking about his encounters with these celebs. Plus, I never read him specifically speaking only about someone's sexual status and I have his book.

Gregorama
Gregorama

I don't want to talk about it.

anonTWO
anonTWO

 not sure what you mean.

Sansacro
Sansacro

But sexuality is a public topic: every worn wedding ring, every desk photo of a spouse or partner, every public photo of a celebrity and their date. Funny how when it comes to gay or bi people, sexuality is no longer anyone else's business. I suspect it's always the closeted or homophobic person (same thing) who thinks so.

latenitebump
latenitebump

 i´m sure. not saying i was looking for conversation.

Tybalt
Tybalt

What you said about how he did not spell out his relationship with Jackie is already in the blog. That's what I was saying.

Tybalt
Tybalt

The fact that he did not spell out his relationship with Jackie. 

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