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Thread: Michael Wilding

  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Despite having married four times (once to Liz Taylor) I understand Michael Wilding was 'outed' (Stewart Granger's name popping up) in the '60's and successfully sued the accuser for $2m.



    I was just wondering, were they salacious lies or was there a hint of truth to the claim?

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    (DB7 @ Oct 13 2005, 10:59 PM)

    Despite having married four times (once to Liz Taylor) I understand Michael Wilding was 'outed' (Stewart Granger's name popping up) in the '60's and successfully sued the accuser for $2m.



    I was just wondering, were they salacious lies or was there a hint of truth to the claim?
    Hi DB,

    Here's a reference, however, it is still only rumour and hearsay.





    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Did you know that one of the two most powerful Hollywood journalists of that era, Hedda Hopper, lost most of her power in the fall of 1962 when she outed a semi - famous actor in a best - selling book ?

    The actor sued for libel and won. Shortly thereafter some of Ms. Hopper's newspaper outlets around the United States dropped her column. Her health failed suddenly, and she died just three years later (February 1966). We don't know how old she was on account of the privacy that journalists had back then and on account of the many fires that destroyed birth certificates from the late 19th century and early 20th.



    The actor whom Hedda outed falsely was Michael Wilding, an actor from the U.K. under contract to MGM in the 1950s. He's remembered today only as Elizabeth Taylor's second husband.



    Before I quote the offending passage from Hedda's 1962 book, I'll cite my reliable source on the libel suit and the end of Hedda's reign and her life. It's reliable because one of the two authors, Jennifer MacNair, is an English professor at William & Mary. Her co - author, Sam Kashner, was same in the early 1990s. Their book, "The Bad and the Beautiful" was published in 2002. Find it online. Now here's the offending passage from Hedda Hopper's 1962 book "The Whole Truth And Nothing But." Remember, it ruined this powerful woman's career.



    Quote On [page 12]



    Then she [Elizabeth Taylor] was put into another picture. She was exhausted from working too hard and too fast in the rat race on the sound stages. She was swamped with advice from everybody. She couldn't tell true from false. Thus it went from one man to another, one picture to another, until she fell in love with Michael Wilding, who was twenty years older than she. Was she unconsciously looking for a strong father? She loved her own, but he didn't stand up to his wife.



    Mike and Stewart Granger were pals and playmates; had been for years. Each married beautiful young girls -- Stewart had his eyes on Jean Simmons when she was fifteen. Elizabeth sat on my settee again the night she came in with Michael Wilding. Stewart and I had exchanged some words over the telephone before Michael and Liz arrived.



    "You're not coming here with them," I said flatly, "and if you do, you won't be let in. I have nothing to say to you. I want to talk to her." That was that. So two, not three of them, knocked at the front door.



    What was to be said was for their ears only. "Elizabeth, I don't think you know what you're getting into. In the first place, he's too old for you. And the rumor around town is that Michael Wilding and Stewart Granger are very, very close."



    She blushed deep red. "It couldn't be!"



    There was one fair question to ask, and I asked it. "Are you denying it, Michael?" He sat there with eyes downcast.



    I turned to Liz. "Are you going to marry a man like that? Do you know what kind of life you'll have?" He should have got up and hit me, but he sat still.



    "I love him," she exclaimed.



    "You don't know what love is. You don't know what you're talking about. He's sophisticated, he's gracious, but I beg you not to marry him."



    She didn't listen to me then or later. She drove Wilding into marriage.



    Quote Off

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    I thought I posted a reply to this thread, but I don't see it, so I'll try again. I don't know much about the Michael Wilding/Eliz. Taylor marriage except that they producted two very handsome sons. Michael Wilding Jr. is the image of his mother. Try as I may I cannot find a picture of him on the internet. He's very, very handsome.

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    (DB7 @ Oct 20 2005, 10:51 PM)

    Here you go.
    Here's another:







    FELL

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    (DB7 @ Oct 13 2005, 10:59 PM)

    Despite having married four times (once to Liz Taylor) I understand Michael Wilding was 'outed' (Stewart Granger's name popping up) in the '60's and successfully sued the accuser for $2m.



    I was just wondering, were they salacious lies or was there a hint of truth to the claim?
    There are always such gossip about various actors, even Rock Hudson would you believe! If it were true I don't think Doris Day would have had anything to do with him! Then there was all that rubbish about Liberace, Kenneth Williams and even poor old Charles Hawtrey supposedly picking up rough trade in a Kentish sea port town! What nonsense!

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    (DB7 @ Oct 20 2005, 10:51 PM)

    Here you go.
    Isn't he a dream? Too bad he didn't continue acting. He played Jesus Christ in a film called "A.D." -a brief part but I nearly fell over at his good looks. Not bad acting either. I wonder what Jr. is doing these days?

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    (DB7 @ Oct 13 2005, 09:59 PM)

    Despite having married four times (once to Liz Taylor) I understand Michael Wilding was 'outed' (Stewart Granger's name popping up) in the '60's and successfully sued the accuser for $2m.



    I was just wondering, were they salacious lies or was there a hint of truth to the claim?
    Just have a look to his autobiography"The Apple sauce" and to Maria Riva book's on her mother Marlène Dietrich, and you will see he was a true womanizer, though, of course, he appeared as quite a dandy. Muriel

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    name='plasticjock']He's remembered today only as Elizabeth Taylor's second husband.


    He was in Zarak (1956) with Victor Mature and Anita Ekberg, plus some young unknown actor



    It was directed by Terence Young. Seeing pictures of him, he was sometimes reminiscent of the younger Errol Flynn. I wonder if part of the reason he's 'forgotten' is because people put out DVD's with pictures of him on them, bylined "Joseph Cotton"?




  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    I found this interview earlier and am glad there is a thread where fans can see it. I think his death,

    six years later, was reported on News at Ten and remember that he'd fallen down the stairs, which

    was also how William Holden and Laura Ashley died. The only Michael Wilding films I've seen are The

    Glass Slipper
    , with Leslie Caron in the Cinderella role, Spring in Park Lane, which I liked very much

    when it was shown on Channel 4, and the star-studded Hotel, all more than 20 years ago probably.










  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    name='cornershop15'][CENTER] The only Michael Wilding films I've seen are The

    Glass Slipper
    , with Leslie Caron in the Cinderella role, Spring in Park Lane, which I liked very much
    I last watched him (other than Zarak) alongside Richard Todd and Marlene Dietrich in some Hitchcock nonsense. I can imagine youngsters hearing his voice nowadays saying to one another, "Oh my God! He is so gay!!"



    Once upon a time he would have been thought of as rather well-spoken......



    I loved the way the tip of his nose twitched when he was chatting to his love interest in the back of the taxi...... I still think he was a faux Errol Flynn.




  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: UK Ray's Avatar
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    I never believed that he was gay, although he was certainly the campest straight actor who ever became a leading man. To me he always looked embarrassed, especially when surrounded by all those professionals in the marvellous,and underated Stage Fright.



    On Looks Familier, Stewart Granger did speak with great affection about his old friend who advised him to go into films because, "You will get plenty of crumpet".



    He only convinced me as an actor once, and that was in the excellent Danger Within, in which he had a supporting role, but played it with a light comic touch.

  12. #12
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    name='Ray']I never believed that he was gay, although he was certainly the campest straight actor who ever became a leading man. .


    I think there were a lot of straight British actors who could out camp Wilding, Nigel Patrick for one. However, I'm with you Ray, I don't think he was gay, if indeed it matters, and from interviews I've seen Granger comes over as being homophobic.

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    Senior Member Country: UK Mr Sloane's Avatar
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    name='Joenoir']I think there were a lot of straight British actors who could out camp Wilding, Nigel Patrick for one. However, I'm with you Ray, I don't think he was gay, if indeed it matters, and from interviews I've seen Granger comes over as being homophobic.


    I am not suggesting that Stewart Granger was gay but Tony Randall made quite a name for himself making nasty homophobic comments on talk shows and and as a rent a quote for feature items. Homophobic comments are not the exclusive province of straights.



    ( and before someone mentions it I know he married twice and he had 2 children in his 70's)

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    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    name='Mr Sloane']I am not suggesting that Stewart Granger was gay but Tony Randall made quite a name for himself making nasty homophobic comments on talk shows and and as a rent a quote for feature items. Homophobic comments are not the exclusive province of straights.



    ( and before someone mentions it I know he married twice and he had 2 children in his 70's)


    See also Dirk Bogarde and Tony Forwood, neither of whom were at the head of the line when gay liberation badges were being given out.

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    name='Mr Sloane'] Homophobic comments are not the exclusive province of straights.



    ( and before someone mentions it I know he married twice and he had 2 children in his 70's)


    I was going to say in reference to Granger, that his homophobia didn't exclude him from being gay. I remember an interview Bogarde gave when he mentioned that the only gay involved with Victim was Dennis Price!



    Having just looked it up I see that it was Tony Randall who had two children in his 70s (and not Granger). I was not aware that he was also gay.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: UK Mr Sloane's Avatar
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    name='Joenoir']I was going to say in reference to Granger, that his homophobia didn't exclude him from being gay. I remember an interview Bogarde gave when he mentioned that the only gay involved with Victim was Dennis Price!



    Having just looked it up I see that it was Tony Randall who had two children in his 70s (and not Granger). I was not aware that he was also gay.


    Sorry I didn't make that clear I did mean Tony Randall. Tony Randall was involved in the same "party scene" as Rock.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    name='Mr Sloane']Sorry I didn't make that clear I did mean Tony Randall. Tony Randall was involved in the same "party scene" as Rock.


    So how come even my grandmother knew about Rock but not about Tony? (of whom I will hear no criticism. Just so you know )

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: UK flynn's Avatar
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    i find it hard to believe that Stewart Granger.or Wilding.

    where Bent as Butchers Hooks.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: UK Mr Sloane's Avatar
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    name='CaptainWaggett']So how come even my grandmother knew about Rock but not about Tony? (of whom I will hear no criticism. Just so you know )


    Well as Tony well knew it does kind of confuse the issue if you go around criticising the number of "fruits in Holywood " saying "the fairies are ruining television" and "TV will pervert teenage boys".He also appeared in physique magazines in the 40's



    Rock had a large sexual appettite and was n't that discrete which fed the rumour mill.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    name='flynn']i find it hard to believe that Stewart Granger.or Wilding.

    where Bent as Butchers Hooks
    I have just read Burt Lancaster's biography by Ann Buford and was quite bewildered to read that Burt was supposedly fond of a man on the side....... although now I come to think of it, no positional preference was stated...... and Ann seemed to poopooh the rumour, at least insofar as Burt being a closet *homosexual* is concerned. I can imagine that having the undiluted admiration of both men and women can lead anyone to maybe try a little *experimentation* however....



    It didn't appear to have had that much bearing on Burt's career although he did volunteer to read Rock Hudson's speech at some Hollywood get-together - about poor Rock contracting AIDS.




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