Eleven Gay Historical Figures Worthy of the “Milk” Treatment

Whatever you think of Milk,
there’s no denying that the Oscar-nominated biopic is putting a long-overdue
spotlight on the life of Harvey Milk, allowing much of the mainstream audience
to learn about his singular achievements for the very first time.

But why stop there? Now that Milk has proven that stirring gay life stories can appeal to more
than just a gay audience, Hollywood
should think about making movies about the following legends. We’ll even help
them decide which to make first by throwing in a rating of 1-5 Harveys for each story’s eventual Oscar bait-ability.
That should help land some big name stars.

Montgomery Clift

Who he was:
Gorgeous leading man of the 1950s (From Here to Eternity [1953], A
Place in the Sun
[1951]) who led a torturously closeted existence in Hollywood. Survived a
somewhat disfiguring car accident during the filming of Raintree County (1957) opposite Elizabeth Taylor, who adored him.
Made less than 20 films, but is still remembered as an indelible screen icon.

Potential film plot
points
:
His one heterosexual relationship happened with boozy bisexual
actress Libby Holman, who told Clift to turn down the lead role in Sunset Blvd.(1950) (perhaps because it
mirrored their own home life too closely) … Clift’s clandestine affair with
actor Jack Larson on the Warner Bros. lot — Clift was making Hitchcock’s I Confess (1953) while Larson was
playing Jimmy Olsen on the Adventures of
Superman
TV series … The accident, in which Taylor scooped two of Clift’s
teeth out of his throat and saved him from choking to death … Co-starring in The Misfits (1961), which would be the
final film of his castmates Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable.

Dream director:
Curtis Hanson, who perfectly captured the glamour and the sordidness of old Hollywood in L.A. Confidential (1997).

Dream actor:  James Marsden

Harveys: 4. The
Academy loves biopics about show business and about dead gays, so this would be
a two-fer.


Diaghilev

Who he was: An outspoken
and unapologetically gay man in the early 20th century, Sergei
Diaghilev would go on to shape that epoch’s ideas about art and performance. He
created the Ballets Russes mainly as a showcase for his lover and protégé
Vaslav Nijinsky, who is still considered one of the greatest dancers who ever
lived. Diaghilev had exquisite tastes, bringing the work of such artists as
Balanchine, Picasso, Pavlova and Cocteau onto the stage in his cutting-edge
productions, which were often unabashedly erotic. (Diaghilev’s productions at
the Ballets Russes also included original music that he commissioned from the
likes of Stravinsky, Satie, Ravel and Prokofiev, among others.)

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