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Scotty Bowers, Madam to Closeted Gay Hollywood Stars, Dies at 96

Scotty Bowers, Madam to Closeted Gay Hollywood Stars, Dies at 96

Pour one out today for a true legend.

Scotty Bowers, the male madam who helped arrange hookups between closeted stars in Hollywood’s Golden Age, has reportedly passed away at the age of 96. In the dishy 2012 tell-all, Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars, he did just that — claiming that his extensive client list included big names like Rock Hudson, Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Bette Davis, Elsa Lanchester, and Charles Laughton.

In the 2017 documentary Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood, Bowers also claimed to have paired up Cary Grant with Randolph Scott, a fixture in the Western genre. Grant was married five times, including to Barbara Hutton and Dyan Cannon, but he maintained that Scott — with whom he shared a Santa Monica beach house — was the love of Grant’s life. 

Due to the fear of being exposed during an era where being outed would be career-ending — and could have meant jail time — many of the encounters were arranged at a Richfield Oil gas station that was turned into a makeshift brothel. He installed a trailer behind the building.

Today the site at 5777 Hollywood Avenue (on the corner of N. Van Ness Avenue) is home to a fire station and a 7-Eleven.

Although biographer Gore Vidal was a longtime friend of Bowers’ and said he believed the claims, they were often contested, especially by the families of the deceased stars featured in his alleged reminiscences. In her 2011 memoir, Grant’s daughter, Jennifer, said her father was not gay or bisexual but liked the speculation because it 'made women want to prove the assertion wrong.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bowers passed away at his home in Laurel Canyon. He reportedly died of natural causes.

RELATED | Matt Tyrnauer: "Scotty Bowers Came Up at a Time When Heterosexuality Had to Be Invented"

 

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