Aug 13, 2017

Brandon in Paul Newman's Bed

Born in Brooklyn, New York in April 1942, Brandon DeWilde was performing on Broadway at age 7.  At age 11, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Shane (1953).  That fall he got his own tv series, Jamie (1953-1954).

He was a big star.  And already sexually active.

He always said that he was born horny.  As a teenager he rarely let more than a day without sex with a man or a woman, usually two or three.  He and a buddy often teamed up to work on a third guy or girl, then do each other.

How did he find all those willing partners, at a jailbait age, in the police-state 1950s, when sodomy and fornication would get you a prison sentence?  It helped that he had a stunning face and an enormous penis.  And that he looked...well, innocent.  Everybody thought they were his first.

Right, his first today.

Brandon wasn't sure whether he liked sex with men or women better -- why choose, they were both great!  But for sheer physical attraction, that jolt that hits you in the pit of your stomach, it was always men.

Especially older, sophisticated, powerful men, the kind who would take you out and show you a good time before tearing your clothes off.

And maybe help your career.   Brandon's first real boyfriend was novelist James Leo Herlihy, who got him cast in the film versions of Blue Denim (1959) and All Fall Down (1962).

Not that they were monogamous -- no matter how many times they had sex the night before, Brandon still found himself getting aroused at the sight of muscular stage hands and pretty-in-pink script girls -- and he got a lot of invitations.  How could he refuse?

In 1962, shortly after he and James broke up, Brandon landed a dream role --  Lonnie in Hud, an adaption of Larry McMurtrey's 1961 Western novel Horsemen Pass By, about a gay teenager who falls in love with his no-good uncle.

Ok, he wasn't explicitly gay, in the script, but that's how Brandon intended to play him!

Especially when he discovered that Hud was to be played by 37-year old Paul Newman, star of gay-subtext movies like The Long Hot Summer and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.   A major sex symbol, arguably the most beautiful man in the world.  How could Lonnie not be in love with him?

How could Brandon not be in love with him?

"Dream on," James said, still smarting a little from the breakup.  "Paul Newman can have any guy he wants, and he likes them big and built, like Brando, Yul Brynner, and Rocky Graziano -- why would he pick a skinny 20-year old kid?  Besides, you're both bottoms.  What are you going to do, exchange recipes?"

The full story, with nude photos and explicit sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

1 comment:

  1. He lost his looks fast but in Hud, he outshone Paul Newman.

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