Friday, July 9, 2010

The Sexuality of Laurence Olivier

Laurence Olivier (1907 - 1989) is cited as being of classic Hollywood's most sophisticated and dashing leading men. However, in the years following his death there has been several alligations that in life Olivier was a bisexual. For example, biographer Donald Spoto claimed that Olivier was in a sexual relationship with actor/comediene Danny Kaye as well as singer/songwriter/playwright Noel Coward. Olivier's third and last wife was actress Joan Plowright. In her memoir she denied the affair with Kaye but did not deny that Olivier may have been bisexual. Here is a section from her memoir:

"Larry tended to shower almost everyone he knew with endearments and demonstrative terms of address. In the same way as the macho Sean Kenny had to put up with ‘Shawnie, darling’, and our son Richard had to endure 'Dickie-Wickie' for a short time, there is a published letter addressing his supposed arch-enemy, Peter Hall, as 'My dear Peterkins'. And Larry could say, 'I adored Danny Kaye', in exactly the same way as he said, 'I adored old Ralphie', without anyone suspecting Ralph Richardson of harbouring carnal desires for his own sex. — No man, alive or dead, has ever claimed to have slept with Larry, though the kiss-and-tell merchants of the female sex have tumbled over themselves to boast of a night or two, here or there."

As of today the sexuality of Laurence Olivier is still disputed. I guess there are some secrets people can take to their graves.

1 comment:

  1. there is no evidence anywhere that he ever had an affair with dany kaye or noel coward. terry coleman, who wrote olivier's authorized biography disputes spoto's allegations. there is some one-sided evidence that he may have experimented with another actor when he was in his 20s (one-sided being that we only have letters from said actor to larry and have no evidence that the sentiments were returned). i think it's safe to say that he preferred women.