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Bookends: A life of gay abandon

17 March 2012

9:00 AM

17 March 2012

9:00 AM

Sometimes, only the purest smut will do. Scotty Bowers’s memoir, Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars (Grove Press, £16.99) is 24 carat, 100 per cent proof. Now rising 89, Scotty (pictured above in his youth) was for years the go-to guy in Tinseltown for sexual favours. Black, white, short, tall, same sex, opposite sex: he could supply it all.

But this was no prostitution ring he was running, good lord no. He didn’t charge for his services. He just liked ‘to help folks out’. And he was winningly discreet — until now, that is.

His book is Hollywood Babylon and then some, sharing with that legendary and error-packed volume the advantage that everyone written about is long dead. Walter Pidgeon picked him up and gave him a good seeing to. Cole Porter ‘had an absolute passion for Marines’. George Cukor ‘always paid for sex, no matter who his partner was’. Everyone was secretly gay: the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, everyone. You keep expecting Lassie to roll up and ask him for a cute little Pomeranian. How much of it you choose to believe is obviously up to you: a lot less than all of it and slightly more than none of it seems safest.

But what a depressing and sorry book this is. ‘I was proud of my dick,’ says Scotty, ‘and I was very happy to share it.’ It’s a world view of a sort, I suppose.

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