feminist icon or loser obsessed with a married man?
closeted lesbian is another option
I knew people who knew her. She was a lesbian.
So don''t you think she and Spencer Tracy took their apparent ''affair'' a bit far?\
Why go to all that trouble if it was just fake?
Tracy was gay. It''s well known that he frequented a hustler service in Hollywood, often. Hepburn and Tracy had a very strong bond though.
Why did they give everyone the impression they were having an affair and cheating on his wife? It made them look like cheaters.
Better a pair of hetero cheaters than a pair of queers.\
This was the 40s, after all - pre-Stonewall and all that.
R6 nails it.%0D\
It still does on today. %0D
Bull. If Hepburn was a lesbian then there was no need to stay in a fake relationship with an abusive drunk who treated her like crap. No lesbian would put up with that. She could have found herself a better merkin. After reading one of her biographies I''ve come to the conclusion that, with a distant and bullish father and lingering issues over her brother''s suicide, she felt the need to ''save'' Tracey to get over not being able to save her brother and was used to pig-headed and abusive men.
Who says she put up with anything R8. She used him and he used her, both to support the ''image'' they knew would keep their careers from crashing, like Hepburn''s nearly did back in the 1930''s.\
OP (=r1, r3, r6) needs to read the latest Hepburn biography, by Mann. Tracy was deeply closeted, Kate just barely.
interesting take r8, I just thought theirs was a "showmance", he was gay and so was she.
r9 - according to the biography I read he would belittle her in front of cast and crew on their film sets regularly while she waited on him like he was a God. With so many accounts of it, why would so many different people make that up? And what strong, independent lesbian would put up with that for over twenty years? Hell, she could have had a fake relationship with anyone. %0D\
And Spencer was already married so why would he need another fake relationship? And despite his affair with Hepburn he refused to leave his wife and used her throughout his life to perpetuate the image of a happily married good catholic family man, so surely he didn''t need another relationship to make him appear hetero, especially when it could tarnish his image with conservative America? Maybe I should read the latest biography. Maybe she was gay or maybe bi. But in many ways the showmance idea doesn''t make sense to me. And what about her long relationship with John Ford?
Is she had worn frilly dresses instead of pants would people still think she was a lesbian? \
When I look at some stills of hers she looks mannish, but in the films she doesn''t. \
And if her relationship with Spence was just for show would she have talked about him so much after he died? She reminds me of those widows who never get over their spouse (I know they were not married, but it''s almost as if they were).
I believe everything I read.
"And if her relationship with Spence was just for show would she have talked about him so much after he died?"\
People who knew her were amazed how she fashioned her relationship with Spencer into this great love affair.
I am endlessly fascinated by all the things I learn on DL.
In what universe was Tracy homo?
[quote]People who knew her were amazed how she fashioned her relationship with Spencer into this great love affair.\
Where did you read/hear that? I still think no one would invest so much energy into talking about a mere merkin after his passing. No way.
The relationship wasn''t much of a showmance. They both became stars in the 1930s, started making films together in the 1940s... and went public as a couple in the 1960s. %0D\
What kind of showmance starts when you''re getting old, and your career is winding down?
"Where did you read/hear that?"\
In the Mann book.
Extremely mannered actress and a major pain in the ass, who wrapped herself in her New Englandness and revelled in her eccentricities.
What does it mean when someone is referred to as an "mannered actress/actor" ?
r11 is exactly right. Tracy didn''t NEED a beard-- he already had one! And Hepburn had other sexual relationships with men who were indisputably straight: John Ford, Howard Hughes, etc. %0D\
Did Hepburn "ping"? Well, yeah, but so do Tea Leoni, Holly Hunter, Tyne Daly, Glenn Close, Kendra Wilkenson... Need I go on?
R22--it means artificial performing, substituting mannerisms, tics, vocal inflections, etc., for real emotional connection to the material.
I think Hepburn and Tracy realized what a strong screen pair they made and that made it that much easier to exaggerate or play up the "affair." Art got mixed up with personal life, as happens in Hollywood. They had a good thing with the public. And the "secret tragic love affair" angle was eaten up by the sob sister public who "understood" why catholic Tracy could not leave his wife. It was good press, actually, rather than the reverse. Some stars were eviscerated and run out of town for their extramarital affairs. Ingrid Bergman comes to mind. For some reason, Tracy and Hepburn were revered.%0D
I have heard for years about Tracy's gay proclivities with rent boys and that he always had to be drunk to perform (which seems very questionable because one can't get it up as easily when drunk) or whatever he DID with the guys. He was friends with Cukor and Van Johnson was his protege (as was Robert Wagner, I think) for what that is worth). I never heard a peep about Tracy until some biography came out about ten or fifteen years ago, though. Never. He was never whispered about like Rock Hudson or any of a number of stars were. Hepburn had the rumors for her entire career but they were usually squelched by the Tracy affair mention. I think Sylvia Scarlett did it for her. She became "suspect" because she played a boy/man in that film. It bombed at the box office and was NOT good for her image.
To claim Hepburn as either a feminist icon or as a progressive, independent woman is a mistake. She would have had to identify with, support, and embrace other women, including her peers in Hollywood.%0D\
And none of that is true. She didn''t care for or about other women at all, only herself.
Sue Mengers'' Stretch Pants
Sometimes a man and a woman develop a close relationship precisely because they''re not doing it. Like Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley, who were both major league whores but reportedly had a completely nonsexual friendship.
[quote]And Spencer was already married so why would he need another fake relationship? And despite his affair with Hepburn he refused to leave his wife and used her throughout his life to perpetuate the image of a happily married good catholic family man, so surely he didn''t need another relationship to make him appear hetero...%0D\
If you are not a good husband and spend more time away from your wife than with her because you are sexing up the boys. Then it could be useful to provide a hetero explanation for your wandering. %0D\
People have very complex relationships, you know children? It''s not all explained by the gay-bi-lesbian labels..
My take: she was asexual and uptight- certainly not a lesbian. Tracy may have been gay or bi (he WAS an actor, and in those days that meant queer!), but there''s no doubt they bearded for each other in some way. Total opposites.
And yet a lesbian is a lesbian, no matter what her "complicated" relationship with a man is.%0D\
Did it ever occur to anyone that Hepburn''s brother (who committed suicide) was gay and that''s why she identified with Tracy? And her career wasn''t just "winding down" in the early 60''s. She was also a big drinker herself and had experience putting up with crap from other drunks. Just like Hollywood puts up with it''s crazed druggies today, a.k.a., Robert Downey Jr. and even Lindsay Lohan.
I agree r30.\
[quote]And yet a lesbian is a lesbian, no matter what her "complicated" relationship with a man is.\
[quote]To claim Hepburn as either a feminist icon or as a progressive, independent woman is a mistake. She would have had to identify with, support, and embrace other women, including her peers in Hollywood.%0D\
You obviously know nothing about actresses. Actresses, especially in Hepburn''s era, are too competitive to support one another.
r28 - the public wouldn't have known about any of that at the time. Tracy's wife was quite a public figure (I believe she founded some sort of charity for the deaf because her son with Tracy was deaf) and he would bring her out for public occassions. Mrs Tracy was aware of the Hepburn-Tracy relationship but insisted on still being seen as his wife in public - thus Hepburn and Tracy had to be very discreet. %0D
R31 - he may very well have been gay. But the biography I read suggested that he had great difficulty living up to his father's expectations. As the oldest son he had to get excellent grades, excel at sports and be an all-round perfect guy. He began to suffer from depression and mental instability. He was probably exhausted and afraid of failing. Also, there was a history of suicide in Hepburn's mother's side of the family. Hepburn's grandfather killed himself. But who knows? The Hepburns never mentioned Tom after he died. %0D
Either way I personally found Hepburn to be crazy and massochistic for sticking with Tracy for so long. In the book I read she's quoted as telling someone after Tracy's death that she wasn't sure if Tracy ever told her he loved her. So take that as you will.
As they are now R33
[quote]You obviously know nothing about actresses. Actresses, especially in Hepburn''s era, are too competitive to support one another.\
Joan Bennett said that Hepburn was free with advice, but that it was, in fact, good advice. And Lucille Ball said that all the actresses at RKO wanted to be like Hepburn, including Ginger Rogers, who was much bigger at the box office.
@R36, Ginger Rogers possibly wanted to have been born with a silver spoon.
I don''t think it was until the late ''60''s that she spoke in a TV interview about their friendship being intimate. In fact, it was the first time many in Hollywood had heard that and Bette Davis commented at the time of the interview that it was not a sexual relationship.
It''s highly unusual for a straight woman to live surrounded by lesbians (her oldest friend, Laura Harding, was a lesbian & her longtime secretary was a lesbian as well, just to name a few examples). Hepburn was "high society", people generally didn''t talk about being a "lesbian" in those circles since it was more working-class identified. \
Whatever her relationship with Tracy may have been, Hepburn certainly did have relationships with women.
He was a great actor and I gather a jerk- respected for his acting and absolutely nothing else. %0D\
She was a great movie star and personality of her time- played to the hilt.%0D\
Clearly they had a tight relationship, but not at all the one she eventually tried to promote, but rather that of very close friends in a complex relationship- he a roaring self destructive closeted alcoholic, and she a very odd rabidly ambitious totally self absorbed bisexual woman always attracted to self destructive "he-men," especially if they were "gay" because she could then chase women and do whatever else she wanted, when she wanted. She was also very independent, no one''s fool and lived exactly as she pleased. For those latter attributes and her many terrific films, I liked her quite a lot- even if her range as an actress what not great. She was very good in the right movie in the right characger, like African Queen or Long Day''s Journey into Night, or Summertime, or Lion in Winter.
R23, John Ford wasn''t "indisputably straight".
She had affairs with men and women and was a tower of strength and clung to abusive men, preferably alcoholics who needed her.\
People aren''t all one thing. And Hollywood people, being as much fiction as they are people, play for diversity even more than the rest of us.\
Can''t you hear Thelma Ritter''s voice telling you these obvious truths?
"Hollywood people . . . play for diversity even more than the rest of us."\
You''re saying most Hollywood actors are bisexual?
I am with R42. She was bisexual, maybe Tracey was too. In "The Letters of Noel Coward", Hepburn writes movingly about Tracey''s death. Certainly Coward viewd them as a couple, even though he was well aware of her relationships with women.
Well of course she was a lesbian, and at this late date, who but the historians care? The fact remains that she had the most perfect, most beautiful face, perhaps, of all time, and the intelligence and talent to back it up.\
I happen to have a great Katharine HEepburn story, and if I can stop yawning long enuf I shall share it with you.\
nope, sorry off to bed. perhaps toorrow.
They were BOTH great actors--probably the best of their generation. I love watching any of their movies, not just the ones they made together. And what they left as a legacy is what''s important anyway.
Ol''e Kate ate at the Y There was a pimp in old Hollywood that claimed he arranged young guys for Spencer Tracy
[quote]ate at the Y\
who were some of her lovers?
"To claim Hepburn as either a feminist icon or as a progressive, independent woman is a mistake. She would have had to identify with, support, and embrace other women, including her peers in Hollywood."\
Hepburn was a staunch supporter of Planned Parenthood. I remember her saying in an interview: "But, you see, I don''t care what happens to men, I care about what happens to women". She was also known to never be catty to her female co-stars.
Knew Kate (not best friends but well enough):\
Essentially dyke but heteroflexible when it was useful.\
Limited actor but had charm and distinctive look, always played herself, sometimes willingly sent herself up, could not inhabit any other character, having created herself.\
Smarter than a lot of actors, not as smart as she thought. Basically a bright provincial and a snob. Nasty, limited side small town lezzie style, mostly full of shit.\
Tracy: who knows? Fucked up alcoholic Catholic dumbbell. Significant natural acting talent, stymied in movies, after a while suffocating in his own frustration, artistic, sexual, weird codependent marriage. Prone to serious guilt. Never fucked Kate, she didn''t like to get fucked. But genuine closeness, two weird fish out of water. If he came with a male would have wanted to kill himself after and would said have said ten rosaries.
[quote]Nasty, limited side small town lezzie style, mostly full of shit.\
What does this mean?
Ginger and I were verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry close.
[quote] And Hepburn had other sexual relationships with men who were indisputably straight: John Ford...\
Ever notice how Donald Duck sounds so much like Hepburn??
Tracy had a Gene Hackman cuteness about him. He wasn''t what is usually termed beautiful, but it''s easy to see why Hepburn fell for him during "Woman of the Year". %0D
She makes a good lesbian. That is some crazy \
The true love of Kate Hepburn''s life was Laura Harding, according to the Mann biography...
she was at least bisexual (and quite likely lesbian)
If Hepburn required a beard, wouldn''t her sometime costar Cary Grant have been the perfect one?
Ugly scenery chewing cunt.
I think Katherine Hepburn''s portrayal of Eleanor of Aquitaine is very, very fine and certainly her bravest performance. She is also excellent as Mary Tyrone in "Long Day''s Journey", also not quite her usual bag of tricks.\
I think the whole "Romance of the Century" shit was started by that other (clever) closet case Garson Kanin. He created the myth, and Kate ran with the ball until her death.\
Speaking of Kanin, I hear his poor widow Marian Seldes is suffering from advanced dementia now. What a shame, she is one of the most interesting, and devoted stage actresses of the last 40 years.
You people are nuts. Hepburn was a smart, talented, strong, often unconventional woman. But she was not a lesbian. If she were, she would not have stayed with Spencer Tracy all those years. She was too strong to play the beard or vice versa. %0D\
Heburn and Tracy loved each other, but they were also a product of their times: Tracy wouldn''t divorce his wife because of his religion and his kids. Kate apparently didn''t feel the need to be officially married to him, so she lived with him. They had everything except the marriage certificate.
The biggest fag hag of her day.
Spencer Tracy and Kate Hepburn;s relationship was NEVER sexual...If you think it was, YOU are seriously deluded r64. Hepburn did ''love'' Tracy, but not in any true romantic/sexual sense. I think she saw him as a talented, damaged man who she could ''save''. The loss of her beloved brother created the desire to rescue someone like Tracy. As far as a sexual relationship goes, you need to READ about Hepburn and Laura Harding''s relationship...The only reason Kate didn''t stay with Laura is because of the ''times'' in which they lived--She was being threatened with the loss of her career in the 1930s, and did what it took to preserve it (that means she started playing it straight).
R62, LOL. You''ve given me the laugh of the week. Can I assume you''ve been in a coma for 30 years?