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Katharine Hepburn

feminist icon or loser obsessed with a married man?

by Anonymousreply 6504/19/2011

closeted lesbian is another option

by Anonymousreply 102/22/2011

I knew people who knew her. She was a lesbian.

by Anonymousreply 202/22/2011

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?

by Anonymousreply 302/22/2011

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.

by Anonymousreply 402/22/2011

Why did they give everyone the impression they were having an affair and cheating on his wife? It made them look like cheaters.

by Anonymousreply 502/22/2011

Better a pair of hetero cheaters than a pair of queers.

This was the 40s, after all - pre-Stonewall and all that.

by Anonymousreply 602/22/2011

R6 nails it.%0D %0D It still does on today. %0D

by Anonymousreply 702/22/2011

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.

by Anonymousreply 902/22/2011

interesting take r8, I just thought theirs was a "showmance", he was gay and so was she.

by Anonymousreply 1002/22/2011

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 %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?

by Anonymousreply 1102/22/2011

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).

by Anonymousreply 1202/22/2011

I believe everything I read.

by Anonymousreply 1302/22/2011

"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.

by Anonymousreply 1402/22/2011

I am endlessly fascinated by all the things I learn on DL.

by Anonymousreply 1502/22/2011

In what universe was Tracy homo?

by Anonymousreply 1602/22/2011

[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.

by Anonymousreply 1702/22/2011

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 %0D What kind of showmance starts when you're getting old, and your career is winding down?

by Anonymousreply 1802/22/2011

Ditto R2.

by Anonymousreply 1902/22/2011

"Where did you read/hear that?"

In the Mann book.

by Anonymousreply 2002/22/2011

Extremely mannered actress and a major pain in the ass, who wrapped herself in her New Englandness and revelled in her eccentricities.

by Anonymousreply 2102/22/2011

What does it mean when someone is referred to as an "mannered actress/actor" ?

by Anonymousreply 2202/22/2011

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 %0D Did Hepburn "ping"? Well, yeah, but so do Tea Leoni, Holly Hunter, Tyne Daly, Glenn Close, Kendra Wilkenson... Need I go on?

by Anonymousreply 2302/22/2011

R22--it means artificial performing, substituting mannerisms, tics, vocal inflections, etc., for real emotional connection to the material.

by Anonymousreply 2402/22/2011

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 %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.

by Anonymousreply 2502/22/2011

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.

by Anonymousreply 2702/22/2011

[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 %0D %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 %0D

by Anonymousreply 2802/22/2011

People have very complex relationships, you know children? It's not all explained by the gay-bi-lesbian labels..

by Anonymousreply 2902/22/2011

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.

by Anonymousreply 3002/22/2011

And yet a lesbian is a lesbian, no matter what her "complicated" relationship with a man is.%0D %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.

by Anonymousreply 3102/22/2011

I agree r30.

[quote]And yet a lesbian is a lesbian, no matter what her "complicated" relationship with a man is.

Um, no.

by Anonymousreply 3202/22/2011

[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 %0D You obviously know nothing about actresses. Actresses, especially in Hepburn's era, are too competitive to support one another.

by Anonymousreply 3302/22/2011

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 %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 %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.

by Anonymousreply 3402/22/2011

As they are now R33

by Anonymousreply 3502/22/2011

[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.

by Anonymousreply 3602/22/2011

@R36, Ginger Rogers possibly wanted to have been born with a silver spoon.

by Anonymousreply 3702/22/2011

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.

by Anonymousreply 3802/22/2011

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.

by Anonymousreply 3902/22/2011

He was a great actor and I gather a jerk- respected for his acting and absolutely nothing else. %0D %0D She was a great movie star and personality of her time- played to the hilt.%0D %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.

by Anonymousreply 4002/22/2011

R23, John Ford wasn't "indisputably straight".

by Anonymousreply 4102/23/2011

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?

by Anonymousreply 4202/23/2011

"Hollywood people . . . play for diversity even more than the rest of us."

You're saying most Hollywood actors are bisexual?

by Anonymousreply 4302/24/2011

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.

by Anonymousreply 4402/24/2011

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.

by Anonymousreply 4502/24/2011

Who cares????%0D 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.

by Anonymousreply 4602/24/2011

Ol'e Kate ate at the Y There was a pimp in old Hollywood that claimed he arranged young guys for Spencer Tracy

by Anonymousreply 4702/25/2011

[quote]ate at the Y

LOL

by Anonymousreply 4802/25/2011

who were some of her lovers?

by Anonymousreply 4904/15/2011

"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.

by Anonymousreply 5004/15/2011

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.

by Anonymousreply 5104/16/2011

[quote]Nasty, limited side small town lezzie style, mostly full of shit.

What does this mean?

by Anonymousreply 5204/18/2011

Ginger and I were verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry close.

by Anonymousreply 5304/18/2011

[quote] And Hepburn had other sexual relationships with men who were indisputably straight: John Ford...

Come again?

by Anonymousreply 5404/18/2011

Ever notice how Donald Duck sounds so much like Hepburn??

by Anonymousreply 5504/18/2011

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

by Anonymousreply 5604/18/2011

She makes a good lesbian. That is some crazy Evangelista shit.

by Anonymousreply 5704/18/2011

The true love of Kate Hepburn's life was Laura Harding, according to the Mann biography...

by Anonymousreply 5804/18/2011

If Hepburn required a beard, wouldn't her sometime costar Cary Grant have been the perfect one?

by Anonymousreply 5904/18/2011

Ugly scenery chewing cunt.

by Anonymousreply 6004/18/2011

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.

by Anonymousreply 6104/19/2011

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 %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.

by Anonymousreply 6204/19/2011

The biggest fag hag of her day.

by Anonymousreply 6304/19/2011

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).

by Anonymousreply 6404/19/2011

R62, LOL. You've given me the laugh of the week. Can I assume you've been in a coma for 30 years?

by Anonymousreply 6504/19/2011
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