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When Dick Button Was Mugged In Central Park

[quote]The Ramble has been in the public eye ever since the assault July 5 by a gang of anti-gay toughs who, at 9:30, just a little after dusk that Wednesday, went wading in with baseball bats, bashing any men they thought were gay. The dull thwack of bats hitting flesh and bone accompanied shouts of "faggot" from the all-white band of defenders of decency. Five men were hospitalized with serious injuries—including Dick Button, a former ice-skating star and now sportscaster....Would there have been such swift, massive action on, and careful attention to, this case had there been one lone victim, not the five whom police were able to identify? Or if one of the victims—Dick Button—had not been a celebrity?

I remember when this happened. The incident, and Button's involvement in it, stopped before it even started. Button was the #1 skating broadcaster at ABC, and by all reports, was and is still in the closet. I've only heard 2nd-hand info on his orientation and what he likes. I also know that he married Janet Lynn's coach and had a couple of kids.

by Anonymousreply 5711/22/2012

The linked article is interesting and disturbing as a historical record.

by Anonymousreply 103/11/2012

Dick Button was such a flamer when he used to be the skating commentator for ABC, especially during the Olympics. he used to just orgasm at certain beloved American skaters, in particular Scott Hamilton and Dorothy Hamill. And then Peggy Fleming was always there to make snide comments about female skaters who were too athletic and not graceful enough (most memorably Elaine Zayak and Surya Bonaly).

by Anonymousreply 203/11/2012

In the 70s, Central Park at night seemed like the scariest place in the world.

The movie WHERE'S POPPA made an incredible impression on me: George Segal would threaten to his brother, Ron Leibman, to send their mother into the nursing home, and Leibman would have to run across the park at night to get to his apartment on the other side and calm him down. But he'd be chased by gangs, and once they even forced him to rape a hooker who turned out to be a male undercover officer posing as a woman (the officer sent him flowers afterward).

by Anonymousreply 303/11/2012

I don't know much about Button's married life, but it's been well known in celebrity circles he's gay for many many years. Back in the 50s, he and Tab Hunter did a TV musical special of "Hans Brinker" where Tab skated and Button acted (both for the first time) and as Tab wrote in his autobio, while rehearsing and shooting the special they had a very HOT affair.

by Anonymousreply 403/11/2012

I've always heard that he is bisexual.

I believe he has been married twice.

by Anonymousreply 503/11/2012

Attractive enough guy in his youth:

by Anonymousreply 603/11/2012

In his day skaters usually wore bulky sweaters. I'd be curious to see what his body was like in those days.

by Anonymousreply 703/11/2012

And of course he would have had skater's legs and butt.

Enjoyed his bitchy commentary.

by Anonymousreply 803/11/2012

Only man to ever win 2 Olympic golds in men's figure skating, I believe.

Even Plushenko hasn't done that yet.

Still going strong at the age of 85.

by Anonymousreply 903/11/2012

Would ABC have gone so far as to play down the fact that he was there, most likely cruising for cock??

by Anonymousreply 1003/11/2012

I took a cruise in the late 1970s. He was the special guest speaker. He is definitely Gay. Would not leave me alone.

by Anonymousreply 1103/11/2012

r9: Karl Schafer of Austria also won two consecutive Olympic golds in men's figure skating, (right before Button); and before Schafer, Gillis Grafstrom of Sweden won gold medals in three consecutive Olympics for men's figure skating.

by Anonymousreply 1203/11/2012

Details please, R11

by Anonymousreply 1303/11/2012

Dick is the only US man to hold two consecutive OGMs in men's skating.

by Anonymousreply 1403/11/2012

My father loved him!

by Anonymousreply 1503/11/2012

R12, Sweden's a real country but Austria? Who cares?

by Anonymousreply 1603/11/2012

He has the words "dick" and "butt" in his name.

Mary!

by Anonymousreply 1703/11/2012

He has been replaced by the closet case Boitano.

Figure Skating still lives in 1955.

by Anonymousreply 1803/11/2012

[quote]I believe he has been married twice.

Honey, the only time he touched them was to do their hair.

by Anonymousreply 1903/11/2012

I love Brian, but compared to Dick, he has no personality whatsoever.

by Anonymousreply 2003/11/2012

Didn't he used to chase hottie Christopher Bowman around?

by Anonymousreply 2103/11/2012

R19, and have sex with them, it seems. He does have children, remember.

I've also seen him listed on LGBT sites of famous celebrities as bisexual.

by Anonymousreply 2203/11/2012

r21 = I thought that was Toller Cranston. Or maybe that creepy Richard Callaghan, who is whispered about in skating circles as a lover of teen boys.

by Anonymousreply 2303/11/2012

R23 is correct about Toller. He had Christopher Bowman living with him and assisted him financially (to buy drugs) while sampling his boyish charms.

by Anonymousreply 2403/11/2012

Oh, dear, I meant Most likely, not lost likely.

by Anonymousreply 2603/11/2012

It was 1956 Olympic Silver Medalist that Tab Hunter had the affair with.

by Anonymousreply 2803/11/2012

What was his name, R56?

by Anonymousreply 2903/11/2012

Oops. I meant R28

by Anonymousreply 3003/11/2012

[quote]It was 1956 Olympic Silver Medalist that Tab Hunter had the affair with.

Must have been Ronnie Robertson 'cuz it sure wasn't me!

by Anonymousreply 3103/11/2012

Here's a review of Tab Hunter's book which discusses his dalliances, including with Ronnie Robertson:

by Anonymousreply 3203/11/2012

Thanks for linking to the article, OP. I hate New York magazine, but I didn't know you could read their back issues, and I don't know how the current publication compares to issues from 30+ years ago. Interesting read.

I'm 32, have been to the Ramble dozens upon dozens of times, and I only felt danger once. I'd brought it on myself, though, by pursuing someone who wasn't interested. I escaped unharmed, thank god. (and so did he.)

I don't see that many gay people there now, however. At least not during the day. I've been cruised there during the day and definitely gotten off then, but it's hardly the buffet it evidently was in '78.

Looking forward to warm weather this year.

by Anonymousreply 3303/11/2012

[quote]I don't see that many gay people there now, however.

They're all on Craigslist and Manhunt. The internet changed everything.

by Anonymousreply 3403/11/2012

Do people still go to the ramble at all?

by Anonymousreply 3506/20/2012

I just love how Dick Button ripped Debi Thomas's olympic free skate. AND SHES ON THE ICE

by Anonymousreply 3606/20/2012

...and Princess "Evania" Lysacek continues the closeted tradition today!

What a locked in the cold war era world, figure skating is. (Rumor has it they will be allowing rock music, with words, to be played for the first time ever in competitions in 2015.)

I see now why the audiences are dying off, of old age.

by Anonymousreply 3706/20/2012

From Wikipedia:

[quote]Button is credited as having been the first skater to successfully land the double axel jump in competition in 1948, as well as the first triple jump of any kind – a triple loop – in 1952. He also invented the flying camel spin, which was originally known as the "Button camel".

Not too shabby.

by Anonymousreply 3806/20/2012

Dick was certainly a flamer when he co starred with Tab Hunter and Peggy King in the TV musical HANS BRINKER back in the 50's.

Yes, I was a child when this was on TV in black and white.

by Anonymousreply 3906/20/2012

where's the ramble?

by Anonymousreply 4006/20/2012

NEIGHBORHOOD REPORT: CENTRAL PARK; Fear Cruises the Ramble By EDWARD LEWINE Published: December 20, 1998 SIGN IN TO E-MAIL PRINT

The air in Central Park was thick with moisture on Wednesday night, and it was hard to see even a few yards. The brightly lit towers along the park's perimeter cast the winding, tree-lined paths into even greater shadow. At first it seemed that the Ramble, a 37-acre area in the center of the park between 72d and 79th Streets, was deserted. But then shadows began to emerge, shadows of dozens of men who were wandering about or sitting quietly on benches.

As he strolled among them, Bill Dobbs, a lawyer and gay-rights advocate, said that many men who frequented the Ramble at night were gay, and nervous. 'The atmosphere here has changed,' he said. 'The police are harassing gay men.'

For decades the Ramble has been a well-known place for gay men to meet, talk and sometimes have sex, Mr. Dobbs and other gay-rights activists said. But this fall, following a few robberies in the Ramble or nearby and the fatal stabbing of a garment worker, the Police Department has increased patrols in the area.

by Anonymousreply 4106/20/2012

Why hasn't Richard Callaghan been called out for his pederasty? Why is he allowed to get away with it? Is it true, or just a nasty rumor?

by Anonymousreply 4211/21/2012

I used to go to an Italian restaurant on East 59th Street between 3rd and 2nd Avenues in the early 1970s and one evening Dick Button was there and he was flaming away with a bunch of D & D Building queens. My word, Mary! They were all tres gay and camping it up like there was no tomorrow.

Then, that story about his getting hit over the head in the Ramble while jogging in the early evening. Think he was married to some Park Avenue socialite at that time.

I always found him hot, hunky and he was very hairy too.

But, Harvard Law School?

by Anonymousreply 4311/21/2012

There are more anti-gay and self hating closet cases in Figure Skating than in the Republican Party today.

Many of these male figure skaters help raise money for Evangelical Christian charities like World Vision Ministries. It is like black guys raising money for the KKK.

by Anonymousreply 4411/21/2012

Dick Button is 83 and still going strong. He recently gave a tribute to Barbara Ann Scott, who died this fall.

by Anonymousreply 4511/21/2012

Dick Button is a lying old perv. In a better world, he would be in jail. His OGM winning competitive performance, scored next to today's pack of skaters, wouldn't even earn him a spot at nationals.

Until figure skating puts down the old dogs, male and female and embraces the new world, audiences are going to continue to drop....of boredom and of old age.

by Anonymousreply 4611/21/2012

Dick Button is the most influential skater in history, R46.

He was named 'Man of the Century' in 2000 by IFS.

by Anonymousreply 4711/21/2012

Jesus, you gays want to claim everybody for yourselves! Dick Button is still a stud and ALL man.

by Anonymousreply 4811/21/2012

R47, USA#1 USA#1

......and who ever came up with the idea of the Ugly American?

by Anonymousreply 4911/21/2012

I bet he can still get it up at 83- I'd do him! Did he ever bang anyone famous?

by Anonymousreply 5011/21/2012

Long live and prosper Dick Button!

ABC doesn't really do skating anymore, but here's hoping Dick is up to guesting again with NBC for the Sochi games in february 2014!

When he called Boitano a "tall drink of water" on live TV years ago, I was maybe 14 and watching with my parents...mom caught my stifled snort-laugh and gave a wink

by Anonymousreply 5111/21/2012

[quote]He was named 'Man of the Century' in 2000 by IFS.

The very definition of damning with faint praise.

by Anonymousreply 5211/21/2012

What type of men does Mr. Button like???

by Anonymousreply 5311/21/2012

[[quote]Dick Button is a lying old perv. In a better world, he would be in jail. His OGM winning competitive performance, scored next to today's pack of skaters, wouldn't even earn him a spot at nationals.

In jail for what? And you're an idiot to compare his skating of the late 40s and early 50s to today's skating.

by Anonymousreply 5411/22/2012

You cannot compare athletic achievements between differnt eras. The advancements in sports (natural and synthetic) have been created in order for that business to make $$$$. Dick Button was at the top of his sport in the 50's and should be given credit for that. There are many gay figure skaters throughout the years. So what?

by Anonymousreply 5511/22/2012

I worked with Mr. Button in the mid-1980s when he was one of several producers on a theatrical project I was involved with. I found him to be a perfect gentlemen, very smart and caring and quite sexy to boot!

His (male) business partner also seemed to be personally attached to him. Not sure if they're still together.

by Anonymousreply 5611/22/2012

[quote]In a better world, he would be in jail.

In a better world, r46, I'd fly to your location and kick you in the cunt - hard!

by Anonymousreply 5711/22/2012
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