Skip to the article, or search this site

Home: The Toast

eartha1Previously: Alice Walker and Tracy Chapman totally went out.

There are, I think, drawbacks to being constantly incredulous. I wouldn’t say that a substantial dose of skepticism isn’t a good idea; I will merely suggest that excessive mistrust can result in the loss of potential joy, and I do not want that for you. I want you to maximize your possible happiness, while maintaining a healthy, wary outlook that protects you from getting eaten by predators.

The possibility that I want you to entertain is that Eartha Kitt once had a threesome with Paul Newman and James Dean. All I ask, for those of you who need to be convinced, and are not willing to take my good word for it, is that you accept that the probability of this threesome is not zero. Can you do that? Good.

It’s gossip, I’ll grant you that. I am not suggesting the case that I hold in my hands contains irrefutable proof. There’s never anything more than a smoking gun in cases like this, which is why everyone makes-believe that Old Hollywood was full of people who only had heterosexual affairs with one person at a time, and it wasn’t until the 1980s that anyone thought of adding someone else into the mix.

I guess before we go any further you’ll have to ask yourself: if you were Paul Newman, or Eartha Kitt, or James Dean, in any of their primes, what would you have used your body for?

Let us begin. The first obstacle must be removed: namely, rumors of Paul Newman’s exclusive heterosexuality. “Everyone knows about James Dean’s bisexuality,” I hear you say, “but Paul Newman was born faithful to Joanne Woodward.” Okay, well, Dean was dead three years before Newman married her, so don’t worry so much about it.

Watch this honestly, and with an open mind:

Can you say – truthfully, now – that there was nothing there? Yes, even taking into account that they are actors, and that on-screen chemistry doesn’t always translate into offscreen attraction, can you say the odds are still set at zero?

Look now at this:

eartha4

I am not attempting to prove anything to you yet. I am merely setting a stage. Perhaps people will choose to walk onto it, and act out a scene; perhaps not. But the stage is there for them, if they so choose.

Paul knew James. James knew Eartha. The possibility existed. All that is required of you is an open mind.

From PBS’ (PBS! That sexless, venerated American institution, that bastion of truth! Listen to them, if you will not listen to me) American Masters:

[James Dean] said to me, ‘I want to move like you, can you teach me how to move my body like you do on stage?’ And I told him where to meet me, here in New York and that’s where we met for dance classes. And that’s where Jamie and I always met downstairs from that studio to have coffee, to have our little tete-a-tete conversations…

He had something in him that he didn’t understand. He wanted to learn from me how to move on the stage the way I do, so I taught him how to control his body and how to let the words physically carry you from this point to that point. I was in a play and he’d just done his first film so we were both becoming known at that time. It was a good time.

Perhaps Eartha and Jamie merely danced. Perhaps Dean and Newman simply had excellent chemistry, which was briefly captured in a taped audition. Perhaps they all enjoyed vigorous, heterosexual love-making with one parter at a time and regularly ate cheese sandwiches and went to bed at eleven-thirty.

But so many things happen in this world. Perhaps this was one of them.

The problem with these kinds of stories, of course, is that no one is willing to talk about it with strangers while they are alive (and I don’t blame them! It’s still, frankly, none of our business, even though everyone involved is dead; I still want Singer Eartha Kittto know even though I haven’t got the right to), which means the most that trickles down is third-hand hearsay decades after the fact. And that’s not proof, of course. There’s never proof, and if you haven’t got proof, well, then you have to admit that everyone involved was straight as an arrow and you’re just projecting your wretched, dissolute fantasies onto perfectly nice dead people.

There’s a book – it isn’t a very good book, but there’s a book – that talks about it, a little. It’s the kind of book that has mostly 5-star or 1-star reviews. (“Disgusting. Smearing perfectly good people with your lurid gay fantasies.” You know the kind. No proof.)

Anyhow, someone asked Eartha about it once, and Eartha maybe said something like this:

“I had both of them that afternoon, and I came to the conclusion that white boys are so delicious.”

I like hearsay. Don’t you?

$
Select Payment Method

Loading ...

Personal Info

Donation Total: $1.00

Add a comment

Skip to the top of the page, search this site, or read the article again

(Close this.)