Life is funny.
Gifts from God appear . . . omens present themselves.
Last night I decided to watch the film noir No Time For Tears, starring Lizabeth Scott. I always liked her voice, husky and a bit manly. And that look. Slinky and those sculptured cheekbones could rip your face. And oh! Scotty was so good at playing those mysterious, morally ambiguous ladies.
And she died of congestive heart failure January 31 at age at 92 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. I ask you not Google “Lizabeth Scott old;” those years and looks will shock you. I thought I was staring at a younger Baby Jane Hudson. (And her real name! Emma Matzo. Ugh.)
I heard for years she was a lesbian. In 1955 she sued Confidential magazine over such a story (great lurid prose: “Scott always wore male colognes, slept in men’s pajamas and positively hated frilly feminine dresses, taking up almost exclusively with Hollywood’s weird society of baritone babes. In one jaunt to Europe she headed straight for Paris and the left bank where she took up with Frede, the city’s most notorious lesbian queen and operator of a nightclub devoted exclusively to entertaining deviates just like herself.”)
Off-stage, she did so love wearing shirts and slacks and refused to accept a studio-engineered ‘beard’ husband to quell rumors about her sexuality.
Scott sued for $2.5 million, contending that the magazine had portrayed her in a “vicious, slanderous and indecent” manner. Keep this in mind: She did not sue Confidential for implying that she was gay but for its allegations that she used call girls. The outcome was never made public; though Scott devotees believe she settled out of court for an undisclosed, sealed amount.
But you must remember that Liberace filed a $20-million libel suit over the July 1957 article titled “Why Liberace’s Theme Song Should be ‘Mad About the Boy.’ He insisted he was not a homosexual. Right. I interviewed Liberace for United Media when he was appearing at Radio City Music Hall. Me: Who do you sleep with? Him: “Them.”)
The honchos who ran the Palm Springs Film Festival invited Scott to appear and chat after one of her films. She turned them down every time. I was told if she appeared, she’d be in leather and arrive on a motorcycle.
Scott often told reporters: “My greatest ambition is to be the whoppingest best actress in Hollywood. You can’t blame a girl for trying! I don’t want to be classed as a ‘personality,’ something to stare at. I want to have my talents respected, not only by the public but by myself.”
All that matters: If Scott was a lesbian, the shame of not being able to admit it must have tortured for years. What a shame.
Life is funny.