“I realized that wherever I look—the boulevards, the side streets, the studios, the fancy homes in the hills—there is a sliver of my past in all of it…
“My mind lazily ambled through endless mental files containing images of glamorous parties, of wild poolside orgies, of crowded sound stages, of dark places where bodies collided with electrifying vigor, of ghostly gatherings of gorgeous women and virile young men, of a magnificent variety of passionate sex of every kind.
“Frankly, I knew Hollywood like no one else knew it.” — Scotty Bowers*
Scotty Bowers—a bisexual hustler and procurer-to-the-stars—made his first Hollywood connection in the early 1940s when costume designer Orry-Kelly picked him up on the Boulevard.**
Operating out of a local gas station and later through bartending gigs at celebrity-filled house parties, Bowers himself tricked with and/or found young men—often fellow Marines—for Cary Grant, Cole Porter, Vivien Leigh, Tennessee Williams, Tyrone Power, Cecil Beaton, Edith Piaf, George Cukor, Charles Laughton, Noël Coward, Ramon Navarro, Blanche Knopf, the Duke of Windsor, and Néstor Almendros.
According to Bowers, the fabled Tracy-Hepburn “romance” was pure fiction cooked up by publicists. Bowers regularly had sex with an invariably inebriated Spencer Tracy, and Katharine Hepburn counted on Bowers for a regular supply of young women, as did Errol Flynn, Alfred A. Knopf, Wallis Simpson, and Howard Hughes.
Bowers told all in his sensational 2012 memoir Full Service, and Matt Tyrnauer—director of Valentino: The Last Emperor and Citizen Jane—brings Bower’s story to the screen in the new documentary SCOTTY AND THE SECRET HISTORY OF HOLLYWOOD, premiering this week at Outfest.
On Wednesday, July 25, Bowers will be honored with a special proclamation by the City of West Hollywood.
SCOTTY AND THE SECRET HISTORY OF HOLLYWOOD, Saturday, July 14, at 1:45 pm.
DIRECTORS GUILD, 7920 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood.
Opens Friday, July 27.
ARCLIGHT HOLLYWOOD, 6360 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles.
SCOTTY BOWERS honored by Mayor Pro Tempore JOHN D’AMICO
Wednesday, July 25, at 5 pm.
THE ABBEY, 692 North Robertson Boulevard, West Hollywood.
*Scotty Bowers, with Lionel Friedberg, Full Service (New York: Grove Press, 2012), xii-xiii.
** In Full Service, Bowers repeatedly emphasizes that he accepted no cash in exchange for his introductions, and any personal payment-for-sex was in the form of a “tip.”
Top: Tyrone Power.
Above: Katharine Hepburn in Sylvia Scarlett (1935), directed by George Cukor.
Poster image credit: Greenwich Entertainment.