Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Life And Times Of Timmy

I don't remember the first time I met JJ. It just seemed like from the first day I started at my first position he was there. It seems like he has always said he is retired, but at the same time it seems like he always has a piece of every project. JJ is pushing 90 if he isn't there already. He started in the business when he was a kid doing gofer work and his career rise has matched the rise of films through their infancy all the way to the present day. He knows everyone and for those few people he doesn't know, they certainly know him.


I've always told him he needs to write a book about his life and times and let future generations have an insight into his life and what he has seen. I get the feeling he has, although he hasn't ever confirmed it. Maybe he is waiting to publish it after he dies. I don't know.

With what I do now I don't come into contact with JJ much anymore on a professional basis but I always stay in touch on a personal basis. Every other month or so we get together for brunch and I get entertained for a few hours. I'm not sure what JJ gets out of it except for some company and some free food. Somehow I think I'm getting the better part of the deal.

This past Sunday the conversation turned towards an event he had hinted at previously, but had never really finished the story and I took the opportunity this time to get the answers I wanted.

All I will say about these events are they happened within the past 50 years and only about ten people know the whole story.

Timmy was a gay man at a time when gay men were treated miserably, not only in Hollywood but in the rest of the country as well. Timmy's homosexuality was compounded by the fact that he was very slightly built, had very pale features and a skin condition that prevented much hair growth on his body.

What Timmy had going for him was a personality that wouldn't quit and a way of capturing an audience whether one person, five hundred or through film that was unlike anything most people had seen previously.

Timmy grew up in the Northeast in a small town where he really and truly didn't fit in. At some point he knew he wanted to be an actor and began performing in theatres across the country. He would stick in a city long enough to work in some plays and shows and then move on when he heard of another opportunity in a bigger town or for more money somewhere else. Each of these moves pushed him further and further west to his ultimate destination in Hollywood.

When he first arrived in LA, the studio system was still going strong and most performers were tied to a studio for many years. They would often work on several films simultaneously and often share accommodations with other performers of the same level who also worked at the same studio.

Timmy worked often, but nothing more than a few lines here or there and spent a great deal of time in the "chorus" sections of musicals which were still fairly popular. To supplement his income Timmy began performing in local theatre productions. One night the lead actress was unable to perform and there was no understudy. A sold out audience was going to be sent home unless something was done.

Enter Timmy. With the audience none the wiser, Timmy performed the entire two hour show as the lead actress and received a standing ovation. He was brilliant and there was even a review in the paper which talked about this understudy who was even better than the regular actress.

As good as Timmy was, it was only for one night, and he went back to his regular role the next night. Timmy was excited about the possibilities the night before had held though and the response he received was never far from his mind.
After another year working at the studio without getting much further than bit parts, Timmy decided to do something which would put him in the spotlight. When his studio contract ended he basically reversed his original trek to LA and began performing in small town theatres again, but this time as a woman.

Timmy traveled and did the theatre route for almost two years while building up a resume and a background for his new persona. When he finally felt as if he had it down, Timmy returned to Hollywood. This time as a woman.

From his very first screen test as a woman, Timmy was destined to become a star. Timmy was initially given meaty supporting roles and moved into an apartment with two other women who worked at the studio. One of those women was JJ's wife. There was just no way for Timmy to keep his masculinity a secret in such close quarters and so the two women became Timmy's confidantes and helped him whenever possible.

Over the next two years, Timmy worked steadily as a woman and kept getting better and better roles. He was very rarely the lead, but in memorable role he was cast as the lead opposite a very closeted A list at the time actor who also remained single for his entire life. The two began a relationship which was always kept quiet but lasted for many years.

Shortly after Timmy was cast as the lead, he was cast in another role which is the subject of the blind. Timmy was incredible in this role and whether his acting was as a result of his new found love or as a result of just the right part at the right time, Hollywood took notice and so did the critics. During award season, Timmy began winning regularly for his role. I want to make it perfectly clear that none of these organizations knew Timmy was actually a man when they were honoring him with awards as an actress.

This award season was a blessing because it honored Timmy for his work, but at the same time the increased publicity and probes into his background were causing a great deal of stress and Timmy began getting hives and breaking out as the stress of trying to maintain three different persona's. Timmy himself, Timmy the actress, and Timmy the gay man in a loving relationship with a closeted star.

When it came to the very big award, the one with all the television viewers, Timmy won again. There he was, the woman who was really a gay man was being honored for being the Best Supporting Actress/Best Actress of the year. Its up to you to figure out which of the two he won.

After the award season, Timmy thought the hives and his skin would go back to normal, but if anything they became worse. The severe outbreak he had been dealing with had altered his body to the point where it just wouldn't go back to normal.

At that time there was no CGI, and makeup could only do so much. Timmy the award winning actress was having trouble finding work because of his condition and so he saw his career slowly work its way back down the ladder over the course of three or four years.

Timmy considered trying to resume a film career as a man but the skin condition made that impossible because it would have been one hell of a coincidence that two people who looked remarkably alike had the same condition. What he could do though was return to the theatre, and he did so, as a man and worked as a man until his death from AIDS related complications.

Sunday after brunch I went to Blockbuster and I rented the award winning film, and even knowing what I knew, when I watched it Sunday night it was almost impossible to tell. If you watch it carefully there is one giveaway which is a scar. It's not a big scar, but its evident in photos of the male Timmy which you can still find online in old cast photos and in the female version of Timmy as she acts her way to one of the biggest awards in films.

Timmy as an actor and actress was in over 100 films and theatre productions from Topeka to Broadway, but this is about one role and one award.

358 comments:

1 – 200 of 358   Newer›   Newest»
Cali Girl said...

oh this is classic! The studio system still going strong would point to the 50's as the era of Timmy's initial Hollywood attempt, wouldn't it? Musicals still being popular would be 50's or 60's? That would put the 2nd Hollywood shot probably in the 60's? And the person would have faded away from film afterwards due to the skin condition. some good clues here!

DNfromMN said...

This is a great one in the vein of MV. My first guess would've been Greer Garson, but she was nominated for oscars several years after her win.

Nina said...

Jo Van Fleet or Sandy Dennis?

Cali Girl said...

here's a site that lists the Actress/supporting actress winners for each year.
http://www.filmsite.org/bestactress2.html

anon said...

Just when the readers are getting annoyed, another big Old Hollywood Urban legend. Nice try.... *sshole.

each of the two said...

The first Oscars were given in a banquet held in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on May 16, 1929. Eligible were movies made in 1927 and 1928.
televised on May 19, 1953
“When it came to the very big award, the one with all the television viewers,”

Best Actresses:
1950 Judy Holliday, BORN YESTERDAY
1951 Vivien Leigh, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
1952 Shirley Booth, COME BACK, LITTLE SHEBA
1953 Audrey Hepburn, ROMAN HOLIDAY
1954 Grace Kelly, THE COUNTRY GIRL
1955 Anna Magnani, THE ROSE TATTOO
1956 Ingrid Bergman, ANASTASIA
1957 Joanne Woodward, THE THREE FACES OF EVE
1958 Susan Hayward, I WANT TO LIVE!
1959 Simone Signoret, ROOM AT THE TOP
1960 Elizabeth Taylor, BUTTERFIELD 8
1961 Sophia Loren, TWO WOMEN
1962 Anne Bancroft, THE MIRACLE WORKER
1963 Patricia Neal, HUD
1964 Julie Andrews, MARY POPPINS
1965 Julie Christie, DARLING
1966 Elizabeth Taylor, WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINA WOOLF?
1967 Katharine Hepburn, GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER
1968 Katharine Hepburn, THE LION IN WINTER
1969 Maggie Smith, THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE

1970 Glenda Jackson, WOMEN IN LOVE
1971 Jane Fonda, KLUTE
1972 Liza Minnelli, CABARET
1973 Glenda Jackson, A TOUCH OF CLASS
1974 Ellen Burstyn, ALICE DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE
1975 Louise Fletcher, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUKOO'S NEST
1976 Faye Dunaway, NETWORK
1977 Diane Keaton, ANNIE HALL
1978 Jane Fonda, COMING HOME
1979 Sally Field, NORMA RAE
Best Supporting Actress:
1950 Josephine Hull, HARVEY
1951 Kim Hunter, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
1952 Gloria Grahame, THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL
1953 Donna Reed, FROM HERE TO ETERNITY
1954 Eva Marie Saint, ON THE WATERFRONT
1955 Jo Van Fleet, EAST OF EDEN
1956 Dorothy Malone, WRITTEN ON THE WIND
1957 Miyoshi Umeki, SAYONARA
1958 Wendy Hiller, SEPARATE TABLES
1959 Shelley Winters, THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK
1960 Shirley Jones, ELMER GANTRY
1961 Rita Moreno, WEST SIDE STORY
1962 Patty Duke, THE MIRACLE WORKER
1963 Margaret Rutherford, THE V.I.P.'S
1964 Lila Kedrova, ZORBA THE GREEK
1965 Shelley Winters, A PATCH OF BLUE
1966 Sandy Dennis, WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINA WOOLF?
1967 Estelle Parsons, BONNIE AND CLYDE
1968 Ruth Gordon, ROSEMARY'S BABY
1969 Goldie Hawn, CACTUS FLOWER

GammaGirl said...

Oh my...this is EPIC

some said...

if the guy is dead then why does this need to be a blind?

HolyGirl427 said...

Shirley Booth, won both the Tony and the Oscar ofr Come Back Little Sheba and the returned to Broadway.

Kim said...

Is "Timmy" a made up name or real?
Also, did Timmy as a woman and the closeted gay man appear in public as a couple? (man and woman)

brendalove@gmail.com said...

I'm almost positive this is Marlene Dietrich. Going to go research films.

brendalove@gmail.com said...

No, damn! She was married.

donna said...

in doing some quick research based on the clues .. it seems like the time line would be 1953 to early 60's ..although cgi started in 1977 I think the studio system, per se, crumbled way before 1977 ..

Angela said...

Very interesting story (whether it's true or not) and certainly easy to check through Wikipedia, who lists winners in the Best Actress/Supporting Actress for all past Oscars (if it is the Oscar, but everything in the blind item points to it):
- the actress had a very short carrier after receiving the Oscar and disappeared from public view (fake death???)
- female Timmy couldn't be married

I would bet on the "best supporting actress" category because many actresses that get the award can fall into oblivion or are character actresses while it's harder for a lead actress to disappear and I'd set the era before the late 50's.

http://snipurl.com/1q3gy

Gale Sondergaard
Alice Brady (dead two years after her Oscar but it was 1939, a little early and she acted in 80 movies)

HautieTx said...

Ummm I would have placed the time line before 1950. I would think between the late 1930's to the mid 1940's. Those musicals were huge during that time period.

DNfromMN said...

AIDS related deaths weren't reported or "known" until mid-80s.

brendalove@gmail.com said...

Wouldn't it be totally delicious if it was Joan Crawford?

each of the two said...

Miyoshi Umeki (adopted a son)
Margaret Rutherford (also adopted a son, who got a sex change)
Lila Kedrova (Russian, little background)
Ruth Gordon (spent little time in Hollywood, but seems unlikely, won at an older age)


those are my guesses of actresses during the time since the Oscars are telivised. though now that i think of it, i bet that is just a mislead, i think it would be before the awards were telivised.

guesses based on no biological children and or not a lot of background info.

j said...

Another thing to think about: "Timmy" couldn't have had children, so that's something to help rule names out when checking bios of actresses.

GammaGirl said...

@ angela: Gale Sondergaard fits the timeline but one of the bio's that I just saw mentions a child. I'm wondering about the marriage issue...has it been made clear that Timmy was single?

donna said...

the award for best supporting actress was started in 1936 ...

wow .. this is quite a mystery, scooby!

Jen said...

Jessica Tandy?!?!


Four Best Actress winners won the Oscar for an acclaimed stage role that they reprised on the screen:

Here are the only women who won
Oscars for roles they reprised on stage:

Judy Holliday for Born Yesterday (1950)
Shirley Booth for Come Back, Little Sheba (1952)
Anne Bancroft for The Miracle Worker (1962)
Barbra Streisand for Funny Girl (1968)

princessj1987 said...

I think it is Shirley Booth.

Arlene said...

Hmmm. He says "All I will say about these events are they happened within the past 50 years" ... so must be sometime from 1957 onwards.

princessj1987 said...

Scrath that. I have no idea.

princessj1987 said...

Scratch I meant.

DNfromMN said...

I was working on the gay man Timmy was cast against as a lead. I looked at James Dean and Montgomery Clift. All their costars who won 1 Oscar either did TV afterwards or had films for years afterwards. Rock Hudson was married for 3 years. Any other closeted men that we can think of?

Alison said...

Where does it say in the piece that Timmy won a Tony or that he played the same role in his Oscar-winning role and on Broadway?

Shirley Booth was on television as Hazel, I doubt it was her.

kar1 said...

Shirley Booth was the star of the tv show Hazel in the sixties...it can't be her.

princessj1987 said...

Sandy Dennis? It says she lived w/ Gerry Mulligan but they weren't married. She also lived w/ Eric Roberts. She had no kids and died of Ovarian cancer.

Jen said...

ibdb = broadway database. try a cross check....

each of the two said...

Marie Dressler (though she was overweight, but did “die” in 1934 of unspecified)
Mary Pickford (no children, but seems unlikely as married many times)
Alice Brady (died of “cancer” at age 47)


those are my guesses from before the Oscars where televised.



(and i thin Eric roberts would have said something, if it is the eric roberts brother of julia roberts)

kar1 said...

The closeted actor/boyfriend can't be Rock Hudson. He was married at one point.

kar1 said...

The BI makes it sound like Timmy only did movies as a woman for two years prior to his award win.

Jen said...

RE: Sandy Dennis

Although she and Gerry Mulligan referred to each other as husband and wife for years, she eventually said that they had never married.

She won two consecutive Tony awards, in 1963 as Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Dramatic) for "A Thousand Clowns" and in 1964 as Best Actress (Dramatic) for "Any Wednesday," which eventually led to her Oscar-winning film performance in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966).

Awarded the coveted Theatre World Award for best Broadway debut in 1961.

She had a LARGE body of stage work, thats for sure.

Simone said...

I have no guesses to offer only to say that this is a classic and brilliant BI. I will enjoy reading everyone else's guesses.

Well done Ent!

Kathryn said...

Rrr... I was sure it was Miyoshi Umeki, but she was married twice, and apparently she's still alive. But my husband is Japanese, and we both think "Miyoshi" is probably a man's name (actually, it's most common as a surname, but it's a pretty strange first name for a girl).

Alison said...

Sandy Dennis had a large body of work AS Sandy Dennis. The BI says Timmy worked as a man on stage after his last few years in declining roles as a woman in films.

The film actress has to essentially completely disappear after several years of ever-smaller parts after her win.

Kory said...

Ok, I don't know who this is, but I may be able to find out (but not until Friday). You can just call me fag hag from here on out because I have so many gay friends. I may have met this producer (in passing and not thinking anything of it). So I don't remember his name, but for some reason Bill is sticking out in my mind. If it is him, he throws a big party once a year where many of the "oldies" come out, like Betty White. My friend who is in 50's always goes. He's the one I can ask about this on Friday and see if he knows more about it after (yeah, guess what) seeing Margaret Cho perform.

Kim said...

per IMDB comment section, in Sandy Dennis' autobiography it says she had numerous lesbian encounters, so can't be her.

kar1 said...

The Golden Globes were first televised in 1958. Maybe the award is not an oscar.

each of the two said...

seems REALLY unlikely but;

Ginger Rogers (lived with her mother, 4 marriages none very long, liek brtiney in vegas long and no kids)

Mooshki said...

I have to keep reminding myself, "don't feed the trolls, don't feed the trolls."

princessj1987 said...

kathyrn........i was thinking that also. Miyoshi is weird for a girl's name but it says she was born Umeki Miyoshi and she is still alive.

each of the two said...

KIM- unless those "lesbian" relationships were Timmy's gal pals helping to cover up reality

kellysirkus said...

Sandy Dennis does have a scar above her lip

Angela said...

Kelly, she may have had a scar but she was featured in movies as late as 1991 (The Indian Runner), fourteen years after her Oscar.

J. Danisse said...

Didn't people wonder what ever happened to that actress so-and-so? Was her death reported as man's or a woman's?

Pinky said...

Would have been funny if it was Beatrice Straight ;) Timmy's bio as a woman would have to be fake, so I wouldn't go ruling out anyone because of that. However, I've checked all the dead actresses from 1950 and up, and can't find one that stopped working after their Oscar. Also, if the hives were HIV/AIDS related, then there's a good chance the closeted actor also died of AIDS complication. Anthony Perkins springs to mind, but he was married. I'm stumped.

HolyGirl427 said...

Yeah, Shirley Booth is out. How about Anna Magnani?

AB - Houston said...

I just found a website with Sandy Dennis showing family pics of her as a child with her family, and she was clearly dressed as a girl.

www.sandydennis.org

Jen said...

Anna Magnani had a son and was married.

Jen said...

Anne Revere: won Best supp'ing actress for NATIONAL VELVET

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Revere#Private_life

In Search of Love said...

I think it was either Gloria Grahame or Jo Van Fleet, based on the small time period in which they worked in Hollywood.

Van Fleet in particular because she died of natural causes. She got best supporting actress for East of Eden.

Grahame on the other hand, scored in Hollywood after a Broadway performance.

Jac said...

Got it....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jo_Van_Fleet


Appeared opposite James Dean, sporodic work after the oscar, undisclosed cause of death....


There is the mention of a son...but maybe he was adopted???

Kaiden said...

hey guys...who was JJ's wife at the time?? maybe someone can find what movie that was that Timmy was working on with the "two woman" who became his confidantes.

Jen said...

I wouldnt call being in COOL HAND LUKE "sporadic work"

JustinD said...

Revere and Van Fleet were married, Van Fleet even had a son.

brum said...

Jac, dont know if it is the right guess but a lot of her bio seems right, as does the face, shall go to bed wondering though :-)

who, besides Ent, really knows - its a great blind item whichever way.

JustinD said...

And Grahame was married four times.

Jac said...

Hey thats what Wiki says itself about her work if you read the page...

Jenny said...

It's Fay Bainter I think. She was nominated in 1938 for White Banners but she won best supporting actress for Jezebel. She died of pneumonia. She was married but no children.

brum said...

strangely enough wiki says about Anne Revere "with her husband, the playwright and director Samuel Rosen" but cant find anything on him at all.

Fabiola Thing said...

Van Fleet was born in Oakland

TomTyler said...

If this is true, there be no record of an Oscar-winning actress's death. Because if Timmy returned to being a man and acted as a man until his death, then for all the world knows, the actress who won the Oscar is still alive (or disappeared). Is there any Oscar-winning actress who just disappeared?

TomTyler said...

Sorry, meant "there would be no record .."

Angela said...

According to imdb, Anne Revere's carrier in the movies was stopped by the blacklisting. Before that, she had also acted in "A Place in the Sun" or "Forever Amber". She also found work on TV in the 60's. Rosen was a stage director and it's not uncommon that there's no entry for him on Wikipedia. And Anne Revere had a clearly established family, as she was a descendant of Paul Revere.

Kim said...

tomtyler- excellent point! Great, now I have to research all over again, I went right past people who were still alive.

Kaiden said...

how about Josephine Hull?? she looks like a man in drag??http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephine_Hull

brum said...

good call Kaiden, forgot about her. now i have to go to bed.

brum said...

sorry, just a rethink, timmy was a slight person so maybe not.

Catherine said...

craig russell?

Amanda said...

Ok i think either this isnt true, Ents timeline is off, or the BIG SHOW isnt the Oscars.

I just went back through the winners from 1957 on for Best actress and best supporting. And the only person who MAY have come close but ruled out because they continued to act in movies as a women 10 years after the oscar win was Sandra Dennis.

Everyone else either, won twice, was married AND Bore children, or still alive AND working.

d said...

The timeline has got to be off - I checked the Golden Globe winners too and no luck.

j richards said...

okay, so i went with the idea that maybe by chance ENT, or JJ, might have been off on the timeline too. So i went back to the beginning of the oscars. In my travels I found Alice Brady, who may not actually work for Timmy but there was this interesting tidbit in the IMDB bio:

When she won a Best Supporting Actress award for In Old Chicago (1937) in 1937, she did not attend the ceremony. Instead, a man walked up and accepted the award on her behalf. After the show, neither he nor the Oscar were ever seen again.

Just thought that was pretty funny. Maybe Timmy accepted the award as himself!! LOL.

I'm going back into the research pool.

d said...

More on Alice Brady's award:


Alice Brady's statuette was swiped by an impostor who came onstage to accept the award on the absent actress' behalf. It has never been never recovered and the imposter could never be tracked down. Before the Academy could do justice and issue a copy of the statuette, Alice Brady passed away.

very convenient that she passed away...

Sarah said...

check out mildred natwick's wiki page.

Amanda said...

Yea I read that about her as well and thought the same thing. Interesting huh? Hopefully Ent will clear up the timeline.

Kathy said...

Why are we deciding that s/he couldn't have been married? The ideal situation would have been to "marry" the closeted star. It kept both their covers and it kept them together, living together, etc.

My first through was Joan Crawford, too ... her kids were adopted and she was a mess!

Amanda said...

Kathy,
None of the Married actress' listed on the wins site for Oscars for a timeline from 1957-1998 were described as not having kids. If they didnt have kids listed and were married, they werent married to A-list stars.


Besides, Ent specifically says that the relationship with the closeted A list star was SECRET.

Twisted Sister said...

Jo Van Fleet. She won both the Oscar and a Golden Globe for East of Eden in 1955. In 1960 she acted opposite Montgomery Clift, an A-list closeted actor whose sexuality wasn't revealed until after his death. In 1967 she acted in Cool Hand Luke. She died of unknown causes in 1996.

princessj1987 said...

the time line has to be off. ent says that she acted in over 100 films and stage productions. actors during the 20s and 30s used to work for the studios and later on became independent(around the 40s or so). when the worked directly for the studios, some actors made 10-15 films a year. this has to be from the 20-30s or so.

kar1 said...

East of Eden was Jo Van Fleet's first film role. BI states prior supporting roles before award win.

brendalove@gmail.com said...

I'm starting to think we can't rule out someone just because they were married, either. The beard is not a modern invention, lol!

Sandy Dennis - something about her reminds me of Angelina Jolie.

jenner said...

omg this is so much fun lol

I have NO IDEA who the BI is, but I looked up pics of Shirley Booth - I don't want to sound mean or anything, but that is ONE MANLY LOOKING WOMAN lol:

http://www.follytheater.com/images/history/missouri/booth.jpg

Georgina said...

Blind Item Collective thinks its someone else than all those mentioned: http://blinditems.typepad.com/dish/2007/08/the-actress-who.html"
I'm not so sure...

Georgina said...

Ooops, take of the ":
http://blinditems.typepad.com/dish/2007/08/the-actress-who.html

WineGirl X said...

Can't agree with Kay Kendall. She died in 1959. There weren't "AIDs related" deaths back then.

Kris said...

I know this guess doesn't fit all the clues, but I can't help but think of Greta Garbo...

A studio favorite. No interviews, no autographs, no premieres. Low husky voice and rarely spoke.

Received an honorary Oscar and a NY Critics Award for Anna Karenina. Stopped acting and became even more reclusive as years went on. Never married. No kids. Relocated to NYC and lived in total seclusion. Died of pneumonia and renal disease in 1990.

Merlin D. Bear said...

I really hate to state the obvious, however there are clues that are being overlooked -
First of all, Ent says "award winning film" - implying that the Best/Supporting Actress award wasn't the only award the film garnered - second, it's still available for rent at Blockbuster, which indicates that it's something of a classic.
Next, you have the line "cast in another role which is the subject of the blind. Timmy was incredible in this role and whether his acting was as a result of his new found love or as a result of just the right part at the right time" which to me at least implies that the role was a romance.
So, what "classic" or "quasi-classic" films were award winning romances during the late 50's to early 60's, and had the award winning "female" lead go into obscurity shortly thereafter?

jlb said...

:) Hey Twisted Sister! Good to see you're back.

Christoph said...

Also, everyone has to remember, "Timmy" died of AIDS, but his female persona might have died earlier. He might have killed her off to return to life as a man. So the award-winning actresses who died in the 50's/60's might be this person.

Kathy said...

I'm just sayin .... if h/she married the closeted star, it would have been perfect AND would have been secret.

And I don't understand why people are going back to the 30s and 40s for Oscar nominees ... they weren't televised until the mid 50s,and Ent says this goes back 50 years .. that's 1957, but the way the story is told, the movie would have come later after he did the whole "Tootsie" thing in the theater.

Calla said...

How about Katharine Hepburn? Spencer Tracy could have been the closeted homosexual. I know, I am grasping at straws, but her bio story on IMDB sure does sound like it could fit. Is Hartford, Connecticut a small town (or was it back when she was a kid)?

DNfromMN said...

additional points: "who also never married" means that a-list closet case and Timmy did not get married. Also, there's no indication that "actress" had the same "upbringing" as Timmy.

C said...

Mercedes McCambridge.

What kind of name is that anyway? :)

Not very Irish-Catholic and usefully gender neutral.

Twisted Sister said...

Thanks, Jib. Just checking in and too juicy not to post!!

Gwynnethe said...

One thing to keep in mind is that EL has said that he changes the boundaries of his descriptions to make it harder to guess.

EL says 50 years, but I think we have to look further back. Someone above mentioned Marie Dressler and I think that is an excellent guess.

1) EL says "very slightly built" and perhaps at one time, Marie was. I suspect this may be a red herring. The lack of much body hair may be true.
2)BUT the important fact here is that Marie could capture an audience, remember that "personality that wouldn't quit" part? A gal looking like this would need a WHOLE lotta that.
3)In reference to 1), the stockiness of Marie would hide her Adam's apple, if she indeed had one. If you notice, pictures of Marie often have her hands at her neck, high collars (not unheard of for the times, I know) or necklaces in the way. Still, the resulting pictures make it difficult to ascertain.
4)Timmy moved around so much from theater to theater. Marie had a background in vaudeville. (Singing, dancing, acting...) What better practice for the LA scene?
5)I can't tie two women to Marie, just a couple of men.
6)Died of cancer. A nice general illness for the time.

Still many questions...

femconsult said...

Marie Dressler is a good guess, but if JJ's wife was Timmy's roommate at one time - then I don't think it quite matches because Dressler was born in 1868 and died in 1934. That would make JJ and his wife like 140 years old. For now, I am leaning toward Josephine Hull or Shirley Booth.

acetomato777 said...

Jo Van Fleet had a son

acetomato777 said...

Josephine Hull. Can we talk?

http://www.born-today.com/Today/pix/hull_josephine.jpg

OOk her career up in Wiki. Then look at her face. Then her career ending. Then her face.

If I'm wrong, oh man, well, sorry Josephine but that is one fug mug.

GammaGirl said...

@ gwynnethe: gold star for you! I like where you are going with Marie Dressler. I think she could be a good fit.
Her bio claims she was married briefly but lost the child and subsequently divorced the husband (any info on her earlier life is "hard to find")
But she lived with a bf from 1914 on...

I'm thinking that she may be too old to fit the 50 year cutoff established in the BI

brendalove@gmail.com said...

The Greta Garbo guess is good too

femconsult said...

Here's a list of Golden Globe winners Best Supporting Actress category during the time frame ENT is hinting at. Also, 1958 is the first year the Golden Globes was aired on television.


1944 – Katina Paxinou, For Whom the Bell Tolls
1945 – Agnes Moorehead, Mrs. Parkington
1946 – Angela Lansbury, The Picture of Dorian Gray
1947 – Anne Baxter, The Razor's Edge
1948 – Celeste Holm, Gentleman's Agreement
1949 – Ellen Corby, I Remember Mama
1950 – Mercedes McCambridge, All the King's Men
1951 – Josephine Hull, Harvey
1952 – Kim Hunter, A Streetcar Named Desire
1953 – Katy Jurado, High Noon
1954 – Grace Kelly, Mogambo
1955 – Jan Sterling, The High and the Mighty
1956 – Marisa Pavan, The Rose Tattoo
1957 – Eileen Heckart, The Bad Seed
1958 – Elsa Lanchester, Witness for the Prosecution
1959 – Hermione Gingold, Gigi
1960 – Susan Kohner, Imitation of Life
1961 – Janet Leigh, Psycho
1962 – Rita Moreno, West Side Story
1963 – Angela Lansbury, The Manchurian Candidate
1964 – Margaret Rutherford, The V.I.P.s
1965 – Agnes Moorehead, Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte
1966 – Ruth Gordon, Inside Daisy Clover

Twisted Sister said...

acetomato, there's no information on whether or not he's adopted and the blind doesn't state not having children.

Miss X said...

So I did a little research online and found this: http://blinditems.typepad.com/dish/2007/08/the-actress-who.html

Could it be Kay Kendall?

Twisted Sister, it's good to see you!!

Twisted Sister said...

Thanks miss x! Great to see you and everyone else, too. This is a fun one!

Miss X said...

Yes it is a fun one.

Kay Kendall had a brother named Cavan Kendall whose career picked up about the time she died. Kay died in 1959 of lukemia (she was married at the time) and Cavan's first appearance was in a tv show in 1957 and then more in 1960.

Now there is supposed to be 16 years between the siblings. If Kay was faking lukemia couldn't she have made herself look sick while Cavan looked like a healthier version of her?

Problem is I can't seem to find pics of Cavan.

Twisted Sister said...

miss x, great sleuthing, but I think if this person died of AIDS, she would have had to die sometime from the mid 1980's to 2007. We knew nothing about AIDS prior to that time.

Carlos said...

1 - This is a pretty old urban legend;

2 - "Everyone else either, won twice, was married AND Bore children, or still alive AND working." Exactly, you can find out about all these women's work on the internet/wikipedia.

Calla said...

I will be disappointed if it ends up being one of these 'no name' actors that everyone's forgotten. It's supposed to be BIG...so let's think BIG!! ;)

Calla said...

If it's a pretty old urban legend, can you please post a reference...say, from snopes.com? It must be all over the Internet if it's such an "old urban legend."

Miss X said...

Twisted Sister, Cavan (the "brother") died in 1990. I can't find the cause.

Clearly, the female persona didn't die of AIDS. Timmy himself died of AIDS and I agree with your timeframe - 80s on.

Calla said...

Greta Garbo never won an Oscar or a Golden Globe...

Jenn said...

Two reasons why I don't think it can be Kay. One, she was born in England and the BI says Timmy was born in a northeast town. While I'm sure it would be easy to make up a fake place to be born as an actress, I don't think it would be easy to fake being born in another country. Two, the BI says he won awards for his role in this big film. Kay only one 1 GG for her role in Les Girls. She won 2 other awards in her career but for different performances.

I keep going back to Ruth Gordon but there are areas of her career that don't fit either.

I hope this is a reveal someday, it's definitely a very interesting story.

katherine said...

random, i know, but what about hattie mcdaniel???

dimes said...

Who was the 'A list at the time actor who never married'?

Maybe Cesar Romero? He died in '94 of bronchitis and pneumonia.

There were plenty of gay actors (everyone from Raymond Burr to Randolph Scott to Anthony Perkins), but they all married for appearance's sake.

We need another hint.

Calla said...

How about Shelley Winters?

1. She was born in "East" St. Louis
2. She roomed with Marilyn Monroe in her early days in the biz.
3. had a personality that wouldn't quit
4. She was in "A Place in the Sun" with Montgomery Clift & nominated for a Best Actress oscar
5. A few years later, she got Best Supporting Actress for "The Diary of Anne Frank," and a few years after that, for "A Patch of Blue."
6. She got a Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress for "A Patch of Blue." Kansas City is near Topeka, KS... ;)
7. She did tons of stage work.
8. Died fairly recently, which would make it "OK" for JJ to finally spill the beans.

Downside to this theory: I can't fathom that Shelley Winters could've really been a guy all along. :P

Miss X said...

Jenn, good point re: Kay.

Ruth G had a son and won an Oscar at the age of 72. I don't think it's her.

Hattie McDaniel is an interesting guess but did she ever win an award? Her career seems a bit too long to fit this.

It seems likely it's from a 'classic' romance that most of us are familiar with.

dimes said...

I saw Shelley Winters at a screening of A Place in the Sun shortly before she died - she sure looked like a woman to me.

Wasn't she infamous for sleeping with half of Hollywood? Oh wait, that doesn't mean anything.

She had a daughter, though.

joy75 said...

Hey guys well all I can say is if EL got this "movie" from blockbuster then it has to be big especially that it won so many awards as he claims so maybe u guys should think of random movies that have won many awards and then look at the cast....me personally I can't do ne more research especially after seeing some of the pics of the actresses u guys have been randomly guessing ....my room was dark and seeing some of those pics had me scared shytless....really freaked me out so I'm done....but Its killin me to kno who this could be!

Kory said...

I suck at these because I know nothing of old Hollywood. I am still working on finding who JJ is and see if we can work from there, but these are things that I noticed from the post:

All I will say about these events are they happened within the past 50 years and only about ten people know the whole story.

It's 2007, so technically we need to start in 1957.

very slightly built, had very pale features and a skin condition

Short, blond with acne?
Jessica Simpson reincarnate?

grew up in the Northeast
As a Bostonian, the accent is hard to shake, possible bit of a N/E twang?

To supplement his income Timmy began performing in local theatre productions.

So he performed in theatre in Hollywood, but here it says:

Timmy as an actor and actress was in over 100 films and theatre productions from Topeka to Broadway

Why Topeka to Broadway? That has to be a clue. Otherwise, it should say from Hollywood to Broadway.

I don't know. This all sounds so Victor/Victoria to me.

dimes said...

What about these photos - random, or clues?

joy75 said...

Wuts weird is that so far all the people u guys have picked actually have manly features......maybe there's a bunch of tranvestites in hollywood who knows....

Joe said...

This must be an urban legend. It's definitely not within the last 50 years because if you check ALL the awards for films since 1950 -- the Oscars, Globes, even the Emmys -- it just doesn't fit.
This person would have had to:
1) have died since 1980
2) never married or had children under the female name
3) not been able to come out as gay, which had to be pre-1970s
Even minor actors like Paul Lynde and Charles Nelson Reilly were known to be gay in the 70s. It just wasn't publicized.
4)Been a part of the studio system which died in the early 60s

The time frame or the clues are off. I say it's an urban legend.

joy75 said...

Hey maybe one of the plays that this "timmy" did was called topeka or the story took place in topeka or something wit a topeka in it.....

ManDJO said...

Why do I feel like this involves James Dean? Never Married A-List. I dunno.

Joe said...

Oh, one more thing.
"JJ" sounds like A.C. Lyles, longtime executive at Paramount who's currently 89 years old and "knew everybody" in Hollywood.

TomTyler said...

Cav Kendall was in Sexy Beast with Ben Kingsley. There is an old clip of Kay Kendall on youtube, and that is a hell of a drag act, if she's a guy. I suppose EL could say Northeast town for the UK (which is of course, very Northeast compared to the US), but it seems a mean trick. I like this guess because Rex Harrison could go on with his lover, the brother who happens to pick up his career after sis dies. I am amazed at people's research here. Fascinating.

dimes said...

I'm thinking AC, too. But who were Martha Vickers' roommates back in the Warners/RKO days?

Joe said...

AC was only married to Martha Vickers from '48-'49.

jax said...

i think its Fay Bainter too

mulder said...

Fay Bainter was born in Los Angeles.

Brainy said...

Here is the only photograph available online for Cavan Kendall: (he is on the right side of the photo, unfortunately wearing sunglasses)
http://www.juliannewhite.com/pic9.jpg

This is one of the better known photos of Kay Kendall:
http://www.nndb.com/people/639/000078405/kay-kendall-2-sized.jpg


I think EL was deliberately vague in case JJ was shining him on.
The nose and jawline are quite remarkable--particularly given the history of Kay's...

Artemis said...

which film won the best picture award and a best actress or supporting award?

Brainy said...

Its interesting to note that the "biography" of Kay written by her sister's daughter and granddaughter has some strangeness regarding Cavan.

1) He is listed as both her half-brother and step-brother. (Weird for a book written by family). Cavan is listed elsewhere as her half-brother by her father and his second wife (hence the 16 year gap).

2) There are no photos of Cavan and Kay together--despite his included stories (hearsay as he was dead by the time the book was written and published) of visiting her on the set and in France while she was being hounded by paparazzi.

Besides the book, there is more oddness.

a) Cavan was a respectable photographer and actor yet there are very few photos of him even in his productions.

b) Kay was very famous around the time she died. Why did Cavan downplay his family ties during his lifetime?

c) In many online features regarding Kay, Cavan is mentioned, yet in the (very few) features regarding Cavan, Kay is mentioned only on imdb--not even the site selling his photography has her!

Even if this is not the answer, these siblings are an interesting puzzle.

mulder said...

The Kendalls were born in England, not the Northeast

scott7611 said...

well i have just been looking at Shirley Booth's wiki page and noticed something interesting.

It says:
She died after a brief illness at age 94 at her home on the Cape Cod town of North Chatham, Massachusetts; actress Julie Harris lived nearby and would visit her.

Now if you look at Julie Harris's wiki page in the spouses there is a name of one of her spouses... JAY JULIAN (1946-1954).

Could this be J.J.?????? The timeline fits.

This is my first ever post, so please be gentle!!!

Catherine said...

check out marie dressler....she won the oscar for best actress and was known as a plain jane with a terrific personality and wit.

Virgo74 said...

I love this blind item!!! Back to the basics!! Yeah!!

I have to agree that it is Kay Kendall, it all fits.

scott7611 said...

looking further in to Jay Julian.....there is a link to a few articles that say that Jay Julian is/was a lawyer in hollywood (in 1969 was Robert De Niro's lawyer) and also produced King of New York.....although on IMDB it has his name as Jay JuliEn.

Everything is matching up and links in with the timeline.....so it must be Shirley Booth!!!!

Dot Co Dot Il said...

Josephine Hull had a long history with the stage. Her birthplace is Mass which is North East.
And according to Wikipedia she had a four year 'hiatus' from performing when her husband died.
Against her, apart from the GG and Oscar she didnt win another thing.

joy75 said...

Well guys I believe its Jo Van Fleet..... Julie Harris was married to Manning Gurian from 1954-1967 he was a stage manager/Playwright....now in 1955 julie harris starred in East of Eden with James Dean and Jo Van Fleet......so there ya go...everything makes sense

scott7611 said...

Joy75, you beat me to it there....i just noticed that Julie Harris was in East Of Eden as well.....so it could be Jo Van Fleet.

But I definately think that J.J. Is Jay Julien/Julian.

I mean he is a lawyer, age fits, produced film and represents de niro, pesci, walken and keitel.

Now ents says that he doesn't deal with him professionally now only personally, so lawyer link is very strong.

A said...

In order for any of this to hang together, her invented past would have to be murky and unverifiable. No famous parents. No famous schools or colleges. It also stretches credulity that her costumers would keep her secret all these years.

Also, remember the story says she went back to living and working as a man,

joy75 said...

Time.com also states that Manning Gurian is a Producer......so I think I hit it on the G~Spot.......but who knows

joy75 said...

Well scott the reason why I assumed it was manning gurian is because the movie was released in 1955 and that is the year she married him.....she divorced jay julien in 1954 so lets just say that they were filming the movie while she was still married to julien and there's the answer....it gets no better than that

schneefloeckli said...

the very big award, the one with all the television viewers
This made me think it was an award for something Timmy made for TV... maybe the Emmys then?

brendalove@gmail.com said...

Interesting Kay Kendall fact:

Her great-grandfather was a slum lord of sorts in Victorian London, and he owned the property where one of the Jack the Ripper murders took place.

brendalove@gmail.com said...

If I remember correctly, I believe Kay Kendall's real name was Kay McCarthy, which may be why its hard to find anything out about her brother. I'll look it up when I get home tonight.

Also, Garbo DID win an honorary Oscar. Yeah, its only honorary, but an Oscar nonetheless.

And, the U.S. doesn't have exclusive rights to the term "Northeast"....

Whoever Timmy was, it was a good thing he got out when he did. He would have eventually been discovered, then discredited, all because people are so afraid of "gay"....so hooray for Timmy!

Twisted Sister said...

miss x, thanks for explaining. I'm a little confused about the details on this one. It was longer than my reading comprehension can bare....lol.

Bryn said...

My first thought was a TV award also. The first Emmy awards were held in 1949.

Twisted Sister said...

Scott, very interesting sleuthwork!! Now if it's her, what movie did she star opposite an A rated closeted homosexual who never married? Have you looked for that yet?

DNfromMN said...

re: TV award - prior to winning "the televised one" this line: "During award season, Timmy began winning regularly for his role" would indicate that there were other non-televised awards for this role. I don't think that there are other TV awards that occur prior to the Emmys other than the Golden Globes.

donna said...

it cant be jo van fleet . she went on to many tv shows after her movie career .. also kay kendall is out .. she was married to rex harrison at the time of her death, and he remarried a few times after that ...

captivagrl said...

susan hayward suddenly appears in hollywood...very talented..interesting background..from northeast..stars with never married vitor mature..wins oscar...dies in 1975?

Calla said...

"Also, Garbo DID win an honorary Oscar. Yeah, its only honorary, but an Oscar nonetheless."

Doesn't matter...the blind item says: "When it came to the very big award, the one with all the television viewers, Timmy won again. ... Best Supporting Actress/Best Actress of the year. Its up to you to figure out which of the two he won."

I don't think the above words can be interpreted to mean an honorary oscar.

Calla said...

"susan hayward suddenly appears in hollywood...very talented..interesting background..from northeast..stars with never married vitor mature..wins oscar...dies in 1975?"

It can't be anyone who died before AIDS was discovered.

captivagrl said...

maybe susan didn't die she went back to
"he" in 1970's

dimes said...

The problem is that no one seems to fit all the clues -

born in the northeast (US, UK, Canada?)
started in regional US theater
2 year-ish gap in movie credits
meaty supporting roles for a couple of years
lead role opposite closeted never-married A list actor who later died of AIDS
immediately followed by 2nd role in award-winning movie, for which 'she' also won an award
dwindling movie roles for a few more years
resumed theater career as a man

Most of the actresses fit some of the clues, but went on to work for relatively long periods of time or had children (although we have no way of knowing whether they were adopted). The implication is also that the actress is somewhat still well-known if only 10 people know the story (as opposed to 10 people knowing who she is).

I was leaning toward Claire Trevor, but she doesn't fit all the clues either.

Some fascinating guesses here!

june said...

I am trying a different approach, but I have to do some work now. Maybe someone else can try this.

As previously mentioned, there are many variables. The timeline could be off or altered. Marriage or children might or might not be important and etc.

I am trying to use only clues Ent. has given that probably aren't altered and forget the others for the moment.

1. The actress should have evidence of skin problems in awards photos and in later photos or films.

2. Actress should have a scar that is visible both on a male and a female in photos or on screen. Scar probably is on either
face, neck, hands, or arms.

Using this approach, Jo Van Fleet looks like a possibility from the Oscar photos. Looks like acne on her neck at the base of her jawline, around her hairline at the temples, and around her chin. Men usually have more acne under their jawline than women.

Mercedes McCambridge- Skin looks like a possibility in the photo I saw. (Her son killed his family and himself in a murder/suicide in 1987. Having a mother who is secretly a man could put one over the edge, I'd say.)

I haven't had any success finding visible scars on any of the actresses mentioned.

Has anyone else tried looking for bad skin and scars?

dimes said...

One of the reasons I initially thought of Claire Trevor is because in publicity photos it looks like she has a small scar at the corner of her left eye, and many photos I saw favored her right profile.

I have no idea who she would be as a man, though.

__-__=__ said...

Wow! What an item!! Much fun indeed. I have to go with Twisted, good to see you, and others who say Jo Van Fleet although I'll do more research. But look at the IMDB page for Jo Van Fleet. Check pics 3,4. She doesn't have on any gloves and those are man hands if I've ever seen them!

Alison said...

I have to say, Jo van Fleet is pretty convincing.

So, are we thinking that the closeted A-Lister is James Dean?

Miss O said...

I think it's not the Oscars - it's the EMMYS
Ent says "When it came to the very big award, the one with all the television viewers," don't you think he means that literarly - as in "all the people who watch tv" - ??

Jessie said...

"When it came to the very big award, the one with all the television viewers"

Could this be referring to the Emmy Awards?

dimes said...

The Emmys don't fit the "I rented the award-winning movie at Blockbuster" clue (if that's really a clue and not a red herring).

Joe said...

Even if you look at the list of primetime Emmy winners for Best Actress/Supporting Actress for tv movies there's still no one who fits.

some said...

nobody fits the clues. i think JJ may have gone across the reality bridge and talked Ent into driving.

Twisted Sister said...

Hey _-_=_!! Great to see you, too!

I still like the Jo Van Fleet guess, too. And for reasons that Dimes already expressed, it's the Oscars, not the Emmy awards.

Jennifer said...

This may be off but Agnes Moorehead totally looks like a "he" to me. Died in 1974 of cancer, colorful character, had 2 husbands, adopted 1 son. Won Golden Globes and Emmy but only nominated for Oscars, all for supporting roles. Won GG for Best Supporting Actress in Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte opposite Bette Davis. However won GG in 1945 & another in 1965...so maybe off.

Jen said...

Agnes Moorehead...there are some serious man issues going on. check the IMDB...but she certainly was famous for her role as Endorra....she adopted her son but "died" of cancer....

JustinD said...

I really don't think Jo Van Fleet or Mercedes McCambridge. Especially MM, considering her most famous role came in The Exorcist.

I also think we need to discount any actresses who worked in the 70s and 80s. Timmy would have never risked exposure by going back into drag. This would also discount long marriages as Timmy clearly went back to being a man. "What he could do though was return to the theatre, and he did so, as a man and worked as a man until his death from AIDS related complications." So yes, I think working from looking at actresses who vanished or "died" relatively soon after winning the award would be the best way to look at this.

Another thing is I don't think going by physical attributes like manly features and big hands is practical considering those sorts of things would have raised suspicions back when as well.

Topeka seems to be a big clue to where Timmy was from as well. There's really no other discernible reason why Ent placed it as he did.

dimes said...

Which of these actresses was cast in a lead role (in TV, maybe?) opposite a never-married actor just before playing the part that won the award?

Jembily said...

It is not Jo Van Fleet. She never stopped acting as a woman. Same with most of the other guesses. Come on. I know EL stretches clues but you can't ignore them completely or what's the point?? Also, you can rule out the "legendary" actresses such as Greta Garbo. It is going to be someone that faded away and probably does not have that kind of name recognition.

rakemama said...

I can't research right now, but I wonder, anyone in the Wizard of Oz work? The Topeka clue makes me wonder...

JustinD said...

Exactly, jembily. I don't really understand why someone would perpetuate that Van Fleet guess without considering the rest of the clues.

Jac said...

Hey Guys Kay Kendell was born in the North East of England....Still Northeast though....

Her name was Justine Kay McCarthy originally.

Hmmmmmm I originall thought Jo Van Fleet, but Kay is also looking good...

Kory said...

I don't know if we are ruling people out for the right reasons, but Jo Van Fleet had a good 25 years of career after she won her oscar.

JustinD said...

I considered the Kay Kendall guess as well but it turns out she had her fair share of married lovers most notably Rex Harrison (remember the clue said NOT MARRIED and Rex was married a handful of times) who took care of her until she died.

If she was a man, I think ol' Rex would have noticed.

Twisted Sister said...

For those in the Shirley Booth camp, I have to say there's one thing in the blind that really does lean towards SB more than anyone else. It says, "During award season, Timmy began winning regularly for his role. I want to make it clear that none of these organizations knew Timmy was actually a man when they were honoring him with awards as an actress."

The wording on this makes it sound like there were several awards from various organizations, doesn't it? Well the only award winning actress or supporting actress that I could find who had won several awards and not just one or two, was Shirley Booth. Look at this page:

http://imdb.com/name/nm0095804/awards

JustinD said...

Shirley Booth was in her 50s when she was in "Come Back, Little Sheba", which was her first feature role if IMDB is to be trusted.

The BI says she had a few roles before her biggest one including the one before that had her cast with the closeted A-list star.

Fabiola Thing said...

joy75 said...
Well guys I believe its Jo Van Fleet.....
----------------

She was born in Oakland California

Twisted Sister said...

SB-guessers - the only thing wrong with the Shirley Booth guess is I don't see where she was in a movie playing against an A list closeted homosexual, so it's probably not her. Back to Jo Van Fleet for me.

donna said...

hey twisted ..welcome back .. miss yo girlfriend ..

must say, this is one of the best comments sections I have read in a long long time .. kudos friends ..

i looked into the topeka angle, as I was getting nowhere anywhere else .. there were a handful that hailed from kansas and only a few from topeka itself .. and I couldnt find a clue .. other than lois smith who starred in east of eden with james dean .. then there is a karla burns from whicita .. no other info .. other than broadway/hollywood .. no dates .. nothing ..

direpotatoe said...

Here's my theory:
Josephine Hull.
She attended Radcliffe, got married and left the stage for awhile. Her husband died in 1919 and she "returns to the stage" in 1923, as an understudy winning critical acclaim.
She then goes on acting, establishing Arsenic and Old Lace on the stage.

Her big film role comes in Arsenic and Old Lace opposite Cary Grant, a well known closeted gay whose "marriages" were a sham, and remained "single" throughout his life.

Next film and the subject of the blind is Harvey. She won the Golden Globe and Oscar for Supporting Actress.

She "dies" unexpectedly in 1957 of a brain hemorrhage.

Josephine Hull had a nephew, Shelley Hull, who was supposedly born in 1919 and died in 2005. Shelley Hull was in the theater, but is best known for producing. He was a prominent producer for many years in TV. He died at the age of 86...but his birth date could be off by a bit.

Okay, here's the rub. Josephine Sherwood Hull attended Radcliffe, was married, etc. No doubt.

My theory is that after the death of Josephine's husband, Josephine's Nephew, Shelley Hull, is actually the one who assumed the "role" of Josephine and made the stage debut, going on to stardom.

The *real* Josephine Sherwood faded into obscurity.

That would make "Timmy" Shelley Hull, and Josephine Hull is Timmy in drag.

See if it matches up.

JustinD said...

Twisted Sister - Do you usually ignore other clues just to be content with a cursory guess?

JustinD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Twisted Sister said...

Hey donna, I've missed you, too, but I've been really busy with work. I shouldn't even be here now, but I'm hooked on this one!

direpotatoe, great info! Can you find a movie where she played opposite an A-lister who was a closeted homosexual or haven't you looked at that yet?

JustinD said...

direpotatoe - Now that's what I call legwork. You've made me start concentrating on Hull again. Thanks!

Except excluding Cary Grant's marriages as sham would pretty much negate the straightforwardness of Ent's clue.

dimes said...

Shirley Booth was awesome in Come Back, Little Sheba. But she played Hazel for years on TV, which is a close-up medium - it would have been very difficult to hide a skin condition.

Wasn't Josephine Hull in her 70's when she won for Harvey?

Twisted Sister said...

dimes, don't forget that television was black and white during the Hazel years and they did have tricks to soften faces, etc., so it's possible they could get away with this on the small screens of the 1960's, but not on a large movie screen.

Fabiola Thing said...

Picture of Kay Kendall, fyi

http://www.britishpictures.com/photos/photo075.htm

donna said...

Josephine hull died in 1957 at the age of 71 .. I dont think it is her ..

Twisted Sister said...

Hull was born in MA and Booth in NY.

donna said...

shirley booth was on tv until 1971 .. and she was a presenter at the AA in 1954 ..

I think we are missing something here .. something that we are either reading wrong .. I dont know .. all I know is that this is like a bad car accident .. although I need to do some work before I get fired, I cant stop looking at the comments and reading the bi ..

direpotatoe said...

I agree that calling Cary Grant "single" is a stretch. It's a flaw. So is the part about Timmy returning to the theater and dying of AIDS complications. Those may shoot holes in the theory...but a lot more matches up..

Josephine Hull started the Arsenic and Old Lace on the stage in Jan 1941. She was replaced by an understudy mid-year, to return to the role in 1942 and went on through it's production until 1944. Shelley Hull has breaks in his stage career that match up perfectly with Josephine's plays. Shelley Hull is in a play from Nov 1941 through Dec 1941, during the time Josephine takes her break from A&OL.

Josephine was supposedly 58 at the time of A&OL. Completely believable that a 35 year old man with a skin condition and makeup could have played that role.

Twisted Sister said...

Shelley Winters - born in MO
Sandy Dennis - Nebraska
Cloris Leachman - Iowa

dimes said...

The BI is worded to say that Timmy "grew up" in the northeast, so we may not be able to use birthplace to figure this out.

Twisted Sister said...

Eileen Heckart - Ohio
Geraldine Page - Missouri

The rest of the winners are still alive or they were from east or west coast.

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