Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Today's Blind Items - Old Hollywood

This male Academy Award winner was known for his singing voice. What is not known to many is that to keep his career going and his voice, he had himself castrated. There are rumors that the castration was actually his way of preventing sexual urges he had for men which he thought was morally wrong.

118 comments:

Nate F. said...

Ol' Blue Eyes?

manda_kitty said...

No idea, but wowww. Now that's commitment.

RocketQueen said...

I thought they only castrated before puberty since once the voice changes, castration is useless? If so, the 'sexual urge' reason would make more sense.

Ida Blankenship said...

Fred Astaire?

jbdean_79 said...

Did Yul Bryner win an AA?

jbdean_79 said...

He did! He did! I'm going with him.

Erin said...

Jamie Foxx?

NO! Just kidding. Mickey Rooney? I'm not sure which have no children (at least biological).

Doug Kenney said...

Wayne Newton

nichole said...

I was thinking Fred Astaire. He has an honorary AA, does that count?

Krab said...

Can't be Yul. I've seen a naked picture of him and HUBBA HUBBA.

Angie said...

Bing Crosby?

looserdude said...

Joel Grey? After Jennifer was born I guess.

caralw said...

Burl Ives?

MISCH said...

Yul has kids, Fred Astaire has a daughter...this would be someone who didn't marry...
Exactly how far back do we need to go...Nelson Eddy ?

BattaNoKami said...

Ben Affleck FTMFW.....

BwaaaHHaaaaHaaaaHaaaaHaaaaaHaaaHaaHa....

de Debbil made me do it....

shiny_special_one said...

OMG, Krab, I was about to post the same thing. LMAO! I've seen pics of Yul Brynner, and he was physically blessed.

linnea said...

I guess I don't know what a castration does? Wouldnt the person still have a penis?

Whitney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kris said...

Wow...THIS IS JUICY...I'd like to vote for a reveal on this one...only how many more days until 07/04?

Whitney said...

I have no idea, but I'm going to concur with the Yul Brenner comments. (In that he looked amazing) YOW.

Whitney said...

Oh, Nelson Eddy is a good guess. He was married, but never had any children with her (though she'd had a son previously)

Angie said...

What would "Old Hollywood" be? 1930's-1950's?

IDK, but did Yul Brenner do any other singing besides The King and I? He sort of talked his way through the singing I thought.

I'm sticking with Bing Crosby, FTW.

Whitney said...

Oh, nm. Nelson Eddy never won an AA.

Ms Cool said...

My first thought was Sinatra but only because I know he has an academy award. This is a juicy one.

Lori said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ellebee said...

Leaning towards Burl Ives, had a son 1949, but could have happened later.

or James Cagney-I know it is odd, but children were adopted and he seemed to be a very private person.

Lori said...

@linnea: the testicles are surgically removed.

sueli said...

I dont' think it is Bing Crosby. Isn't he the famously horrible father to his many kids?

linnea said...

Thanks! I was afraid to google it. :)

So does that leave out Yul?

Ms Cool said...

How about Burl Ives?

Other thoughts besides Sinatra include James Cagney and Bing Crosby.

shiny_special_one said...

@Linnea: Yeah, castration removes the balls, not the penis. I meant it couldn't be Yul because his were intact in the naked pics I saw. And I gotta say, they looked very nice, too.

pegd said...

Ives had children. Was gonna say Jimmy Durante, but he didn't win an AA. Still looking..

Ms Cool said...

Ellebee and I are on the same wave-length.

Belle said...

The only reason to be castrated would be to preserve a high octave range, right? Because when the voice changes it would get deeper. So he would have had to be pretty young when he had this done, right?

So who had a higher singing voice and won an AA?

shiny_special_one said...

I was gonna say Dean Martin, but looks like he's never won an Oscar. Hmmm...

Ellebee said...

I saw the surgery as something used to diminish sexual urges more than something to help a voice keep a higher register. I have heard cases in which men have had the surgery done to repress sexual urges. So, I don't know...

Off to do more research.

Basil said...

I'm with Belle. So it has to be someone who had a high singing voice. Could it be someone who was an opera singer but also did movies?

ms snarky said...

Rex Harrison (my personal favorite for this)

Bing Crosby (totally could see that, from all accounts he was a weird guy)

Maurice Chevalier
Yul Brynner
Burl Ives
Joel Grey

ms snarky said...

I think Rex Harrison, definitely. His voice was in the higher ranges.

pegd said...

I'm going with Maurice Chevalier.

shiny_special_one said...

Hmm, Eddie Cantor won an Oscar in 1957.

Pookie said...

oh, pls, pls don't be mickey rooney (i love him so)...child actor, singer, dancer...honorary AA, married 8 times...

MISCH said...

Rex Harrison had at least one son, Noel....
This one is murder

shiny_special_one said...

Grr. Eddie Cantor had a bunch of kids. So did Rex Harrison.

What's making this especially difficult is the not knowing at what age he was castrated. "To keep his career going." Does that mean the person was a child star who wanted to maintain a youthful voice for as long as possible? Or was it done as his career was waning? If that's the case, then I suppose the surgery could have been done after his kids were born.

ms snarky said...

this could have been someone who was a little older when he decided to chop. The blind doesn't say anything about not having children.

ms snarky said...

and with the "prolong his career" comment, I think it's someone who was a little older.

ms snarky said...

still voting for Rex Harrison!

shiny_special_one said...

Rex Harrison's last child was born in 1944, so it could be him.

Maurice Chevalier was married but no mention of kids that I can find. Also won an Oscar in 1959. Pegd, we may have a winner.

Mooshki said...

If it were Frank Sinatra, it would have been to keep himself from raping women, not sleeping with men. :(

Tallulah said...

I vote for Bing Crosby. Lots of weirdness going on there, from what I understand.

Connie said...

Rex Harrison and Yul Brynner? They aren't singers; they "talk" through their songs and neither has a high voice. It has to be someone like Astaire, who I've heard weird stuff about, probably on this very site...

libby said...

Rex Harrison was famously NOT a singer--he spoke/sang in MFL. And his voice is not in any high range.

nancer said...

who had a high voice? certainly not bing, not burl ives, not sinatra.

how about barry fitzgerald? going WAY back, but hey, it IS old hollywood.

Rose said...

Could it be someone who's voice that changed over their career? If they weren't castrated young or before they were famous then likely their voice changed over time or was had a being and an ending style of sound.

I don't see how such a young boy would get castrated to prevent himself from having sex or to keep his voice from changing. That sounds like someone later in life with money and some life experience. Not every 12 year old understands their sexual identity and what it means to be straight/gay and to live that life.

Rose said...

Forgot to add I'm not familiar enough with enough of the singers careers to even make a guess. I know Sinatra's music and I would guess it's not him because he seems like he had way too much testosterone.

Daphnie V. said...

I love Old Hollywood gossip, it's all so salacious.

I have a feeling this one may be Bing Crosby...

Bubbles said...

Well it appears that in order to have the surgery done, he convinced the doctors it was to preserve his voice, which maybe never changed or he just affected the voice everyone knew him for in his later years making people think he still naturally sounded like that.

My mind goes to Michael Jackson as an example, although I know he never won an Oscar. At least I don't think he did. But didn't he basically want people to think his voice never changed because he affected the voice of an adolescent although his real speaking voice was probably much deeper? Actually, I could see this being MJ if it weren't for the Oscar bit.

David said...

This is totally implausible. There would be no point castrating a singer after puberty as it wouldn't affect their voice. So we are talking about a pre-pubescent singer with sexual urges who willingly volunteered to have themselves castrated? And who was knowledgable enough about both to request the procedure? Ridiculous.

shiny_special_one said...

Did Barry Fitzgerald sing? I don't know much about him, just that he was an actor. Rose is onto something--whose voice changed over the years? I don't know enough about singers or singer-actors to make an educated guess. Does Maurice Chevalier fit into that?

I'm going with Chevalier, though I could see it being Bing Crosby too, because of all his weirdness.

Lizzie said...

Winnie the Pooh, he's never had any children, nor has his voice changed.

David said...

In fact, this blind is so outlandishly absurd that even if Enty reveals it I won't believe the answer - if it's Old Hollywood the person's dead, and you can't libel the dead, so it can't be proven or litigated against.

Squeezebox said...

I agree with David in calling shenanigans on this rumor. Minors can't legally make this kind of decision, so if it had actually been done at that stage, it would have been done *to* the actor, not something he was legally able to choose to have done. In other words, the BI would've said his parent(s) had it done, not him. Also, the only time castration will maintain a vocal pitch is if it is done pre-puberty. It makes no sense to do it after the voice has changed. Do it then, and the voice eventually will lighten again as hormone levels decrease.

Second, other things can alter a voice, most notably tobacco and booze, so the actor would've had to practice clean living as well if he were truly that concerned about protecting his voice.

Third, if the primary reason to do this was to reduce sexual urges, then yes, it could've been done post puberty - but it would've been much less effective. Castrated men can continue to perform sexually for a long, long time. Eventually their hormone levels (and interest, and ability to perform) drop, but testosterone therapy can restore them to normal functioning.

Fourth - actors are notoriously vain, and the profession doesn't provide much in the way of privacy when performing (costume changes and fittings come to mind). You can't tell me that any actor would choose to subject himself to the humiliation and gossip of having his condition seen and joked about.

Fifth - this is a hoary old Michael Jackson UL, and I suspect it just mutated into this version.

Finally - if anyone cares, Sinatra was such a diehard poon hound, he had himself regularly injected with testosterone to keep his libido up to what he felt was expected of him. So it can't be him, and as other posters have noted, there are lots of photos of Yul showing his twigs and berries.

Me said...

Is there a way to have Posts from specific posters blocked so yOu don't have to wade through them?

selenakyle said...

Jim Nabors came to mind immediately; going now to see if he ever won an Oscar, tho'...

selenakyle said...

Wait, wait wait, @shinyspecialone:

You've seen Yul Brynner in FF ???

selenakyle said...

OK, nevah mind on the Jim Nabors guess.

Gypsytrill said...

Nelson Eddy.

shiny_special_one said...

@Selena: It wasn't on this site, but yeah. If I can find the pics again, I will post a link.

As for the blind, thx to David and Squeezebox for providing some perspective. Points well taken.

It must be difficult to write blind items because there is no room for error, every word carries a lot of weight.

Mostly because I'm bored and really enjoy a good classic Hollywood BI, I'm not ready to dismiss this blind as BS. This is how I'm interpreting it:

This Old Hollywood performer who was known for his singing voice and won an Oscar, decided to have a voluntary castration. It's someone who made that decision as an adult. The official reason he gave to the select few surrounding him who knew about it was because he wanted to preserve his voice. However, the real reason was because he thought it would help him curb his same-sex desires. So it's kind of a secret-within-a-secret: It was a secret that he had this done, and the second secret is the real reason he had it done--i.e., because he was afraid of his own desires, not because he wanted to "preserve" his voice.

That's the interpretation I'm going with. Unfortunately, I have no more time today to research any candidates. But I will try to find a good pic of a naked Yul Brynner to post for SelinaKyle! :)

MadLyb said...

Nelson Eddy was the only person who came to mind for this.

sue said...

Nowhere in all this does it say that the guy won an AA for acting, so he could have won for "Best Song." That could mean any musician from Marvin Hamlisch to Bruce Springsteen. Did Michael J ever win for best song? Or best score? And BTW, Yul made his living before he became famous as a "gypsy singer" in Europe, but his voice --even his speaking voice-- was so rich and resonant it seems highly unlikely that he's the blind. As far as Yul goes, RAWRRRRR! Bring on the photo!

Goodgrief said...

Gene Kelly or Danny Kaye

Middle-aged Diva said...

Found these Yul Brynner nudies, don't know if they're the ones or not:
http://www.circumstitions.com/Restric/Gallery1.html

Lizzie said...

This makes me believe this is just a rumor that has been twisted to fit an old hollywood...maybe not, but makes one wonder.

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread602643/pg1

Meme said...

Dick Powell.

david said...

Timmy. or Shimmy.

Momster said...

Johnny Mathis?

Lynette said...

The part about him thinking it "morally wrong" made me think it might be someone known for his religious beliefs. I also agree it was an older singer who chose to have this done. Did Pat Boone ever win an Academy Award? He could have had it done after becoming a father. He had that squeaky clean reputation.

Himmmm said...

NOT Pat Boone.
NOT Fred Astaire.
NOT Yul.
NOT Bing Crosby.
NOT Dean Martin.
NOT Sinatra.
NOT any actor known for his singing. Think about singers who act. Singers who act who have won an Oscar (even for best song or musical). Time line wise - it's closer to Danny Kaye or Eddie Fisher than others. Funny how the Michael Jackson guess seems very possible.

For fun, I called a urologist pal of mine who is also a choral singer. He said that castration as an adult could reverse pitch and tone of the voice, but only if the singer knows how to control it AND sings with a THROAT VOICE not a HEAD VOICE. He also said it would yes, prevent future kids but obviously not those already alive (lol). He said castration removes the balls, as opposed to vasectomy which just removes fertility.

Focus on the singer in a movie or musical who also was a big time conservative or Republican. Like Bob Hope type conservative. Not an actor who womanized, drank, and ran with a rat pack or Errol Flynn.

It's one hell of an item to consider!

jfwlucy said...

Ronnie Reagan!

shehla said...

Barry Manilow? I have no clue.

Heather Lillywhite said...

Wow, wow, wow. Bing came to mind first because of the high pitch...but he beat his kids didn't he? Kinda hard to think of him considering anything was morally wrong if he did that....wow....

redpenner said...

I'm going to guess Prince.

Doug Kenney said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Katja said...

interesting guess redpenner!

Rose said...

Himmmmmm how do you know who this is?

Mooshki said...

It couldn't be Prince since it's an "Old Hollywood" blind, but I wouldn't be surprised if he went to extreme lengths not to father another child after what he went through with his poor baby who died of birth defects. I know that seriously freaked him out. Understandably.

shiny_special_one said...

Nice work, Middle-aged Diva! Those are the pics I've seen, and the one on the right is the one I was specifically talking about:

http://www.circumstitions.com/Restric/Gallery1.html

Jee-zus did that man have an amazing body. Check out that 8-pack!

Michelle said...

Elton John-"Old Hollywood" is to throw us off.

Definitely not Bing. I've read a lot about him. He always had a rather low voice that just got lower. He had 6 or 7 kids from about the 1930's-60's. About the only fit is the moral issue. He was a devout Catholic and I imagine would have done whatever he had to to get rid of sexual urges for men if he had them.

BTW, Bob Hope was a notorious cheater.

nunaurbiz said...

People, people, NOT Bing Crosby! Had he had his testicles removed in time, he never would have been able to have fathered his second family.

Glad others have mentioned my one and only name FTW. Nelson Eddy. He's old Hollywood. He hit REAL high notes. He started when he was 19. He never fathered any children. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Eddy

Tatyana said...

Wow, there are people who actually believe this *blind*?

DubGuy said...

What about George Chakiris (won Best Supporting Actor for West Side Story)?

medusa said...

I don't have a good guess, but it occurs to me that you can't really eliminate all those with a kid - if you're going to marry your beard you may also be willing to let her get knocked up by another guy just to keep up the pretense. It would be much easier in "Old Hollywood" without the intense glare of the paparazzi ("Suri looks exactly like Chris Klein!") I don't think it likely for someone who had many kids, but one or two? How many people question whether Michael Jackson really provided the sperm for his kids?

*girl said...

Well that was awkward: innocently pursuing "a gallery of intact men and their penises" when our accountant walked in. She doesn't really speak english well but I tried to convince her it was research.

Of course I'm in real estate, so... you know.

Furiously Curious said...

To echo those who are saying NOT Bing Crosby. He had a bass-baritone voice, meaning LOW. He did not have a high pitch register, therefore no reason to remove the testicles.

Bing may have been weird, but we can't put this one on him.

Olivia Bergere said...

Donald O' Connor? Did he win an AA?
Then again I'm going with Nelson Eddy?If your talking old Hollywood, the moral issue could have benn very disturbing to that person at that time.

Maja. With a J. said...

Thanks for clearing that up, Himmmmm - that's what I thought. If someone was to be castrated in their youth, it would prevent their voice from changing, but if you had it done as an adult, it would preserve your voice - it changes as you grow older and your hormone levels change.

I suck at guessing the OH blinds though *L* My first thought was Sinatra but that is what comes to mind as soon as someone says "Old Hollywood" *L*.

B626 said...

Did Danny Kayee win an Oscar? Sang in most of his movies

crila16 said...

Below are the list of singers who won an academy award.

1. Bing Crosby
2. Frank Sinatra
3. Burl Ives
4. Rex Harrison
5. Joel Grey

Bing had so many children and Frank Sinatra was obsessed with Eva Gardner. We can pretty much rule them out. Rex Harrison, though he was in my fair lady, he didn't sing, he spoke the words, cause he couldn't sing.

My guess is Burl Ives or Joel Grey. Burl has 4 adopted children (none of his own) and Joel Grey has one child - Jennifer Grey.

crila16 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
crila16 said...

Danny Kaye received an honorary oscar. Danny was known more for his comedy than anything else.

Also, most people were conservative back then, so Democrat or Repub doesn't matter. It was considered wrong to be gay back in Old Hollywood times.

Audrey said...

Mario Lanza maybe? He was married, but this was back in the 40s and 50s and even Raymond Burr and Rock Hudson were married...and he did have four kids...but then the castration could have occurred after their conception.

crila16 said...

Mario never won an oscar. See the link below to view all the oscar winners from 1927 to the present.

http://www.filmsite.org/oscars.html

pwner said...

I agree with the Burl Ives guess.

skeeball said...

Rudy Vallee~old hollywood, sang through a megaphone

Mrs. Patterson said...

This is Eddie Cantor. He won an honorary oscar in 1956.

Lori said...

the actor could have looked "normal"...they have had testicular implants since the 40's.

Al said...

I think Mickey Mouse won an honorary. He always wears pants but I think it's that he's hiding something.

Mr. M said...

Can't be Nelson. He didn't win an Oscar

Remember folks, it's Old Hollywood (so pre-60s and thus also dead) and was a person known for singing and won an oscar. And I agree with medusa. Perhaps the kids weren't his...this is quite difficult. it could be a number of people.

studio gulag -- said...

It's one of three: Burl Ives, Maurice Chevalier, or Hoagy Carmichael. I'm leaning towards Chevalier.

lolaluvs2snack said...

if this is even true I'd go with Micheal Jackson!!!!!

crila16 said...

Can't be Michael Jackson. He never won an Oscar, plus he's not old Hollywood.

I think it's one of the 3.

1. Burl Ives
2. Joel Grey
3. Maurice Chevalier

lutefisk said...

Is Joel Grey old Hollywood? I didn't think so.

melissa_nagy said...

Eddie Cantor married Ida in 1914. They (famously) had five daughters, Marjorie, Natalie, Edna, Marilyn and Janet.

Definitely not Mr. Cantor.

crila16 said...

True. Joel Grey won the oscar in 1972....So, it's either Burl Ives or Maurice Chevalier. I'm going with Burl Ives, because he never had any children of his own. They were all adopted.

Isle said...

Gene Kelly

stephen said...

Robert Preston?

Jester said...

It occurs to me that they give AA's for songs, too. The guy might not have even been an actor per se.

And based on the age at which removal of the testicles would have to happen to prevent further hormonal changes (say before the age of 20) it would have to be someone who got his start as a pre-teen or teen.

That doesn't mean I have a clue...

Chellis610 said...

How about Don Ameche? He did a lot of musicals back in the day, and was also an Oscar winner! He was married to a woman and had kids, but was legally separated from her for years until her death. Being a devout Catholic, he did not believe in divorce. Could he be the subject of this story?