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Carlyle, John 1931-2003

Carlyle, John 1931-2003

PERSONAL:

Born January 5, 1931, in Baltimore, MD; died of lung cancer, May 27, 2003, in West Hollywood, CA.

CAREER:

Actor in stage productions and in films, including Dangerous Mission, 1954; (uncredited) Untamed, 1955; (uncredited) Daddy Long Legs, 1955; (uncredited) The Rack, 1956; (uncredited) The Monster That Challenged the World, 1957; and Whore, 1991. Actor in numerous television movies and series, 1955-89.

WRITINGS:

Under the Rainbow: An Intimate Memoir of Judy Garland, Rock Hudson and My Life in Old Hollywood, foreword by Robert Osborne, afterword by Taylor Negron, edited by Chris Freeman, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

John Carlyle's edited memoir, Under the Rainbow: An Intimate Memoir of Judy Garland, Rock Hudson and My Life in Old Hollywood, was published several years after his death. It is in part a history of the film industry during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, and the stars who became more successful than Carlyle himself, although he did appear, often uncredited, in many movies. Carlyle was gay during a time when that fact had to be hidden or the consequences of homophobia faced. He experienced intimacy with women, including Garland, and reportedly had encounters with well-known actors, but the focus of the book is on his relationship with Garland, with whom he overindulged in alcohol and drugs.

In reviewing the book for the Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide, Stuart Timmons described these previously untold stories about Garland as being "China White heroin" for her fans. "But one also recognizes a central truth Carlyle appears unable to face: he drowned his frustrations as an actor and an emotionally fragile gay man with a dependence on booze and Dexamyl, as well as obsessive social conquests of legendary film divas." Timmons added: "It is a shame that Mr. Carlyle didn't act less and write more. His sense of story and character is a constant pleasure, as are his arch phrases." Among these is his description of the fictional love affair between closeted gay Rock Hudson and lesbian Phyllis Gates, which Carlyle calls a "Louella Parsons orgasm."

Carlyle found parts in popular television series, working for several decades in that medium before succumbing to lung cancer.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Carlyle, John, Under the Rainbow: An Intimate Memoir of Judy Garland, Rock Hudson and My Life in Old Hollywood, foreword by Robert Osborne, afterword by Taylor Negron, edited by Chris Freeman, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 2006.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September 15, 2006, Kathleen Hughes, review of Under the Rainbow, p. 14.

Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide, January-February, 2007, Stuart Timmons, review of Under the Rainbow, p. 40.

Publishers Weekly, August 28, 2006, review of Under the Rainbow, p. 47.

OBITUARIES

PERIODICALS

Hollywood Reporter, June 4, 2003, p. 16.

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