Mike Connolly and the Manly Art of Hollywood Gossip

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About the Book

In 1954, Mike Connolly, the gay gossip columnist for the Hollywood Reporter from 1951 to 1966, was described by Newsweek as “probably the most influential columnist inside the movie colony,” the one writer “who gets the pick of trade items, the industry rumors, the policy and casting switches.” He was indeed one of the most talented and influential members of the Hollywood press of his time, and his column, for those who could read between the lines, was a daily chronicle of gay goings-on. Fifty years later, his cumulative output is a virtually untapped lode of gay Hollywood history.
Mike Connolly’s life and work are the focus of this book. It considers his formative years, his pre–World War II life at the University of Illinois and in Chicago, and the ways in which the homosexual community in Hollywood lived lives both secretive and open in the forties, fifties and sixties. It also examines the literary merit, power and newsworthiness of Connolly’s “Rambling Reporter” column in the Hollywood Reporter and its significance as a chronicle of gay Hollywood life; the previously unexplored role of Connolly’s column in the Hollywood blacklist and how his anti–Communist crusade was rooted in his earlier campaign to close down the brothels in his college town; and how his life informed his column and his column shaped his life.

About the Author(s)

Val Holley is a legislative and reference librarian in Washington, D.C.

Bibliographic Details

Val Holley
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 206
Bibliographic Info: photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2003
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1552-6
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8086-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix

Preface     xiii

Introduction     1

1 Fool for Fellas     9

2 Confidential Confidential     27

3 I’ll Quit Tomorrow     39

4 Prayers for Peace     50

5 Battler for Chastity     60

6 Nose for News     74

7 How to Succeed in Gossip-Mongering     86

8 Indecency     102

9 Glutton for Punishment     116

10 Coverage Coverage     128

11 Tasks for Tomorrow     138

Notes     149

Bibliography     163

Index     177

Book Reviews & Awards

“lively, entertaining…a great read all the way. A fine read”—Classic Images; “one of the most influential members of the Hollywood press of his time”—Reference & Research Book News; “fascinating”—News-Gazette; “buy the book”—Queery; “fascinating…immensely entertaining…fine book”—Lambda Book Report; “welcome addition to the existing literature about gays, Hollywood and gay Hollywood”—GayToday; “fascinating…founding father of today’s celebrity-obsessed media culture”—Philadelphia Gay News.