9 posts categorized "SAL MINEO"

Oct 20 2011
Cheap Trick Comments (10)


I've heard American Horror Story is a must-watch, and I do feel the pressure to must-watch it—I can't miss the boat on yet another buzzy series.

SalmineobioHowever, I'm in total agreement with my friend, Sal Mineo: A Biography author Michael Michaud, regarding his assessment of last night's episode, in which the late gay actor Sal Mineo's murder was wrongly described to have been at the hands of a trick. That wasn't the case, and while I'm surprised Mineo is that forgotten by every person involved in the creative process behind American Horror Story (no less than Ryan Murphy himself is the creator), I do think it's probably just an unintentional error—but it's one that needs addressing by Murphy & Co. immediately, and it's one that should be stricken from the episode in question.

Keep reading for Michaud's response. Don't misconstrue this as a PR stunt by Michaud; he worked on his Mineo bio for a decade and almost no one not named Rowling or Meyer is getting rich-rich-rich on book sales...

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Jul 17 2011
Be Stills My Beating Heart Comments (3)

Screen shot 2011-07-16 at 8.03.01 AM
The first stills from the James Franco-directed film Sal, about the late movie idol Sal Mineo, are making the rounds on Facebook and show off sexy star Val Lauren to great advantage:

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Many more after the jump...

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Jun 22 2011
P.S. Your Principal Photography Is Completed Comments (2)

Principal photography on the movie Sal—directed by James Franco and based on the book about the life of the late Sal Mineo—has been completed. Can't wait to see this one.

Jun 17 2011
Sal Maxeo Comments (2)

SafariScreenSnapz001Sal with his partner, Courtney

The following juicy Sal Mineo tidbit is courtesy of Glenway Wescott biographer Jerry Rosco, who has edited Wescott's unpublished journals and is currently looking for a publisher.

The great expatriate American novelist and essayist Wescott had the following observations of Mineo:

Ass "I dined at [William] Inge’s [apartment] with the little movie star Sal Mineo, a sort of pocket version of Mark Pagano [GW intimate], but with complexities instead of mystery; a devotee of Carol Righter as well as other occultisms, and just lately an aficionado of bullfighting. He has been in the Exodus film in Palestine, and returned via the high spots of Europe. In Rome he had clothes made. 'Aren’t you making the trousers too tight?' he asked the tailor. 'But why not? If you’ve got it, why not show it?' was the tailor’s retort. So the little star, with something to show indeed, went for a walk up and down the Via Veneto, and returned in laughing enthusiasm. 'Make me a dozen pair, as fast as you can.' He told us all this with a delicate touch-me-not air, and occasional heterosexual references; wonderfully funny, but I am afraid that Hollywood society would make me nervous."

May 17 2011
Val Mineo: An Interview With Val Lauren Comments (8)

PreviewScreenSnapz002Sal, Lauren

It's okay if you haven't heard of actor Val Lauren just yet—plenty of people won't SafariScreenSnapz001 have even heard of Sal Mineo, the actor he's about to play, until they hear that James Franco is producing, directing and co-writing a movie about the late Rebel Without a Cause star.

Based on Michael Gregg Michaud's superb bio, the film Sal will tell the life story of the Bronx-born Mineo, whose naive family helped usher him to Hollywood fame as a teenager, but whose real passion was always the art of acting and directing.

Press05a Mineo was also unabashedly gay at a time when most other Hollywood stars were firmly entrenched in the closet, both personally and professionally, so his story includes a long, romantic, same-sex relationship as well as enough sexual kinks to fill a couple of Almodovar movies.

In his first interview since landing the juicy role, Lauren opens up about how he got it, his impressions of his new boss, where his head is at as he prepares to portray Mineo and why a straight married dude relates to a guy who bedded Bobby Sherman before any teenyboppers had even seen his first pinup.

Boy Culture: Had you ever heard of Sal Mineo prior to the part coming up, and what impressions did you have of him?

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May 11 2011
Coming Out Soon Comments (0)

PreviewScreenSnapz001From L to R: Mineo & Lauren

James Franco has chosen Val Lauren to play Sal Mineo in his film adaptation of the outstanding book Sal Mineo: A Biography by Michael Gregg Michaud. Interview with Michaud here, interview with Mineo's partner Courtney Burr here. Interview with Lauren to come!

Lauren says of Mineo to The Hollywood Reporter:

"Sal Mineo himself was an extraordinary and super complex guy. People know him for Rebel Without a Cause, but he was technically the first actor who came out of the closet. He was very brave."

Apr 30 2011
The Twinkie Defense: An Interview With Courtney Burr Comments (12)

IMG_9459Meeting Michaud (left) and Burr (right) in Los Angeles

In February, following an interview I did with Michael Gregg Michaud, the author SalMineoBio of Sal Mineo: A Biography, I was pleased when he introduced me to Mineo's partner, Courtney Burr. Burr had been with the actor for years at the time of his tragic stabbing death and had provided Michaud with many invaluable insights into Mineo's personality because he "just wanted the story of what happened in our lives to be truthful and to reflect even the things some people might find strange."

I met with Burr, once looked down on as Mineo's "twinkie" and now a respected acting teacher in his sixties, and Michaud at the 2010_1130_courntey_burr_sal_mineo_onstage_sunday_new_york_florida_1974RSZD-237x300 Universal Hilton in Los Angeles on brisk day, but was immediately warmed by Burr's gift of gab. His story holds interest not only as a peek into the private life of Mineo, but as a candid look at how two men fell in love and made it work until it was taken away unexpectedly.

Continue reading to be regaled with Burr's memories of his lover's artistic vision, to find out if Mineo identified as gay, to get pissed off at how the Mineo family mistreated him after Mineo's murder, to get dish on the infamous Broadway version of Harold and Maude and to hear what it was like directing first Oscar winner Janet Gaynor...

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Feb 12 2011
Cause Célèbre—A Review Of Sal Mineo: A Biography & Interview With The Author Comments (6)

SMe and my Sal

I own dozens of biographies; they're my favorite kind of book to read, and increasingly, due to the decreasing amount of time on my hands, they're becoming the dominant type that I actually get through.

The best biographies are the ones on subjects about whom I thought I knew everything, but about whom I learn something new on virtually every page.


I recently found a bio that I enjoyed in this way—Sal Mineo: A Biography (Crown, $25.99) by Michael Gregg Michaud, about the late actor and one-time teen heartthrob Sal Mineo. Mineo rose to fame as the tragic Plato in Rebel Without a Cause, briefly became a singing idol, 160870david had uneven success as a dramatic actor and was brutally stabbed to death 35 years ago today during a botched robbery while he was in the middle of a potential professional comeback.

Mineo is now something of a gay icon; he never came out (he died in 1976), but his homosexuality was the worst-kept secret in Hollywood and common knowledge among at least some of his fans.

SafariScreenSnapz001 One thing I found so compelling about Sal Mineo: A Biography was Michaud's unsensational approach, which is hard to do while at the same time confirming Mineo, who was close pals with David Cassidy, fucked Bobby Sherman.

Despite these tidbits and despite Mineo's sexual kinks (he apparently harbored a fetish for briefs and seemed to be especially attracted to barely legal/barely illegal types), his life is recounted in a firmly matter-of-fact way that starts out feeling a bit cut-and-paste in its rigorous detail but that quickly becomes diaristic. Is it possible to write someone else's diary for him? Because I felt every aspect of Mineo's life had been explored and recorded, presenting a full picture of a thoughtful, iconoclastic, troubled, loving man bursting with creativity and ambition.

10aMineo with longtime lover Burr, whose reflections make Sal a uniquely affecting bio

2010_1130_sal_mineo_jill_hayworth_los_angeles_1963RSZD In his pursuit of the whole story on Mineo, Michaud spent years persuading the late icon's two most important intimates—actors Jill Haworth (left, who created the role of Sally Bowles in Cabaret on Broadway and who died of natural causes last month unexpectedly) and Courtney Burr. Thanks to winning their trust, Mineo's life is captured with the help of his most important male and female lovers, and not with the breathless adulation of a fan or the judgmental cynicism of a skeptic. In that regard, it's a "bi"-ography unparalleled by any others I've read.

Algus6Mineo daringly posed fully nude in the early '60s for Harold Stevenson's The New Adam

The book is also a fascinating look at a gay man's mid-life reassessment of his purpose, and a heart-breaking reminder to leave nothing undone and to regret nothing one's done.

I reached out to the author with some questions and he kindly found the time to reply. Keep reading for the full Q&A...

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