I’ve praised Frank Langella‘s memoir, Dropped Names, several times, admiring its candor and insight–though I did note the weirdness of him writing about Anthony Perkins coming on to him without ever revealing whether the author bit the bait.
Langella’s book serves up steaming truckloads of dish about other icons, but when it comes to the actor’s own availability, all he’ll say is that at the height of the sexual revolution, he felt like he was cashing in his winning lottery ticket all the time.
True, he doesn’t mention Whoopi Goldberg at all, and he never details any possible sex with Jackie Kennedy and Liz Taylor, to name two legends who were smitten with him.
But he does write about dating Liz, who wanted to marry him.
And he does include a chapter where Yvonne DeCarlo pursues and gets his genitals.
But gay stuff? Not much except for a titillating mention of a backstage grope session with Raul Julia and Jill Clayburgh and a hint of a frisson between him and Julia that wasn’t fulfilled.
Well, someone else has caught on to the same coyness.
A review by Michael Ladenson on talkinbroadway.com says:
“As several of the memoir’s gay characters circle around his charismatic young self, Mr. Langella leaves flirtaciously open the possibility that he played both sides of the street.
“As he basks in Noel Coward’s attentions, feeds shrimp to Roddy McDowall, and commiserates with Dominick Dunne about the agonies of the closet, he hides coquettishly behind his fan in a way that seems rather archaic in 2012.”
Seems like Dropped Names may have dropped an opportunity–but it’s still a priceless read.