Filmmaker Matt Tyrnauer was naturally intrigued when he first heard whispers about Scotty Bowers--who served as a Marine during World War II and then became the pimp to the stars, arranging gay liaisons out of a Hollywood gas station. Bowers was said to number Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor among his clients. When Tyrnauer learned that Bowers was not only alive but still spry in his nineties, he made him the subject of his latest film. Tyrnauer tells us about making his doc and why he wants ‘Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood’ to be more than a lurid tell-all.
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The new documentary ‘Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood’ profiles Scotty Bowers--a good-looking Marine from the midwest who made his way to LA after World War II, and went to work at the Richfield gas station on the corner of Hollywood and Van Ness.
Today, it’s a fire station, but in the 1940’s and 50’s Richfield was the place to go for a discreet, same-sex liaison. Scotty Bowers was the person to arrange it or provide services himself.
Now 95 years old, Bowers names Hollywood legends among his clients: Charles Laughton, Cole Porter, Cary Grant, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn--all people whose careers depended on maintaining a heterosexual public image.
‘Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood’ was directed by Matt Tyrnauer, who has also made the documentaries ‘Valentino: The Last Emperor’ and ‘Studio 54.’ He tells us about being introduced to Bowers by Gore Vidal, and discusses the larger story he hopes to tell in his film.
Matt Tyrnauer, Producer and director, 'Valentino: The Last Emperor'
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