Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

STARRLIGHT: TYRONE POWER
by Steve Starr
2005-04-06

This article shared 5243 times since Wed Apr 6, 2005
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


The enormous crowd of mourners became a disgraceful throng, pushing and shoving in a mad effort to view the casket of the once startlingly handsome star. A kid fell screaming into a pond. People picnicked on the cemetery lawn, trampled graves, and cheered for their favorite luminaries when they arrived to show their respect. Hundreds strained to hear the eulogy given by the dashing Cesar Romero. It was a carnival on the peaceful grounds next to a lake in the Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery.

Tyrone Edmund Power Jr. was born May 5, 1913, in Cincinnati, to Shakespearian actors who had worked with some of the most famous players of their time. Tyrone Power Sr., whose grandfather was a famed Irish comedian, descended from a long line of actors and was an esteemed leading man in theater who later made movies. His wife, Patia Power, gave up her career to become a drama coach when their daughter Anne was born the following year.

The Powers decided it was best to take their beautiful but frail, sickly son, and his sister, to the warmer climate of southern California. Settling in a small apartment in San Diego, the boy was restored to health. While his father toured, Patia taught little Ty breathing exercises, and coached him in articulation, pronunciation, and enunciation. Years later, in 1946, her son was given the International Sound Research Institute Award for Diction.

After his parents divorced in 1920, young Tyrone returned to Cincinnati with Anne and Patia. Ty attended school and developed an obsession for acting. He corresponded often with his dad, who encouraged his aspirations. While performing in Quebec, Tyrone Sr. invited his son to visit, and gave him a personal crash course in acting. In 1931, upon graduation from Purcell High School, ecstatic Ty was given a small non-speaking part as an old man in his father's production of The Merchant of Venice, held in Chicago's Civic Theatre. After the run of the show, the pair took off to Hollywood on the Super Chief, where Tyrone Sr. won the lead role in the film The Miracle Man. During production, father and son settled into the Hollywood Athletic Club, where the elder Power had a sudden heart attack and died in his son's arms Dec. 23, 1931.

Tyrone persisted in his dream of acting, and constantly made the rounds of casting agents. Finally, he won a small part as a cadet in Tom Brown of Culver ( 1932 ) , and again as a cadet in the musical Flirtation Walk ( 1934 ) . His family moved to Santa Barbara, and Tyrone decided to head for New York hoping for a stage career. On the way, he stopped in Chicago to see the famed Century of Progress Exhibition, where he gained employment as an actor, along with his friend Don Ameche, in an exhibit on Hollywood moviemaking. He also acted in Circuit Theatre productions, radio shows, and an eight-week run in Romance at the Blackstone Theatre.

In New York Tyrone obtained roles on Broadway, which led to a screen test with 20th Century Fox, landing him a contract. After a few minor parts, producer Darryl F. Zanuck took a chance and cast him in the lead role in Lloyds Of London ( 1936 ) with Madeleine Carroll. Zanuck said of Power that he was 'the truest, handsomest, best of the lot.' Within a year, the five-foot-ten beautiful man with ebony hair, black eyes, impossibly long black lashes, thick brows, and an electric smile became a leading man in Hollywood. He adapted easily to both modern and period movies, where his looks often led to exotic and Latin roles.

In 1937 Power dropped Jr. from his name and basked in huge movie stardom, appearing in enormously popular films that include Thin Ice ( 1937 ) with Sonja Henie, In Old Chicago ( 1937 ) with Alice Faye and Don Ameche, Alexander's Ragtime Band ( 1937 ) , with Alice Faye and Ethel Merman, Marie Antoinette ( 1938 ) with Norma Shearer, Suez ( 1938 ) with Loretta Young and Annabella, Jesse James with Henry Fonda, in his first color movie, and Johnny Apollo ( 1940 ) with Dorothy Lamour. Tyrone created his signature role in the elaborate The Mark Of Zorro ( 1940 ) with Linda Darnell, and the following year he appeared in gorgeous Technicolor opposite the spectacular Rita Hayworth in Blood And Sand ( 1941 ) .

The stunning 28-year-old actor joined the Marines in 1942. He returned from World War II a changed man. Still handsome, but with noticeable lines on his perfect features and fatigued eyes, he developed a sad, grim, quality. He had logged over 1,100 hours of flying time, frequently under enemy fire, and was discharged as a First Lt. Jan. 14, 1946.

Tyrone settled back in Hollywood where his early matured looks served him well in The Razor's Edge ( 1946 ) with Gene Tierney, Nightmare Alley ( 1947 ) with Joan Blondell, and Captain From Castile ( 1947 ) with Cesar Romero. He won acclaim in The Long Gray Line ( 1955 ) with Maureen O'Hara, The Eddie Duchin Story ( 1956 ) with Kim Novak, and in his last film Witness For The Prosecution ( 1957 ) , with Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton, and Elsa Lanchester. Power had completed 53 films throughout his career.

Power married his Suez co-star Annabella, who was five years his senior, April 23, 1939, and they divorced seven years later. Tyrone had an affair with Lana Turner, and the couple was so physically gorgeous that their presence drew gasps from the crowd when they entered a room or a restaurant. Lana told the press, 'Ty Power's the only man I've ever loved.' On Jan. 27, 1949 he married one of the world's great beauties, actress Linda Christian, who played Annabella's maid in Suez, and their elaborate wedding in Rome drew over 10,000 spectators. The union produced two daughters, Romina and Taryn, but they divorced in 1956.

Power had relations with various men, but due to the climate of the times, he kept his affairs as private as possible. Power savored physical encounters with men, yet was able to avoid emotional connections with his partners. Some believe his three marriages were covers for his homosexuality, but it seems that he enjoyed both sexes. A friend of his, Kurt Kasznar, characterized the type of woman Tyrone liked, 'A real whore in bed excited Tyrone.'

On May 7, 1958, the star married one Deborah Ann Montgomery Minardos, in Mississippi. Six months later they flew to Madrid, for Tyrone to begin filming Solomon and Sheba. While playing the King, after shooting the eighth take of an intense dueling scene with George Sanders, Power, like his father, had a heart attack, and died Nov. 15, 1958. He was only 44. Patia Power was never told of her son's death, and she followed him to the grave 10 months later.

It was always very important to Tyrone that someday he would have a son who would perpetuate the family name, and shortly before his demise he spoke of this desire. His wish was fulfilled when slightly more than two months later, on Jan. 22, 1959, Deborah gave birth to Tyrone William Power IV, who grew up to look like his father, and made his film debut as Tyrone Power Jr. in Cocoon ( 1985 ) with his dad's old friend Don Ameche.

Cesar Romero, also a matinee idol, summed up his friend in his eulogy when he remarked, 'He was a beautiful man. He was beautiful outside, and he was beautiful inside.' Six Marines carried the flag-draped casket to its burial site beside a lake, and Annabella told the press, 'The most wonderful man in the world is gone.' His tombstone is decorated with the masks of Comedy and Tragedy, and inscribed: 'Good night, sweet prince...'

Sources: The Great Movie Stars—The Golden Years by David Shipman; Tyrone Power The Last Idol by Fred Lawrence Guiles; The Secret Life of Tyrone Power by Hector Arce; Power Web sites.

Steve Starr is the author of Picture Perfect—Deco Photo Frames 1926-1946, published by Rizzoli International Publications, 1991. A designer, artist, and writer, his collection of over 950 gorgeous Art Deco frames is filled with images of Hollywood's most elegant stars. Visit his studio and read other stories at www.SteveStarrStudios.com or e-mail at SSSChicago@ameritech.net . You can also come to the Steve Starr Satellite Studio in the Edgewater Antique Mall, 6314 N. Broadway, ( 773 ) 262-2525.

Photo of Steve Starr by Albert Aguilar

One hundred performers are featured in an exhibition of stars in a portion of Starr's collection of original Art Deco frames at the Washington Library, 400 S. State, 8th floor, just below the Winter Garden, through June 1.


This article shared 5243 times since Wed Apr 6, 2005
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

8th Annual Black Alphabet Film Festival on Nov. 5-7 2021-09-17
- The 8th Annual Black Alphabet Film Festival (BAFF) will take place Nov. 5-7 at the University of Chicago's Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. One of the longest running Black ...


Gay News

Brittany Devon meets a 'Platonic Girlfriend' 2021-09-15
- Queer, genderfluid actor Brittany Devon has created a brand new project to explore with Platonic Girlfriend. It is the story of a relationship between straight woman Alice and a queer, nonbinary person named Dev. Devon stars ...


Gay News

THEATER Out actor Dan Butler to be in 'When Harry Met Rehab' 2021-09-15
- Don Clark, a Chicago-based film/theater producer as well as co-owner of the Chicago Magic Lounge, will present the world premiere of When Harry Met Rehab—a comedy that takes sobriety seriously and is based loosely on the ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Boy Meets Boy,' Jennifer Hudson, 'SVU,' tennis honor, ABBA 2021-09-12
- Ariztical Entertainment is releasing the German movie Boy Meets Boy on DVD and VOD on Oct. 26. According to a press release, the plot of the 70-minute movie is as follows: "Harry has been partying for ...


Gay News

MOVES Talking about 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' 2021-09-08
- The new movie Everybody's Talking About Jamie tells the inspiring story of Jamie New, a young drag artist who overcomes hardship and homophobia in Sheffield, England. Out actor Max Harwood stars as New, who gets by ...


Gay News

Survivor shares the story of trauma and thriving in 'Untold' 2021-09-07
- WARNING: This article contains material of a graphic nature. Gina M. Garcia is finally sharing her story of thriving after trauma in her new docu-drama biography, Untold: This is My Story, which premieres Sept. 6 at ...


Gay News

MOVIES Fall films harvest famous names for LGBTQ+ stories 2021-09-01
- The film industry is featuring world-renowned names like Lady Gaga, Truman Capote and Tammy Faye on the big screen this fall season. Award-winning musicals, true-life stories and far-out fiction are all part of the fun in ...


Gay News

MOVIES 'On Broadway' to open Sept. 10 in Highland Park 2021-09-01
- As theatergoers prepare for the return of Broadway after an unprecedented absence of 18 months, Kino Lorber is releasing Academy Award nominee Oren Jacoby's documentary On Broadway. The tribute to one of the most vibrant ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Billy Porter, 'Death Drop,' Brandi Carlile, vintage films, Gaga 2021-08-29
- Billy Porter will direct a queer teen comedy feature titled To Be Real for Amazon Studios, which is being helmed by Gabrielle Union's I'll Have Another Productions, NME.com noted. Porter, who is currently working on his ...


Gay News

EVENTS Celebrity attendees named for Wizard World Chicago 2021-08-28
- William Shatner (Star Trek; TV's Boston Legal), Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy, TV's The Walking Dead), Matthew Lewis (All Creatures Great and Small), James Marsters (TV series Buffy the ...


Gay News

TV Netflix animated series 'Chicago Party Aunt' debuts Sept. 17 2021-08-27
- The LGBTQ-inclusive series Chicago Party Aunt will debut on Netflix on Friday, Sept. 17. Inspired by the popular Twitter account Chicago Party Aunt, this eight-episode adult animated comedy follows Diane Dunbrowski and nephew Daniel as they ...


Gay News

Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival announces full slate 2021-08-25
--From a press release - CHICAGO, Illinois — Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival today announced the full slate of programming for 2021, opening September 23, 2021 at the Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport Ave.) and running September 24 ...


Gay News

MOVIES 'Mr. SOUL!' looks at groundbreaking '60s show and Black, gay host 2021-08-23
- Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Nikki Giovanni, James Baldwin, Cicely Tyson, Harry Belafonte, Muhammad Ali, The Last Poets, Earth, Wind & Fire, Sidney Poitier, Mavis Staples and even a teenaged Arsenio Hall were ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ RuPaul, GALECA toast, Elliot Page, 'Chippendales,' bi model 2021-08-22
- RuPaul revealed a new wax figure at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas, a press release noted. The all-new Rainbow Runway experience invites guests to "meet" and take cues from the most commercially successful drag queen of all ...


Gay News

MUSIC Lyric Opera of Chicago's 'Pagliacci' on film 2021-08-18
- Lyric Opera of Chicago announced that registration is now open for audiences to secure a free link to screen the new, original film production of Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, filmed at the Lyric Opera House. Audiences can now ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.