The gay women of Old Hollywood


It seems like every time there’s a new biography about a past Hollywood star or starlet, we get to know a little more about their sexual history and it involves both sexes. The recent discovery that Vivien Leigh had several female lovers adds her to an ever-growing list of talented actresses that were married to men but involved with women in the early days of Hollywood. While we know about several already (Marlene Dietrich, Tallulah Bankhead, Greta Garbo) there are several others who we can claim as well. Here’s a small list of actresses with whom we share a kinship.

Spring Byington (1886 – 1971)

Most Famous For: Meet John Doe, Little Women

Romanced: Marjorie “Ma Kettle” Main, Maude Adams

Estelle Winwood (1883 – 1984)

Most Famous For: Quality Street, Camelot

Romanced: Tallulah Bankhead

Ona Munson (1903 – 1955)

Most Famous For: Gone With the Wind, The Hot Heiress

Romanced: Mercedes de Acosta

Joan Crawford (1905 – 1977)

Most Famous For: Mildred Pierce, inspiring Mommie Dearest

Romanced: Martha Raye, director Dorothy Arzner, Marilyn Monroe

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