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Kyle Kersten was a true friend of TCM. One of the first and most active participants of the Message Boards, “Kyle in Hollywood” (aka, hlywdkjk) demonstrated a depth of knowledge and largesse of spirit that made him one of the most popular and respected voices in these forums. This thread is a living memorial to his life and love of movies, which remain with us still.

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TCM spotlight on 'gay hollywood'-- June 2017


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#1 ChristineHoard

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 06:18 PM

Thanks. Yeah, I wish Peter had played another role. To me Terry was/will always be Jack Abbott. I started watching Y&R in mid-'87 and it was all the Jack-Leanna stuff that made me a fan. Terry Lester and Barbara Crampton were unstoppable. Also, it never occurred to me Terry Lester was gay because his sex scenes with Barbara and the other actresses were so convincing. I never watched him on SB but was glad when he was cast on ATWT since during those years I was mostly a CBS soap watcher.

 

Anyway, sorry we've derailed the TCM spotlight thread. We will need to create a new soaps-related thread.

 

Well, I'll just finish with this:  the first scene of the first Y&R that I watched was when Ashley caught Jack (Terry Lester) in bed with model Diane the day he was going to marry Patty, so I got you beat on that one as that was before Jack and Leanna.

:)


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#2 TopBilled

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 06:06 PM

TopBilled. You are a fountain of information when it comes to the world of soaps (movies, too).  Thank you.

 

I do believe Terry did die from a heart attack in his 50s.  I remember the my-stepmother- has-AIDS storyline.  It  helped show unaware viewers that AIDS is not a "gay" disease.  As much as I liked Peter Bergman as Jack Abbott, and he's had some terrific moments on the show and has won Emmys, there was something special about Terry.

 

Thanks. Yeah, I wish Peter had played another role. To me Terry was/will always be Jack Abbott. I started watching Y&R in mid-'87 and it was all the Jack-Leanna stuff that made me a fan. Terry Lester and Barbara Crampton were unstoppable. Also, it never occurred to me Terry Lester was gay because his sex scenes with Barbara and the other actresses were so convincing. I never watched him on SB but was glad when he was cast on ATWT since during those years I was mostly a CBS soap watcher.

 

Anyway, sorry we've derailed the TCM spotlight thread. We will need to create a new soaps-related thread.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#3 ChristineHoard

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 05:51 PM

TopBilled. You are a fountain of information when it comes to the world of soaps (movies, too).  Thank you.

 

I do believe Terry did die from a heart attack in his 50s.  I remember the my-stepmother- has-AIDS storyline.  It  helped show unaware viewers that AIDS is not a "gay" disease.  As much as I liked Peter Bergman as Jack Abbott, and he's had some terrific moments on the show and has won Emmys, there was something special about Terry.



#4 TopBilled

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 05:35 PM

WOW - more soap info.  I thought Terry died from a heart attack.  Much too young.  I started watching ATWT right before Doug Marland passed.  Everybody thought he was one of the very best soap writers.

 

Do you remember the fellow who played Kyle Sampson on GL?  I also think he was one of Erica's husbands on AMC and he may have been on EDGE.  Larkin Malloy or something like that, maybe?  He was good, too.  My favorite GL actor was Michael Zazlow (sp?) who sadly got Lou Gerhrig's disease and left us way too soon.  I remember when I saw Larry Gates on GL and I had seen him in so many movies (one of my favorite scenes is when Sidney Poitier slaps him in IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT).  Yes, lots of creative talent, gay or straight, it didn't matter except the network execs were nervous about what the public thought - just like with the movies.  Gotta keep that "clean" public image...sigh.

 

American Soaps lost a lot of their mojo when P&G pulled out and the networks got tight with money (game shows and talk shows are cheap to produce).  Writing went downhill and storylines got recycled ad nauseum.  Hiring newbies who can't act at the expense of veterans doesn't help, either.

 

You may be right about Terry Lester's cause of death and I apologise for the error I made. He might not have had HIV, but on Y&R he was part of an AIDS-related storyline that involved the stepmother of his character. 

 

Larkin Malloy was on Edge of Night from 1980 until it ended in late December 1984. Procter & Gamble thought so highly of him that they created the role of Kyle for him on GL which he played simultaneously for one week. So in late '84, he was wrapping up his stint as Schuyler Whitney on Edge and debuting as Kyle Sampson on GL. He was written out of GL in late 86, though I think he was still airing into early '87, the casualty of a regime change-- they had Kyle go down in a plane and put him into a coma off screen. Kyle was never seen again, though his son Ben Reade remained on the show until the early 2000s. But Ben never mentioned Kyle, only his stepdad Fletcher Reade, so viewers were left to assume Kyle was still comatose or had died off camera. 

 

Later in '87, Larkin moved over to All My Children where he played Travis Montgomery, which became his most famous soap role after Edge's Sky Whitney. In the early 90s, he left AMC but returned later in the decade for some guest appearances. I believe he was living in Italy during the mid-90s. He came back to New York to resume his acting career. In the 2000s, he was working for Procter & Gamble again, now as an off-camera announcer for As the World Turns (you know, where they would say 'Today's show is brought to you by Crisco. And now part two.'). Before his death last year, he had done a web soap called Tainted Dreams which I believe was his last on-screen performance. Tainted Dreams' episodes are available for streaming on Amazon Prime. 


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#5 ChristineHoard

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 04:32 PM

WOW - more soap info.  I thought Terry died from a heart attack.  Much too young.  I started watching ATWT right before Doug Marland passed.  Everybody thought he was one of the very best soap writers.

 

Do you remember the fellow who played Kyle Sampson on GL?  I also think he was one of Erica's husbands on AMC and he may have been on EDGE.  Larkin Malloy or something like that, maybe?  He was good, too.  My favorite GL actor was Michael Zazlow (sp?) who sadly got Lou Gerhrig's disease and left us way too soon.  I remember when I saw Larry Gates on GL and I had seen him in so many movies (one of my favorite scenes is when Sidney Poitier slaps him in IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT).  Yes, lots of creative talent, gay or straight, it didn't matter except the network execs were nervous about what the public thought - just like with the movies.  Gotta keep that "clean" public image...sigh.

 

American Soaps lost a lot of their mojo when P&G pulled out and the networks got tight with money (game shows and talk shows are cheap to produce).  Writing went downhill and storylines got recycled ad nauseum.  Hiring newbies who can't act at the expense of veterans doesn't help, either.



#6 TopBilled

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 03:33 PM

Wow - you do know your soap history; I'm impressed.  I would be interested in a soap thread and I would like to hear what others think.  I believe Terry Lester, the first Jack Abbott on Y&R (I was a big fan of his) was gay or bi.  My friend had a hard time believing he could be gay given his torrid love scenes.  I said, "That's why they call it acting, girl."  He was on ATWT, too,and SANTA BARBARA.  Heck of an actor, especially when given decent material.

 

Thanks. Yes Terry Lester was another one who died too young from AIDS complications. He was my favourite actor ever on Y&R. He had a very tricky storyline on ATWT in the 90s-- which was actually an old storyline from GL in the early 80s that had been jettisoned because the brass hit the panic button.

 

Headwriter Doug Marland (who was gay) had planned for Jane Elliott's character on GL to be revealed as a serial killer, but the killings were the result of different personalities. They got to the part where one of her alters was revealed, and she was connected to a recent murder, but then the executive producer said no more. He wanted no more personalities or murders. He fired Elliott to prevent Marland from continuing it. Marland broke his contract, quitting in anger over this decision. Ten years later, Marland was headwriter of ATWT and working with a different producer. He finally did the story as he had wanted, only he switched it from a female to a male (played by Terry Lester). And even to this day, it's a rarity, because whenever soaps do multiple personality storylines, they usually do them with victimized females, not male characters.


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#7 ChristineHoard

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 03:17 PM

Frances Fisher played a music executive on Guiding Light. She was Suzette Saxon that time (same last name as her Edge character but not sure if it was a relation, which is possible since both soaps were produced by Procter & Gamble). Fisher probably would have gone back to Edge had it not been cancelled in December '84. She was very popular during her five year run on the series, and it made her a household name. After her stint on GL, she left New York and went to Los Angeles where she started turning up in guest roles on primetime shows like The Equalizer, and she never looked back.

 

I agree we should have a soap appreciation thread. Since so many soap hunks were gay (and a lot of them died of AIDS complications), we could probably start it on this sub-forum, if people are interested.

 

Wow - you do know your soap history; I'm impressed.  I would be interested in a soap thread and I would like to hear what others think.  I believe Terry Lester, the first Jack Abbott on Y&R (I was a big fan of his) was gay or bi.  My friend had a hard time believing he could be gay given his torrid love scenes.  I said, "That's why they call it acting, girl."  He was on ATWT, too,and SANTA BARBARA.  Heck of an actor, especially when given decent material.


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#8 TopBilled

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 03:05 PM

Off topic but I remember Frances from GUIDING LIGHT.  Maybe you should start a soap history thread.  Like I said, I kinda gave up on soaps.  I watched Y&R daily for over 20 years until about three years ago - I just got bored with it.  I still DVR B&B but I haven't seen any episodes in a few months and I ended up erasing all it to make room for more TCM.

 

Frances Fisher played a music executive on Guiding Light in 1985. She was Suzette Saxon that time (same last name as her Edge character but not sure if it was a relation, which is possible since both soaps were produced by Procter & Gamble). Fisher probably would have gone back to Edge had it not been cancelled in December '84. She was very popular during her five year run on the series, and it made her a household name. After her stint on GL, she left New York and went to Los Angeles where she started turning up in guest roles on primetime shows like The Equalizer, and she never looked back.

 

I agree we should have a soap appreciation thread. Since so many soap hunks were gay (and a lot of them died of AIDS complications), we could probably start it on this sub-forum, if people are interested.


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#9 ChristineHoard

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 02:57 PM

The 1979 plot with Farley Granger is called the 'Mansion of the Damned' storyline. If you use that phrase, it's easy to find on YouTube. He only did ten episodes, but the storyline ran for several months and all the episodes are available. A very young Frances Fisher (later of UNFORGIVEN and TITANIC) also plays a role in the story-- she was police detective Deborah Saxon on Edge from 1976-81.

 

Off topic but I remember Frances from GUIDING LIGHT.  Maybe you should start a soap history thread.  Like I said, I kinda gave up on soaps.  I watched Y&R daily for over 20 years until about three years ago - I just got bored with it.  I still DVR B&B but I haven't seen any episodes in a few months and I ended up erasing all it to make room for more TCM.


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#10 TopBilled

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 02:43 PM

Thanks again.  I may check that out.  I missed out on EDGE but I read that it's generally considered one of the best soaps.

 

The 1979 plot with Farley Granger is called the 'Mansion of the Damned' storyline. If you use that phrase, it's easy to find on YouTube. He only did ten episodes, but the storyline ran for several months and all the episodes are available. A very young Frances Fisher (later of UNFORGIVEN and TITANIC) also plays a role in the story-- she was police detective Deborah Saxon on Edge from 1976-81.


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#11 ChristineHoard

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 02:31 PM

You're welcome. I enjoyed his daytime performances too. He played a sort of mysterious character on ATWT. He was written out in '88, and I can't remember if they killed him off or sent him away. Fulton's Lisa went on to marry someone else in the 90s.

 

Farley Granger's ten episode guest arc on Edge of Night is on YouTube. 

 

Thanks again.  I may check that out.  I missed out on EDGE but I read that it's generally considered one of the best soaps.


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#12 TopBilled

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 02:21 PM

Thanks, TopBilled, for all the info on Farley's extensive career on soaps; I didn't know he was on that many shows.  I liked him on ATWT.

 

You're welcome. I enjoyed his daytime performances too. He played a sort of mysterious character on ATWT. He was written out in '88, and I can't remember if they killed him off or sent him away. Fulton's Lisa went on to marry someone else in the 90s.

 

Farley Granger's ten episode guest arc on Edge of Night is on YouTube. 


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#13 ChristineHoard

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 02:11 PM

Thanks, TopBilled, for all the info on Farley's extensive career on soaps; I didn't know he was on that many shows.  I liked him on ATWT.


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Posted 04 July 2017 - 01:47 PM

Our hosts may have messed up slightly again the last night of Gay Hollywood when they mentioned all the physical changes Liz went through to portray Martha in VIRGINIA WOLF including putting the gray in her hair.  I swore I read she wore a wig.  A minor quibble - not as bad as the white swimsuit.

 

Farley Granger  - I believe he played one of Lisa's (Eileen Fulton) husbands/boyfriends on AS THE WORLD TURNS several years ago when I used to watch all the CBS soaps.  TopBilled, you seem pretty knowledgeable about the soaps - am I correct?

 

screen-shot-2017-07-04-at-11-52-26-am.jp

 

Yes. Farley Granger's partner was daytime soap producer Robert Calhoun. So Farley did considerable soap work in the 70s and 80s. From 1976-77, he had a contract role on One Life to Live. Then he had a guest starring gig on Edge of Night in 1979, where he appeared opposite Kim Hunter (their scenes together were delicious fun). And in the mid-80s, he played Earl Mitchell on As the World Turns. Fulton who had almost as many boyfriends and husbands in real life as her character did, appeared in public with Farley as his "beard" when he was still in the closet.

 

screen-shot-2017-07-04-at-11-53-25-am.jp


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#15 ChristineHoard

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 01:00 PM

Our hosts may have messed up slightly again the last night of Gay Hollywood when they mentioned all the physical changes Liz went through to portray Martha in VIRGINIA WOLF including putting the gray in her hair.  I swore I read she wore a wig.  A minor quibble - not as bad as the white swimsuit.

 

Farley Granger  - I believe he played one of Lisa's (Eileen Fulton) husbands/boyfriends on AS THE WORLD TURNS several years ago when I used to watch all the CBS soaps.  TopBilled, you seem pretty knowledgeable about the soaps - am I correct?


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#16 TopBilled

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 07:17 PM

I don't see the harm in speculating about a male star's "homosexuality" if there is enough evidence to prove that he experienced homosexual relations - like James Dean's early life in Hollywood and New York.

 

What if we speculated about Meredith Baxter's heterosexuality since there is evidence to prove it (marriages, children she gave birth to). She identifies as gay, like some identify as straight. To try and put labels on people who don't agree to such labels (if they're alive) or didn't want such labels during their lifetime (if they're deceased) seems false. In a way it's like applying a fan-fiction to your favourite star to make the star fit your fantasy idea.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#17 rayban

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 07:04 PM

I don't see the harm in speculating about a male star's "homosexuality" if there is enough evidence to prove that he experienced homosexual relations - like James Dean's early life in Hollywood and New York.


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#18 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 05:55 PM

But we still have major movie stars whose sexuality is questioned- Cruise, Travolta, Spacey.

 

I'm not following since I fail to see how that sentence relates to the topic at hand.    Of course there will always be public figures, like movie stars whose sexuality is questioned.     So?



#19 jaragon

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 05:48 PM

You are tapping into the broader issue of whether out gay men and lesbians can respect those who chose to remain closeted.  

But we still have major movie stars whose sexuality is questioned- Cruise, Travolta, Spacey.


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#20 TopBilled

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 05:27 PM

I agree with this and I believe we have a common understanding.    But there is a much larger issue at play here and that is the outing of people who do NOT wish to be.   This is a fairly common topic with the under-40 gay men I know.   E.g. A few moved from areas that were NOT close to being as gay-friendly as Laguna Beach CA.    They meet guys here but ask them NOT to post on social media that they are gay since their family and others in their hometown don't know.     Some have openly said they will post regardless because there is no reason to be ashamed (which of course there isn't but is that up for one to decide for another???).

 

I find outing someone that has expressed they do NOT wish to be so,  malicious,  but the guys doing this say they are just proud and they have no regrets.      

 

You are tapping into the broader issue of whether out gay men and lesbians can respect those who chose to remain closeted.  


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