Darwin Porter on Charles Starrett

August 1, 2008

Author Darwin Porter likes to dish on the old timey movie stars.  He has taken over where Kenneth Anger left off, literally – he co-wrote “Hollywood Babylon: It’s Back!”  His subjects generally turn out to be bi-sexual and sleeping with everyone.

In his 2005 book, “Howard Hughes: Hell’s Angel”, Howard Hughes turns out to be bi-sexual and sleeping with everyone.  The book contains one page on Charles Starrett and it is salacious.

According to Porter, Starrett caught Hughes’ eye when he appeared in “Damaged Love” with Hughes’ former flame, June Collyer.  Directing this 1931 film was Irvin Willat, who was the ex-husband of Hughes’ current flame and live-in girlfriend, Billie Dove.  Irvin was a tyrannical director and, according to Porter, Starrett punched him in the nose.  That endeared him to Hughes who signed him to star in “The Age Of Love” opposite Dove.

Porter quotes “The Age Of Love” director Frank Lloyd (deceased 1960), saying that Hughes had the hots for Charles (deceased 1986), that Charles was in a pickle because he was not gay but didn’t want to piss off a big producer like Hughes (deceased 1976).  Lloyd is quoted as saying that Hughes got his way and he and Charles spent a number of weekend getaways together.

Porter also claims that Starrett slept with “Fast And Loose” co-star Carole Lombard (deceased 1942) who bragged about his sexual prowess.  Starrett is also linked to Miriam Hopkins (deceased 1972) who wanted to bed him, but he blew her off.

Porter quotes (but doesn’t attribute source) Charles himself, late in life, speaking bitterly about Hughes’ reputation as a ladies man.

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3 Responses to “Darwin Porter on Charles Starrett”

  1. Peter Valenti said

    Another good source for credible Starrett info is the chapter in James Horwitz, _They Went Thataway_, long out of print but available through interlibrary loan or one of the used book services.
    Thanks for posting all the comments on Starrett and Durango.

  2. The Horowitz book contains a short interview the author did with Starrett at a restaurant near the Starrett home in Long Beach. Comic strip publisher Bill Black, a longtime Starrett fan, also did an interview in 1973 in a special issue of his Paragon Magazine. Both of them are a lot more credible than a gossip mongrel like Darwin Porter. I’m surprized you gave him that much space on this blog.

  3. Paul said

    I don’t know about much of anything, but I do know this; if anyone wrote a book on Darwin Porter. We’d hear all the same stuff he wrote about others. Who really cares about this garbage. It is people who have no life of their own who read and take in this junk.

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