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.