Because this year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Oscar-winning actor Burt Lancaster we can expect a slew of fulsome tributes to his acting talents and his always superb physique. UCLA has already started a Lancaster centennial retrospective at the Hammer Museum which runs until the end of June.
But it is unlikely we will hear much about his humanity and decency because according to those who knew him he was an intimidating and bullying cross-dresser
who liked to play cruel tricks.
According to Kate Buford's biography Burt Lancaster---A Life, the star of movies such as The Crimson Pirate, Elmer Gantry, From Here to Eternity and The Sweet Smell of Success loved to go to bars dressed like a woman and hit on men, taking them home and then revealing his manhood.
According to a close friend he also liked to go to Rock Hudson's notorious gay orgies with U.S Marines, show off his toned physique to gay admirers and get a kick out of not letting them have him.
When asked point blank if he had participated in Hudson's gay orgies, Lancaster denied it, telling a pal: "I go to the opera too, but I don't sing."
Three-times married, Lancaster died in his Century City apartment in 1994 aged 80 after several heart attacks.