CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Scotty of the title “Scotty and Secret History of Hollywood” is Scotty Bowers, a former pimp and prostitute to the stars of 1950s Tinseltown.
The documentary is based on Bowers’ 2012 tell-all book “Full Service.” Bowers claims to have the names of all the closeted gay movie stars in Hollywood from that era. He says Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy were just covering for each other. Cary Grant lived with his alleged boyfriend Randolph Scott in an apartment for three years. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor — yep, them too.
He names Charles Laughton, Walter Pidgeon and Lana Turner as leading secret sex lives.
Here’s how Bowers says he got started. After serving as a Marine in World War II, he returned to California, working at a gas station near the movie studios in Hollywood. He got to know some of the actors who stopped in for petrol and turned a few tricks for extra money.
Word got around that you could get more than your car serviced at the gas station (there was a trailer with several bedrooms around back), and before long, Bowers had an active and lucrative enterprise going. He was getting more business than he could handle and sought the help of several gay friends to keep his customers happy.
He claims that Cole Porter once requested the company of 15 men at once.
Bowers, now 95, tells his tales with naughty enthusiasm; he lives with his wife, Lois, who refuses to read his book or acknowledge his past life.
There are two ways to take this movie and Bowers’ past. The way he tells it, he was just making oppressed people happy in a sexually hypocritical era. The other way is that Bowers is outing and profiting off dead people who can’t tell their own stories.
There’s no denying that the movie has a salacious and somewhat seedy appeal. “Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood” is the very definition of a guilty pleasure.