From The Catholic Thing
In 1892, a theater-loving woman named Mabelle Webb moved to New York with her three-year-old boy, contemptuously dismissing the father of the child, a mere railroad ticket clerk. “He didn’t care for the theater,” she said, and she kept him from playing any role in her son’s life, refusing even his surname. She put the boy in the way of show business from the start, training him in music and dance. He left school at thirteen to enter the theater, eventually becoming a mainstay of Hollywood, playing characters similar to himself, sophisticated, condescending, and prissy. He was always her “little Webb.” Notoriously overbearing, she lived with him until her death at age 91. They were smotheringly close. After she died, he let his health go to ruin from grief. He had never married, but had carried on a discreet homosexual life, with mother’s complaisance.
Clifton Webb was born that way.
In 1934, an exceptionally handsome thirteen-year-old boy was haunting about a London cinema house, watching horror films. His happy home had been broken when he was young, by a working arrangement that kept his father in the city while the son was raised by his sister and his nanny, and later by an aunt. He was vulnerable, and a young medical student noticed it. After they watched a movie about a mummy, the student invited him back to his flat, saying that he could give him an experience of mummification, if he was interested.
The boy agreed. He wrote later in his biography that he did not then “know” what life was about. The student gave him a drugged drink, stripped him naked, and bound him in bandages and tape from his toes to his face, leaving only his genitals free. Then he took a cold knife and laid it across the genitals, whispering into his ear that he could kill him or mutilate him now, but of course he wouldn’t, that wasn’t what he wanted. The boy’s heart raced for terror. He thought he was going to die. The student had his way with him, untaped him, and let him put his clothes on and get lost. “At last I knew,” he wrote, thirty years later. He would never marry. He entered show business, and tried to have an affair with an actress or two, but it never lasted. Instead he settled into a life with another man.
Dirk Bogarde was born that way. (Read the rest here....)