Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dirk Bogarde

Dirk Bogarde (1921-1999) made women swoon.

He was once Britain's most famous actor.

In 1939, while working in theatre, Bogarde met Anthony Forwood.

When Forwood's marriage to actress Glynis Johns came to an end, Forewood became Bogarde’s partner.

During the Second World War, Bogarde was decorated for bravery and achieved the rank of major.

During the 1950s, Bogarde starred in a number of films including: Doctor in the House (1954), Doctor at Sea (1955), The Spanish Gardener (1956), Doctor at Large (1957), A Tale of Two Cities (1958), The Doctor's Dilemma.

Bogarde became Britain's leading box-office star.

Dirk Bogarde never married and was reported to be homosexual.[2]

He shared his homes, first in Amersham, England, then in France with Anthony Forwood.

Dirk Bogarde's brother Gareth Van den Bogaerde 'confirmed in a 2004 interview that Bogarde was engaging in homosexual sex at a time when such acts were illegal, and also that his long-term relationship with Tony Forwood was more than simply that of a manager and friend.' [3]

In 1961, Dirk Bogarde played the part of a homosexual barrister in the film Victim.

The barrister has had a relationship with a young man. The barrister takes on a group of blackmailers and thus puts at risk his career and his marriage.

Victim helped lead to the decriminalization of male homosexuality in 1967.

Victim was not shown in many of the larger cinemas and it did put off some of Bogarde's fans. (Dirk Bogarde)

In 1963, Bogarde played the part of the rather gay valet in Joseph Losey's The Servant.

In the mid-1960s, Bogarde moved to Provence in the South of France, where he lived with Tony Forwood.

In 1971, Bogarde played the part of Aschenbach in Luchino Visconti's Death in Venice , based on Thomas Mann's novella. Aschenbach becomes obsessed with a beautiful boy.

Other films include Visconti's The Damned (1969), Liliana Cavani's The Night Porter (1974), and Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Despair (1978).

In the 1980's Bogarde began writing books, both autobiography and novels, the first being A Postillion Struck by Lightning.
Bogarde was knighted in 1992.

He was the first actor to act the part of a sympathetic gay character in British film.

The Official Dirk Bogarde Website

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