Book: Merv Griffin Slept With James Dean, Rock Hudson, Liberace, Marlon Brando
[ Source: National Enquirer, June 1 print edition ]
Rock Hudson, Liberace and Marlon Brando were just a few of Merv Griffin's gay lovers, according to a shocking new biography of the King of Television.
The just-released book "Merv Griffin: A Life in the Closet" details the incredibly active - but very secret - love life of the multitalented entertainment mogul, who was determined to stay in the closet to preserve his clean-cut image.
"Merv didn't want the disgrace that Liberace and Rock Hudson suffered through when they got AIDS," a publishing source told The Enquirer.
"He worked too hard to create 'Merv Griffin the star' to let the reality of his personal life interfere with the Hollywood image he desperately trued to sustain until his dying day."
A former big band singer and actor, Merv launched his talk show in 1962 and later parlayed his game shows "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune" into a billion-dollar TV empire.
While Merv had the reputation of being "every mother's favorite son-in-law" and may have appeared uncontroversial to some 20 million viewers per day, it was an open secret in Hollywood that he was gay.
When he moved to Hollywood, he set his sights on the bug screen's leading men, according to the book, and his sexual partners were said to include Rock Hudson, Roddy McDowall and Gordan Scott, who played Tarzan at the time.
The book claims he was a regular at the all-male orgies staged by his best friend and lover Liberace in Palm Springs.
The book also reveals that Merv slept with "Rebel Without a Cause" heartthrob James Dean, film legend Montgomery Clift and Kennedy in-law Peter Lawford.
In yet another stunner, the book claims Griffin - who died in 2007 at age 82 - carried on a longtime affair with Hollywood heavyweight Marlon Brando.
"Their prolonged sexual affair began when Merv encountered Brando in an alley in New York's theatre district where he was polishing his motorcycle while acting in 'A Streetcar Named Desire' on Broadway," the source said.
In the '70s, a gay male porn star named Cal Culver, who died of AIDS in 1987, fed Merv's sexual appetite, according to the book, written by celeb biographer Darwin Porter.
"After sleeping with Merv, Cal became his 'pimp,' supplying him with a virtual male harem of aspiring actors, models and porn stars," the publishing source divulged.
According to the book, Merv once told Liberace: "You and I have tasted the best that life has to offer, even if we had to spend our lives in the closet. And what we did in private was our own (expletive deleted) business."
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