Famous Hollywood Lavender Marriages

By Karen Harris
Rock Hudson with his bride of three days, former Phyllis Gates, 25, his agent's secretary, prepares to board a Pan American Clipper in Miami, Nov. 11, on the way to a honeymoon in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Source: (gettyimages.com)

During the early days of Hollywood, a gay actor or actress had to keep their sexual preferences hidden for fear of ruining their careers. To give the appearance of being straight—and often at the insistence of their agents or studio—homosexual entertainers would sometimes marry a person of the opposite sex in what was known as a ‘lavender marriage.’ Around the turn of the century, the color lavender was often associated with homosexuality, so the term was adopted by Hollywood to mean cover-up marriages arranged to keep up the façade of heterosexuality. Let’s look at some famous lavender marriages from Hollywood.