“Reel to Real” LGBT History Month exhibit opens at The Hollywood Museum with star-studded event
If I had not been at David Mixner’s show Oh Hell No! on Thursday night then I most certainly would have been at The Hollywood Museum for the unveiling of its exclusive new exhibition – Reel to Real: Portrayals and Perceptions of Gays in Hollywood.
Among the celebrities at the opening night party was five-time Emmy winner Doris Roberts of Everybody Loves Raymond fame.
Roberts told the crowd: “I was once asked if I was gay, and I said ‘No … but, I am a Russian Jew.’”
Out actress Geri Jewell of The Facts of Life fame said when it was her turn at the mic: “Over a decade ago I decided to come out … as someone with Cerebral Palsy.”
After a pause during laughter, she added “Seriously, just as I was born with Cerebral Palsy, I was also born a Lesbian. This has made me a more understanding, caring, and compassionate human being.”
Judy Tenuta, the comic known as the Petite Flower, Love Goddess, and Princess of Pantyshields, said: “I love, love doing shows for my Gays. They are FLAWLESS. The most enthusiastic, and adoring fans ever to appreciate that I even have my own religion: Judyism, and they are the first to worship at my altar! IT COULD HAPPEN!”
This retrospective of LGBT images in film and television throughout the decades runs through July 20
Featured in the collection are photos, costumes, props and iconic imagery from the past and present. Items from Modern Family, Orange Is The New Black, Life Interrupted, Two and a Half Men, Hot In Cleveland, Days Of Our Lives, The Bold and the Beautiful, and Tyler Perry’s The Haves and Have Nots.
Also included are items representing the considerable contributions made to entertainment by out and proud members of the industry including the sheet music for I am What I am by Jerry Herman and costumes from his hit productions, such as LA Cage Aux Folles and Hello Dolly!, costumes worn by such actors as Ramon Navarro (Ben Hur), Rock Hudson (Captain Lightfoot), Agnes Moorehead (Bewitched), and Nathan Lane (Birdcage), Lily Tomlin’s extra large rocking chair from Laugh-In and the walk of fame plaque commemorating the star she shares with her partner, Jane Wagner.
There are also dresses by designers Nolan Miller, Bob Mackie and the late creator of the Best and Worst Dressed List, Mr. Blackwell and his life partner of 59 years, R. L. Spencer.
Photo credits: Bill Dow