Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood documentary star claimed he provided lovers for Cary Grant, Bette Davis, more.
Scotty Bowers — a charismatic pimp who largely serviced classic Hollywood’s closeted LGBTQ community ahead of landing a starring role of his own at the center of a fascinating 2017 documentary — has died at age 96.
Bowers’ official Twitter account confirmed the news Monday, tweeting that the beloved personality died of natural causes at his Laurel Canyon home on Sunday.
As outlined in his 2012 memoir (and director Matt Tyrnauer‘s nonfiction film Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood), Bowers claimed he helped arrange same-sex liaisons for iconic stars like Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Rock Hudson, and more from the 1940s through the 1980s.
Born July 1, 1923 in Ottawa, Illinois, Bowers eventually joined the U.S. Marines before landing a job as an attendant at the Richfield Oil gas station on Hollywood Boulevard in 1946, where he eventually met Canadian Mrs. Miniver actor Walter Pidgeon. The men reportedly began a sexual relationship, which led to Pidgeon setting Bowers up as a go-to pimp for closeted industry figures. Throughout the years, Bowers, who was bisexual (his wife, Lois, died in 2018), claimed to have arranged matches for (or personally slept with) countless stars, directors, and other Hollywood staples, including Cary Grant, Charles Laughton, and Spencer Tracy, among others.
“He turned out to be extremely helpful and necessary member of a very interesting community that by necessity had to be underground and exist in the shadows,” Tyrnauer previously told EW during a 2017 interview. “This was the All-American boy of the 20th century, but [Scotty’s experience] is the part that most of them left out. Scotty is utterly truthful, unabashed, and has a very different way of looking at the world and a very different way of approaching sex and sexuality. He marched to his own drummer — totally unapologetic — and lived to tell his tale.”
Last summer, West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico presented Bowers with a proclamation in honor of his contributions to LGBTQ history.
“It’s very nice to be honored by West Hollywood,” Bowers said at the time, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “I have lived in the area a long time and remember when West Hollywood wasn’t even gay. I may have had a part in inventing the rainbow in West Hollywood and if I did I’m proud of that.”