Sal Mineo: A Biography

By Michael Gregg Michaud

Sal Mineo is maybe so much recognized for his unforgettable, Academy Award–nominated flip contrary James Dean in Rebel with no Cause and his tragic homicide on the age of thirty-seven. ultimately, during this riveting new biography full of particular, candid interviews with either Mineo’s closest male and female enthusiasts and never-before-published pictures, Michael Gregg Michaud tells the whole tale of this striking younger actor’s lifestyles, charting his meteoric upward thrust to reputation and turbulent occupation and personal life.

One of the most well liked stars of the Nineteen Fifties, Mineo grew up because the son of Sicilian immigrants in a humble Bronx flat. yet by way of age 11, he seemed on Broadway in Tennessee Williams’s The Rose Tattoo, after which as Prince Chulalongkorn within the unique Broadway creation of The King and I starring Yul Brynner and Gertrude Lawrence. This sultry-eyed, dark-haired male ingénue of types seemed at the conceal of each significant journal, millions of star-struck fanatics attended his premieres, and thousands acquired his documents, which incorporated numerous top-ten hits.

His existence offstage was once simply as exhilarating: jam-packed with activities vehicles, motor boats, well-known acquaintances, and a few of the main attractive younger actresses in Hollywood. however it was once fourteen-year-old Jill Haworth, his costar in Exodus—the movie that added one of many maximum performing roles of his existence and earned him one other Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe win—with whom he fell in love and moved to the West Coast. yet by way of the Sixties, a sequence missteps and an more and more tumultuous inner most lifestyles reversed his fortunes. 

By the overdue sixties and early seventies, grappling with the repercussions of publicly admitting his homosexuality and suffering to reinvent himself from an getting older youngster idol, Mineo grew to become towards more and more self-destructive habit. but his artistic impulses by no means foundered. He all started directing and generating arguable off-Broadway performs that explored social and sexual taboos. He additionally chanced on own happiness in a dating with male actor Courtney Burr. Tragically, at the cusp of turning a brand new web page in his lifestyles, Mineo’s existence was once minimize brief in a botched robbery.
Revealing an enthralling, mischievous, artistic, and sometimes scandalous aspect of Mineo few have recognized prior to now, Sal Mineo is an intimate, relocating biography of a particular Hollywood superstar.

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Whats up, Natalie! ” he shouted. ‘Hey, Natalie! ’ “He saved pushing humans apart till he received to me. Then he gave me his commonly used greeting, ‘Hi, doll! ” “I advised him he appeared very rushing and good-looking. He stood again to provide me a once-over and, making like a gourmand, he acknowledged, ‘You glance very eu, your self, very stylish, child doll. ’ ” the 2 teenage Oscar-nominated costars have been speedy swarmed through newshounds and studio publicists. Mike used to be requested to step apart as photographers snapped images of a beaming Sal and his mom, and a radiant Natalie wooden and her date, Tab Hunter. Sal acknowledged, “I concept that she was once hoping on my getting it. while she suggestion that i used to be relying on getting it. So we sat there and each from time to time I’d say, ‘You recognize, Ma, there’s a really moderate probability of having it. ’ 5 mins may move by means of and she’d say, ‘You understand, Sal, you shouldn’t positioned your center in this. ’ whilst Eva Marie Saint eventually acknowledged, ‘Now the winner of the simplest assisting Actor of the year,’ I took a deep breath simply because that intended i used to be scared that i'd get it! Then it hit me. It occurred in this kind of break up moment. If i might get that award, whilst Crime within the Streets is published, humans might count on lots of me. while they’d see tremendous they’d anticipate much more. and that i can’t provide it to them. So i used to be demanding hoping that I wouldn’t get it. And whilst she stated, ‘Jack Lemmon,’ I smiled. i used to be so relieved. humans came visiting and stated, ‘Don’t fear. ’ yet i used to be so chuffed approximately it. So relieved. My mom, too. simply because my mom knew that if i'd have got that award I wouldn’t paintings up to i'm now. while you’re an Oscar winner, you do merely convinced television performs and also you do yes images. ” not just did Sal pass domestic empty-handed, neither Dean nor Natalie received that night. After the rite, Mike was once despatched forward to retrieve their motor vehicle as Sal and his mom slowly made their method during the theater foyer. “Each people suggestion the opposite wanted comforting,” Sal recalled. “But then humans began bobbing up and congratulating us. They stated it was once an honor simply being nominated. ‘Look ahead to the subsequent movie,’ they informed me. ‘That’s the key. ’ ” Mike used to be lengthy behind schedule with their motor vehicle, so Sal and his mom took a taxi to the reputable after-party at Romanoff’s eating place in Beverly Hills, the place they have been taken care of to a chic, formal dinner the likes of which Josephine had by no means skilled. They have been rigorously scrutinized through smiling yet treacherous Hollywood columnists who have been either charmed and bemused via their naïve methods. Josephine used to be speechless as a number of the most sensible stars of the day stopped at their desk to congratulate her youngest son and pose for pictures. at the as far back as their inn, they stopped on the Villa Capri in Hollywood for a celebration in honor of James Dean. day after today, Josephine and Mike lower back to long island, and Sal went to Burbank Studios to movie a phase that might be proven on the finish of an upcoming broadcast of Lux Video Theatre to advertise his subsequent movie, Crime within the Streets.

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