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Scottish comedy star Stanley Baxter turned out to be gay, aged 94, in his biography The Real Stanley Baxter, says The National newspaper. In the book, written over 20 years by Glasgow journalist Brian Beacom, Baxter talks about his complicated marriage to Moira and when his wife, who suffered from mental illness, committed suicide while he was working abroad.
The biography was conceived as a spoiler for an unofficial revelation that Baxter feared would be released and would be detained until after his death, before he changed his mind.
He details his beginnings as a child prepared for the stage by his mother and documents his long career on stage and on screen through The Stanley Baxter Show, Mr Majeika, panto and more.
“There are a lot of gays today who are quite comfortable with their sexuality, quite happy with who they are”, says Baxter. “I’m not. I never wanted to be gay. I still don’t know. The truth is, I really don’t want to be me.”
During his career, Baxter worked with many celebrities of his time, from Bing Crosbie to Rikki Fulton and Julie Christie to Leslie Phillips, rubbing his shoulders with Eartha Kitt and building a fan base including luminaries like Billy Connolly thanks to Tarzan’s cute kids. Liberace and sketches like the much-loved Glasgow Parliamo, which exhibited western Scottish humor.
But he has given few interviews over the decades, afraid of what people might think of him. In the preface, he explains: “Not all of my relations with the press in Scotland have been highly satisfactory, but one of them was and is with the man I chose to write my biography. He not only wishes me good wishes, but also my gratitude. ”
He and his close friend Kenneth Williams, who died of an overdose in 1988, are said to be “united by their hatred of sexual preference and the feeling of being trapped”.
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