“Last Night” of a Legend: Mickey Rooney and Rod Serling Reply

Originally posted on Shadow & Substance:

“I want to be big!” thunders Michael Grady in Rod Serling’s “The Last Night of a Jockey.”

An ironic line, as it turns out. Grady, a horse jockey who’s been blackballed for a variety of racing infractions, is a small man who, by the episode’s end, gets his wish in the most literal way. Hello, Twilight Zone.


And goodbye, Mickey Rooney, the man who brought Grady to raw, sputtering life in a high-octane performance that few other actors would even attempt. He’d become big long before there was a Twilight Zone. Only five feet, two inches tall, Rooney stood considerably higher in the pantheon of golden-era film stars.

A legend? Let’s put it this way: News of Rooney’s death at 93 on April 6, 2014, prompted more than one shocked fan on Twitter to note that it somehow felt too soon.

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Casa Susanna: Photographs From a 1950s Transvestite Hideaway Reply

Originally posted on LightBox:

“I never stopped to think what a heterosexual transvestite was,” admitted Tony award-winning writer and actor Harvey Fierstein in a recent, wide-ranging discussion with LightBox about his new play,  Casa Valentina, and the powerful real-life photos that inspired it

Based on the story of Casa Susanna — a little-known refuge for heterosexual transvestites in the 1950s and early 1960s in the Catskills, New York – Casa Valentina tells a very Fiersteinian tale of people searching out their true selves against a backdrop of both unconditional fellowship and stark intolerance.

The images seen here were discovered about a decade ago at a Manhattan flea market by an antiques dealer, Robert Swope, and the collection was later published in the book, Casa Susanna (powerHouse, 2005). Today, the photographs are all that remain of Susanna – once called the Chevalier d’Eon, after an 18th-century crossdresser and spy.

The photos document the secret lives of men dressing as women and who…

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