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Those you do see are predominantly from local businesses promoting local services. These adverts enable local businesses to get in front of their target audience — the local community. It is important that we continue to promote these adverts as our local businesses need as much support as possible during these challenging times. His biographer Brian Beacom examines why the brilliant Scots entertainer with a thousand faces refused to show his real one to the world. His performance of Eager Young Husband was the worst he would give in his life.
Stanley would indeed come to regret it for the rest of his life. Why did Stanley agree to marry Moira? The dark, often highly dramatic script of their life together began when he ed the Citz in , shortly after being demobbed. Stanley walked through the doors of the Gorbals theatre and into theatre heaven, loving this avant-garde world populated by the likes of Sybil Thorndyke and Duncan Macrae. He had indeed dreamed of being a professional actor since appearing on stage as a seven-year-old at local talent contests.
By the age of 14 when he became radio star he knew where his destiny lay. And by the time the then-teenager landed a place in the entertainment corps during his National Service years, Stanley was convinced that acting was his destiny. But in ing the Citz and aiming for the stars however small his initial parts were as an Assistant Stage Manager the young actor realised his sexuality could prove to be his downfall. I felt vulnerable. I felt I had to be very careful not to allow anyone a glimpse of my predilection.
And then he met Moira, this soft-spoken chic young woman with the Bette Davis eyes. The pair developed a closeness that meant when they weren't working they enjoyed a movie or dinner together. However, it was Moira who was determined to take the relationship to the next stage. In fact, Mum showed her disapproval of Moira right from the start. Stanley agrees. There was a sort of obsession. Stanley and Moira worked on a range of productions at the Citz together but the spring of saw the company move down to Ayr for the summer season and Stanley and Moira had lots of fun together.
Stanley was up for the challenge. But it was a whole new experience. The more I got to know of her I realised she was a lovely person, a woman of enormous heart. Yet, the relationship was doomed from the start. Stanley knew he was gay. Experiences in the Far East during his concert party stint confirmed to the Scot where his heart lay. Early on, Stanley had hinted at his preference to Moira. But she ignored the s. Stanley weighed up what this all meant. Should he push aside the attention of this attractive, classy young woman? Yet, I had all sorts of excuses for developing a relationship.
He was also aware of the need to have a cover. In , it was illegal to be gay and entrapment of homosexual men by covert police officers was common. Alec Guinness and John Gielgud had both been charged with Importuning. Gay men up and down the UK lived in constant fear of having their careers and lives wrecked. The critics loved it.
But unknown to the world, Granny and the eponymous hero had decided to marry. However, Moira was very, very upset. Then one night she invited me for my favourite spaghetti up to her little rented flat at 65 Clouston Street and I was seduced back into bed again.
The appetite sated, Stanley reckoned the only way to break off the relationship once and for all was to be entirely honest with Moira. This would be NO life for you, married to someone who is essentially and primarily homosexual! Moira's reaction was surprising, even to those who knew how liberal she was.
I don't think you know what you're talking about and I don't think you realise that the future will be bleak for you and difficult for me. Stanley was adamant. He told Moira the relationship was over. For good. Stanley was terrified. His heart raced as he rushed towards her and pulled her back.
Moira wrote him a very sane and balanced letter. It said, words to the effect of, 'I'll let you off if you don't want to marry me'. He had his chance to make a clean break, to move on alone. And he turned it down. But of course I should have been stronger. It was real weakness on my part. It was more than weakness. It was absolutely selfish. Kenneth Williams certainly thought so.
Williams believed Stanley to be taking advantage of Moira and a traitor to the cause. And why shouldn't he? After all, the pair had spent endless hours discussing sexuality, preferences and honesty. Kenneth asked Stanley what future he could expect if he married Moira Robertson. Stanley asked the same question of himself — but pushed the answer aside. If she did, she never let on.
And she never knew of the window ledge incident. He reckoned it would at least a few years before the couple arrived at Wedding Central. But just weeks later he realised he had boarded a runaway train. Fred Baxter, knowing his son was unconvincing in the role of Happy Groom, attempted a last-minute derailment. We hope you've really thought about how important it is. If it doesn't work out, you just get divorced and you move on. The following Monday, the Scottish Daily Express wrote of the 'quiet' wedding. She then went to their new Glasgow flat to cook spaghetti for his supper.
The honeymoon night — predictably — was a disaster. But it was because I knew I'd made the biggest mistake of my life. What could he do? He had to get on with it, focus on finishing the last 10 days of the panto season — and his last 10 days at the Citz. He had to get on with his life. In , Stanley realised the writing was on the wall for variety theatre in Scotland and moved to London.
But had Moira truly leapt at the idea of leaving Glasgow and friends and family behind? Just a couple of years later he landed a five-picture deal with Rank Films. Stanley reckoned his wife's place was in the home. I shouldn't have done, but I did. It was all very selfish of me and a bit macho. She now had to be a housewife, which she found very frustrating.
And although she was a good cook, she wasn't very good at washing. The pulleys were always full of stuff. Moira was more Dora from David Copperfield than Glaswegian domestic goddess. Now, Stanley admits another reason why he felt Moira should remain at home. Two years into the marriage, relations with Moira were "fine", but the sex was dwindling.
After all, she was with the man she adored. And Stanley noticed her little eccentricities, her remoteness, her rejection of life's boring rituals of cleaning, cooking, washing laundry, had become more pronounced. In January, , he was focused hard on his career. Bringing the very best to his latest film role, Crooks Anonymous, starring alongside Julie Christie and Leslie Philips. One night on his way home he was arrested after being entrapped by North London police in a toilet and charged with Importuning. Stanley managed to survive the threat to his career — just — and Moira, as expected stood by her man.
She became disruptive. She would turn up at the stage door in Glasgow, unannounced. She once flew to Belfast to be "reunited with the spirit of [theatre director] Tyronne Guthrie. Moira tried to take her own life on two occasions. And it worked. And as the years progressed, the medicated Moira and Stanley became close again. They would meet for lunch every day. Tragically, however, in , the year Princess Diana died, Moira took her own life. Unknown to Stanley, Moira had ditched her medication and the demons raged again. Should I have taken her to Cyprus?
Would it have happened anyway? And I did love her deeply, in my own way. We may then apply our discretion under the user terms to amend or delete comments. Post moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Last Updated:. Stanley Baxter: Actor's secret gay life — and the woman who paid the price 7. News Stanley Baxter: Actor's secret gay life — and the woman who paid the price. See photos images. Stanley Baxter: Actor's secret gay life — and the woman who paid the price Stanley Baxter collects.
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Stanley Baxter: Actor's secret gay life – and the woman who paid the price