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View Full Version : The trashiest thread I've ever posted: help identify this lesbian


Sampiro
11-12-2003, 12:20 PM
I hate myself at least a little for posting this, but it's been driving me nuts.

I just read Rita Mae Brown's autobiography Rita Will (http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0553378260/qid=1068657661//ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i2_xgl14/102-6890409-9967351?v=glance&s=books&n=507846) (which I don't recommend- she's a self-exonerating insensitive egomaniac who for all her literary pretensions resorts to the old "screw n' tell" formula to sell copy). When discussing her late 1970s-early 1980s relationship with Fannie Flagg, she mentions Flagg's earlier live-in lover. She calls her Katie O'Reilly but points out this isn't her real name and gives these hints as to her personality:

-She's a blonde actress with a "heart shaped face" who was around 40 in the late 1970s (b. ca. 1935-1940)

-She was on a long running TV show prior to the mid-70s but left it for a "prominent role in a major movie", after which her career dried up

-She was back on TV in the late 1990s

-She was never married and while not exactly openly gay never lied about her sexuality

-She's described as very intelligent and very kind

-She's of Irish ancestry


Scurrilous as it is, I've been trying to figure it out. I can think of several people who match a few but nobody who matches all. Best bets:

Lily Tomlin (left LAUGH IN for NASHVILLE then had a career slump and was on Murphy Brown in the late 1990s; certainly seems intelligent but she's not blonde or beautiful and I think she was already with Jane Wagner in the late 1970s)

Estelle Parsons- she had a prominent role in Bonnie & Clyde then lots of nothing, and she was on a TV series in the late 1960s (Roseanne), but I don't know of any previous TV work. The imdb doesn't tell if she's ever been married.

Polly Holliday- was in a character role in some major movies, left ALICE and was on TV in the late 1990s; she'is attractive and never married, but the timing is off.


Of course, also always the chance that Brown may have lied about one or more of the clues as a red herring. Still, any clues?

bienville
11-13-2003, 08:23 AM
THIS IS NOT THE PERSON!!!!!

But just for the sake of playing the game (I like to be trashy too!):

Florence Henderson

-Blonde, Heart-Shaped Face, Born 1934

-Long-running T.V. show prior to the mid-seventies: Brady Bunch 1969-74

-Left for “prominent movie role”: sorry, I got nothing for this one.

-Back on T.V. in the late nineties: A few Brady reunions/ failed spin-offs throughout the 90’s, lots of guest-star spots, Later Today (http://imdb.com/title/tt0211818/) (one season)

-Married twice (to men!) four kids (presumably from heterosexual intercourse but I’m not jumping to any conclusions).

-I’ve never met her but I’ve heard her described as both intelligent and kind

-I don’t know whether or not she’s got any Irish in her.

DeadlyAccurate
11-13-2003, 09:35 AM
Originally posted by Sampiro
(which I don't recommend- she's a self-exonerating insensitive egomaniac who for all her literary pretensions resorts to the old "screw n' tell" formula to sell copy).

And she's the shittiest dialogue writer I've ever read. I didn't know she wrote anything but the Sneaky Pie Brown novels, which are all I've read, but when I first started to get serious about writing, she was the first author I read that had to go. Her dialogue is the worst, and I was literally throwing the book across the room when I realized how bad it was.

Sorry, don't have a clue who she's talking about, though.

Annie-Xmas
11-13-2003, 10:18 AM
Except for her age, this describes Barbara Stanwyck.

Sampiro
11-13-2003, 10:28 AM
Originally posted by DeadlyAccurate
...when I first started to get serious about writing, she was the first author I read that had to go. Her dialogue is the worst, and I was literally throwing the book across the room when I realized how bad it was.

For me that was Anne Rice; how she's sold 100 million books I'll never know. (OTOH, Fannie Flagg has one of the best ears for dialogue since Flannery O'Connor.)

Eats_Crayons
11-13-2003, 11:49 AM
Not the person but I wanna play too!

Kate Mulgrew is Irish Catholic, has a heart shaped face, was in her 30s (not 40s) by the mid 1970s. Was on "Ryan's Hope" and did the "Mrs. Columbo" stuff in the 1970s. Then did not have any really significant roles (but was working plenty) until she got the role of Capt. Janeway on "Voyager" in the 90s.

Alas, not blond and I can't really think of a filmatic "prominent role." Oh, and I think she was formerly married. (So that definitely takes her out of the running if the mystery woman was "never married".)

Innanna
11-13-2003, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by Eats_Crayons
Not the person but I wanna play too!

Kate Mulgrew is Irish Catholic, has a heart shaped face, was in her 30s (not 40s) by the mid 1970s. Was on "Ryan's Hope" and did the "Mrs. Columbo" stuff in the 1970s. Then did not have any really significant roles (but was working plenty) until she got the role of Capt. Janeway on "Voyager" in the 90s.

Alas, not blond and I can't really think of a filmatic "prominent role." Oh, and I think she was formerly married. (So that definitely takes her out of the running if the mystery woman was "never married".)

She's married now--an Ohio politian named Tim Hagan, who ran for gov. of Ohio in 2002.

about the marrige: http://totallykate.com/plaindel.htm

Eve
11-13-2003, 01:42 PM
Hmmm . . . Linda Evans?

Eve
11-13-2003, 01:46 PM
Oooh—Donna Douglas? They're both Southern . . .

SkeptiJess
11-13-2003, 02:32 PM
I read that book and hated it! It's the only one of Brown's books I've read and, frankly, it didn't show me much. What pissed me off was Brown's implying that she ghost wrote Flagg's first book. My response upon reading that, was to think: "Sure, honey -- dyslexic or not, Fannie Flagg can write circles around you!"

As for the mystery lady -- well, my first thought was Joan Blondell. She had a movie career, then did TV in the late '60s - early '70s (Here Come the Brides). I didn't know her age, nor her sexual preference, nor anything else about her, but the description in the book just put me in mind of her.

Well, I just did a little research and I was totally barking up the wrong tree with Miss Blondell... She was too old (born in '06 I was surprised to see) and died too early (in 1979) to be the mystery lady. She did have blond hair and a heart-shaped face, though, and a warm and friendly on-screen persona -- I suppose that's why I thought of her. Here (http://geocities.com/Hollywood/Hills/2440/jb1.jpg) she is in a cute shot from the early days of her career. Isn't she adorable?

No Me Ayudes Compadre
11-13-2003, 02:48 PM
Donna Douglas was my first guess too, but she's been married twice. Second guess was Barbara Eden, but she's also been married. Third guess was Shirley Hemphill, but she was born too late.

Maybe one of the Petticoat Junction girls?

Eats_Crayons
11-13-2003, 02:57 PM
Originally posted by Innanna
She's married now--an Ohio politian named Tim Hagan, who ran for gov. of Ohio in 2002.

about the marrige: http://totallykate.com/plaindel.htm Hence, I said it takes her out of the running. The mystery woman was never married, and Mulgrew was married a long time ago (though that one didn't last). I didn't know she'd remarried, but my original observation remains.

El Mariachi that's what I was thinking too. It's hard to tell though exactly what is meant by "long running series" and if her role was a big one on it.

I'm thinking that something like the hair colour was a red herring to throw folks off the scent. Or perhaps it was "Spanish descent" instead of "Irish" or some similar switcheroo to confuse us.

Sampiro
11-13-2003, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by El Mariachi Loco
Third guess was Shirley Hemphill, but she was born too late.

Shirley Hemphill and Fannie Flagg.. thank you for that charming image. I'll have to do something for you one day (and it may involve invoking a mental image of Sammy Davis Jr. and Buddy Hackett in a dinner theater production of DELIVERANCE).

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Jess
What pissed me off was Brown's implying that she ghost wrote Flagg's first book.

Especially when the book was based on Flagg's aunt and appeared a decade after they broke up. I was also pissed at her continual assertions that "Fannie is the person I love the most" and "Fannie is as much a sister as a lover" and blah blah mingled with stories about how "Fannie isn't secure enough to be openly gay". Okay, if you love somebody so much and you know that they don't want to be outed, why do you out them? Plus, every bad thing that has ever happened in her life was the result of somebody else's stupidity, every break up was because of the other person's immaturity, every screenplay that didn't work was because of the director or actor, etc.- just a very "I'm so wonderful it's a shame that more aren't me" piece of crap.

Eve
11-13-2003, 03:08 PM
Oooh, oooh—Tuesday Weld?

kunilou
11-13-2003, 03:22 PM
Except for the blond hair, it sounds a lot like Sheila James (Kuehl). She's about the right age (b. 1941), had a role in a long-running TV show (Dobie Gillis), and while she did not leave the show for a movie role, she had been slated for a spin-off, but that show didn't get off the drawing board. She later appeared in a couple of Dobie Gillis sequels.

She's extremely intelligent, having taught law. I don't know if she's a nice person, but why not?

The only reason I'm even mentioning this is because Sheila James is now openly gay. I have heard her say in interviews that she kept that a secret while she was working on Dobie Gillis, but I don't know when she came out, or, for that matter, if she ever had a live-in partner.

dropzone
11-13-2003, 03:55 PM
I've heard Sheila James interviewed and she comes across as a very nice person.

Max Carnage
11-13-2003, 06:28 PM
Fannie Flagg is gay? Damn, there go my chances of hittin' that.

Really, I think she was a hottie on Match Game, and she's a great Southern personality!

Krisfer the Cat
11-13-2003, 08:18 PM
*snicker*

You should try world history according to Rita Mae and Jessica Salmondsen( no they didn't write a book together)... I fell over laughing at assertions of past female equality during the early Medieval Period. My favorite was about a condotteiri troop of some 12 THOUSAND women! Honey there werent 12, 000 women in France at one time during the Middle Ages. Much less ones that were professional soldiers.

as far as the OP goes.. I dunno.. Lassie?:D

widdershins
11-13-2003, 10:00 PM
I think Eve is funning us.

Linda Evans married twice. To John Derek and later Stan Herman.

Tuesday Weld. Married three times. Claude Harz, Dudley Moore, then Pincas Zukerman.

Governor Quinn
11-13-2003, 10:52 PM
It can't be Kuehl, as she hasn't acted in the late 1990's (she's been in the California Legislature since 1994), and, as far as I know, hasn't appeared in any major films.

Askance
11-13-2003, 11:05 PM
... there werent 12, 000 women in France at one time during the Middle Ages ...

What?!?

Governor Quinn
11-13-2003, 11:35 PM
This is pre-emptive, not because anyone suggested her:

Can't be Loretta Swit, the ethnic origin is wrong, Loretta was married, and she hasn't done any TV work lately.

SnoopyFan
11-14-2003, 01:38 AM
I'd say Lily Tomlin, except she's brunette.

Lily, btw, once had ties to my hometown. She gave the local nursing home a lot of money for stuff they needed because like, her aunt was living there.

widdershins
11-14-2003, 09:22 PM
Can't believe I'm still following this.....

I would guess Jaye P. Morgan but she's brunette and the years don't match up.

Same for Joey Heatherton. She has been married, and never really came back to TV in the 1990s.

WAG: Heather MacRae, Meredith MacRae's sister?

kawliga
11-15-2003, 03:38 AM
Could it be Susan Flannery?
She had a major role on "Days of Our Lives" in the late 60s - early to mid 70s, left the show to appear in "The Towering Inferno", was back doing soaps in the 90s. "Inferno" was her only major movie credit. She's blond, Irish, and, according to TV TOME, openly lesbian.

kung fu lola
11-15-2003, 03:58 AM
Maybe Cybill Shepherd?

She had a tv show in the late '90's (which I loved, btw), and she's been rumoured to have dalliances with women. Don't know about the rest, though.

Hilarity N. Suze
11-15-2003, 04:15 AM
If only she could be Swedish. Maybe The Farmer's Daughter? (http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0828447/)

Other than not being Irish . . . she fits . . .

Miller
11-15-2003, 04:21 AM
So, I take it I'm not alone in thinking Rubyfruit Jungle was an inexcusably wretched novel?

sugaree
11-15-2003, 09:23 AM
Originally posted by kung fu lola
Maybe Cybill Shepherd?

She had a tv show in the late '90's (which I loved, btw), and she's been rumoured to have dalliances with women. Don't know about the rest, though.

Nope, Cybill started out in movies and only began working in television in the 80s. Plus, she's been married and has had high-profile romances with men; plus, she's too young to fit the profile.

ruadh
11-15-2003, 05:03 PM
Originally posted by Miller
So, I take it I'm not alone in thinking Rubyfruit Jungle was an inexcusably wretched novel?

No, you're not.

kawliga
11-15-2003, 05:11 PM
Originally posted by Cicada2003
If only she could be Swedish. Maybe The Farmer's Daughter? (http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0828447/)

Other than not being Irish . . . she fits . . .

Other than not being Irish, and dying in 1970...she fits...

Hilarity N. Suze
11-15-2003, 05:40 PM
Originally posted by kawliga
Other than not being Irish, and dying in 1970...she fits...

:smack:

McJohn
11-15-2003, 08:08 PM
I'm sorry, I cannot resist the opportunity to trash Rita Mae. As a lesbian author, she makes a great spokesmodel. But her writing is execrable. (If she happens to be reading this, by chance, here's a hint: you can look up "execrable" in the dictionary.) In the wide, diverse lesbian community, one thing unites the tweedy set, the Doc Martens crowd, the activists, and the glamour girls: complete and utter mortification that Rita Mae Brown is considered a lesbian writer.

I do owe her my own budding writing career: I was damned if I was gonna go to my grave having the world think My People were represented by the likes of Rita Mae Brown. It's like judging all straight writers by Erica Jong.

SkeptiJess
11-15-2003, 09:39 PM
Wow, it looks like kawliga got it in one.

Upon reading his (her?) post, I decided that Susan was a pretty good guess. Kawliga doesn't mention it, but she even has the right looks to be the mystery woman -- very pretty with a heart-shaped face and blonde hair. She is a tiny bit young to match the exact details (Flannery was born in 1943 and is only a year older than Flagg). Still, she would have been in her late-30s, anyway, during the period Brown covers in the book and that's close enough to 40 to suit me. So, I Googled "'Fannie Flagg' 'Susan Flannery'" and found this site (http://celebrityrash.com/brush/#FF) on which a person lists his (her?) brushs with famous people. Apparently this person visited Flannery and Flagg in their home when he/she was a child. There we are -- mystery solved. Ain't the internet a wonder?

Sampiro
11-16-2003, 08:22 PM
Give Kawliga a platter of Fried Green Tomatoes! Thanks!

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