Here are 9 LGBTQ+ directors from Old Hollywood and the lives they lived
Jean Cocteau (born July 5, 1889 – Died: October 11, 1963), French poet, artist, illustrator, playwright, author, critic and director who never stopped creating in different artistic fields. Cocteau was part of the avant-garde, Dadaist and surrealist artistic movements, but he was also a filmmaker. He made the black and white classic “Beauty and the Beast” in 1940, but made his first feature film in 1930. Cocteau always considered himself a poet.
Although he never fully acknowledged it, Cocteau wrote “Le Livre Blanc” or “Le Livre Blanc”, which many consider an admission of his orientation as a homosexual, but which one author, Rictor Norton , considers as a treatise on homophobia. Cocteau included “The White Book” in his official bibliography which was part of his set of “Complete Works”. Like Arzner, Cukor and Whale, Cocteau lived his life as an LGBTQ+ artist like an open secret. Her longtime lovers were Jean Marais and Édouard Dermit. Jean Marais was considered Cocteau’s muse and starred in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘The Two-Headed Eagle’, after Cocteau discovered him working in a play.
Cocteau came to filmmaking, like so many others on this list, through theater as a playwright. His game “Orpheus” is his first complete work of theater and goes on stage in 1926 and he writes the libretto of the opera-oratorio of Igor Stravinsky, “Oedipus Rex”. Four years later, Cocteau directed his first surrealist feature film, “Le sang d’un poete”. “Beauty and the Beast” will follow in 1946. Cocteau is credited with 11 films, some of which are lost or unpublished such as “Jean Cocteau approaches the year 2000”, “Testament of Orpheus”, “Les Parents Terribles”, according to his own parents, and “The Two-Headed Eagle”.
He was a fan of the film “Fireworks” by Kenneth Anger. He introduced avant-garde concepts to French filmmakers through his work and wrote and directed a total of six films, while serving as a Red Cross ambulance driver during World War I and all his other achievements.