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Cukor And Spice

December 29, 1991

Gregg Kilday's excellent review did omit one facet of Cukor's culturally induced self-loathing: his discomfort over his Jewishness.

In my book "Conversation With My Elders" (published in 1987), I asked Mr. Cukor what was his religion? Being myself half-Jewish, I inquired, "Are you Jewish?" His reply: "I'm an American."

Throughout our interviews, he shied away from his gayness or Jewish heritage. A product of his times and of the studio system--to which Jews and gays could contribute but not be acknowledged as such--Cukor was terrified of his other-ness. He felt it would prejudice his peers and the public.

How sad that the truth most often can only be revealed posthumously, that reality chooses to take a back seat to mindless conformity.

BOZE HADLEIGH, BEVERLY HILLS

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