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Highlights of Gay History During the 1950s

Broadway Legend Tommy Tune Born (February 28, 1939)

Tommytune Today in 1939 tap dancer/choreographer/director Tommy Tune was born in the north-central Texas town of Wichita Falls.  Of twenty-four persons of note born there (according to Wikipedia) Tune is probably the most famous (followed by TV actress Phylllis Coates who played the original Lois Lane on the Adventures of Superman).  Perhaps Tune's destiny as a Broadway legend was determined by his name (yes, that's his actual last name).  Besides the name, what's also given him distinction is his height - 6'6-1/2".

 

 

Tommy_tune When I was in high school I remember watching Tommy give his acceptance speech for his first Tony Award in 1974 for Seesaw (he's won nine in total).  It was memorable because he made a cutting remark about the folks from his hometown and said it was doubtful anyone there was likely to be watching anyway.  It was probably a relatable moment for many gay men and lesbians who also felt out of place while growing up.  (Tune's 1997 memoir Footnotes is available on Amazon.)  

 

Dayinhollywood_nightintheukraine Myoneandonly I saw a number of shows that TT won Tony's for - A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine (which I saw on New Year's Eve 1980) and Grand Hotel.  I always wanted to see him and Twiggy in My One & Only but never got around to it - the cast album is great.  And I didn't see Will Rogers Follies either.   

 

  

 

He built a beachfront home out at Fire Island Pines in the 1970's, and although he no longer owns it residents there still refer to it as the Tommy Tune house (the way property owned by Calvin Klein still bears his name).

  

Tune shares his birthday with two other show business legends - movie director (and Liza's dad) Vincente Minnelli (1903-1986) and Broadway favorite Bernadette Peters (born in 1948).   

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