Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sal Mineo

Thank you for all the kind words of support last week. I'll definitely keep you updated on what goes on.

It has been annoying being without internet these days. To keep from being bored, I have been watching a lot of movies.

One of my favorite films since high school has been Rebel Without a Cause.

This is a film you simply have to see at least once. There are no excuses.

While James Dean arguably has the most interesting life story in Hollywood history, I'm going to skip him and focus instead on his co-star, Sal Mineo. Because Sal has quite a disturbing tale of his own.



Sal played the troubled and homosexually-charged best friend to James Dean's character in the film.



Born to Italian casket-makers in The Bronx, he grew up in a rough neighborhood. By the time he was 8-years-old, he was the member of a much-feared street gang. After being arrested for robbery at age 10, his exasperated mother gave him a choice: go to juvie or go to acting school. Obviously, Sal chose the latter.



As a teenager during the 1950s, Sal broke into showbiz and made a few good films. But then Rebel Without a Cause came along. The film changed his life.



Sal soon found himself an international teenage heartthrob. He received more than 2,000 fan letters from adoring teenage girls every day. He basked in his newfound fame and couldn't believe his luck.



He milked his "troubled teen" image and played the same type of character in every movie offered to him. He even released an album of love songs, which did pretty well on the top 40 charts. He spent money like a billionaire, buying extremely lavish gifts for all his friends. He showed up to all the hottest parties with a bevvy of gorgeous starlets on each arm.



It was a dream life. But he was about to wake up.



When the 1960s came along, a grown-up Sal suddenly found himself unwanted. His teenage fans were now in their 20s and they were starting families and pursuing careers, rather than fawning over him. A new crop of teenagers, obsessed with the Beatles, had emerged. The innocence and charm of the 1950s were dead, and Sal was a leftover from a forgotten generation.



In his late 20s, he was no longer famous and completely broke.

He desperately tried to revive his career to no avail. He even camped out on Francis Ford Coppola's front lawn to earn a part in The Godfather, but it didn't work.



In the late 1960s, the bankrupt Sal shocked the world by revealing he was gay. It caused quite a stir, since coming out in Hollywood was unheard of at the time.

But even that publicity couldn't get him in films again.



In 1971, Sal humbly had his boyfriend call his old Hollywood buddies and beg them to reimburse him for the gifts he so generously gave them during his prime. Luckily for Sal, his friends were more than willing to help out. They gave him money to get back on his feet.



In the mid-70s, Sal began guest-starring on television shows.

He then snagged a role as a bisexual burglar in a stage play in Los Angeles in 1975.

The night before the play was supposed to open, Sal was found stabbed to death in front of his apartment in Hollywood. He was only 37 years old.



The police were baffled when they arrived on the scene, because Sal's wallet was not missing, which indicated he was not mugged. So, the police quickly assumed it had to be a gay thing, because, that's what they do, right?



Sal's murder stunned the world and created a media frenzy. All around the world, tabloids and gossip columnists speculated that Sal had been involved in a drug ring or perhaps rejoined his gang roots or he participated in sadistic homosexual rituals. What else could have led to his demise?

The mystery was so disturbing that even John Lennon put up a $100,000 reward for anyone who captured Sal's killer.



Four years later, the world learned the truth.

After a long investigation, a pizza deliveryman was arrested for the crime in 1979. The man had tried to rob Sal, but panicked when he heard a noise and stabbed him with a knife instead. He had no idea he had murdered a celebrity.

The murderer was given a life sentence but paroled in the early 90s. He was imprisoned again for another crime shortly afterwards.

Coincidentally, I learned that James Franco has directed a biopic about Sal, which is coming out this year.



Will you see it?

48 comments:

Mannequins Dream said...

woow! normally i dont read longgg posts like this one but i read ALL of this! and yeahhh i'll go & see it! :D Xx

Fashion, Art and other fancies said...

Sal mineo - lovely;-)
A new week is upon us look forward to your posts of this week.

Sarah said...

Wow, such an interesting post. Poor guy :(
x

Vix said...

Wow! You are an education. What a gorgeous guy. x

Cailin´s Place said...

great post!interenting!kisses

Esmeralda said...

Amazing and so sad story!!!

Alexandria said...

You're like my own personal history teacher. Can you do stuff like this ALL THE TIME?! Seriously. Awesome. And I'll totally see his biopic.

Couture Carrie said...

Awesome pics and bio!
I would totally see the movie!

xoxox,
CC

Bienvenue chez French Girl in Seattle... said...

I love Sal in "Rebel without a Cause" of course. I did not know about his tragic death but had a feeling we were headed that way when I started reading your excellent story. A well deserved tribute. Good job, Jenny. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

aki! said...

Wow. I had no idea that was his story. Your writing and the story itself was particularly engaging.

I might go see the Franco biopic!

Bonnie said...

Please don't punch me in the face for never having seen "Rebel without a Cause." I am very behind on the times. But it looks cool. Like it's full of bad-asses, which means that I should watch it since I'm a bad-ass, too.

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Punctuation Mark said...

that's quite interesting... James Franco can do no wrong so I'll check it out for sure!

ChiChi81 said...

Oh yes, I'd definitely watch this. I didn't have a clue who Sal Mineo was, up until I read your post. And from your bio of him, I'm now intrigued about him and his life. What a tragic loss his death was, pretty sad.

Great post.

Cheers,

Wi
A Single Girl's Musings

the nyanzi report said...

cool post.

MosaMuse said...

nice blog!
sad story that i actually never heard of before... but now im very interested in seeing james franco's movie.
xo
MosaMuse

MosaMuse.blogspot.com

Miriam Stella said...

wow! i like it so much!!!! ;-)
thank you for visit my Miriamstella's blog !
I hope you come back again to see my new post! and if you like the blog...you could follow! ;-)
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Reading (and chickens) said...

I was with you until the James Franco part. Damn James Franco and his proliferation unto the world.

Gayatri said...

I am always saddened by tragic Hollywod stories. Some seem like a recipe for disaster from the beginning. But some - like this one - make you wonder, "What if he'd lived?"

And I'll definitely go see it.

Gayatri

SassyUptownChic said...

Oh Wow! Jennifer I will definitely see it. I've heard his name, because I oversee "Susan Kohner's" page on Facebook and she played in a movie with him. But I never looked into his story. He was gorgeous! Thanks for bringing this to light. What a wild life and so cut short. Over nothing! I will keep my eye posted on this! ((HUG))
http://sassyuptownchic.blogspot.com/

just tututiny said...

Wow, I didn't know Franco was a director. I will def. have to check this out. What a sad tragic life - need to watch it to find out more. Thanks for sharing!

http://justtututiny.blogspot.com/
Thu

Angela of "Grahangela" said...

The bio pic sounds so interesting! Very sad what happened to Sal. Totally senseless. Not that murder ever really makes sense, but you know what I mean. Sad.

~ Angela
grahamandangela.blogspot.com

MeryMeli said...

I love that guy!!! So interesting post :)
Come to visit my blog:

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Josie said...

Oh, the perils of child stardom -- poor kid. I can't wait to see the James Franco film about him!
xo Josie
www.winksmilestyle.com

Stephanie said...

It's so sad how many teenaged stars crash and burn. To be so famous and loved so young...and then to have that disappear...sometimes they don't really have a chance. Sal Mineo was a very handsome man...thanks for sharing - yet again!

Katherine said...

Wow this was such an interesting post - thank you for putting it together! Really fascinating - sad he lived such a short life.

I really like your blog btw- you are doing a great job with it! :)

David L Macaulay said...

very interesting Jen - I didn't know much re this guy. I'm probably being stupid but how can you post blogs with no internet?

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

What a tragic story, how frustrating. You wrote this very well. I'm captivated and would see the movie because of your post.
Thanks, Jenn.
PS I hope your internet frustrations are quickly resolved.
xoRobyn

VLM. said...

This is so interesting! Your writing is really interesting and I love the different things you include on your blog. Long blog posts normally bore me, but yours definitely don't! Thanks so much for writing this.
xoxo, Veena

http://seven-inch-stilettos.blogspot.com

Lily said...

Oooh a very thrilling Hollywood story I didn't know!~ He was very good looking, I remember him from Rebel without a cause, really good actor too.
Being a fan of James Franco I will def see the bio.

Cafe Fashionista said...

Is it bad that I have never seen Rebel Without A Cause? :/

Movies on my Mind said...

"[Sal] received more than 2,000 fan letters from adoring teenage girls every day."

That's a pain I know too well.

I'm not sure I wanna see Franco's ,ovie about Sal, only because I'd rather watch a proper director make such a film rather than an actor engaging in a vanity project.

Meri said...

I always thought his character in rebel without a cause was very "ahead of his time." I didn't know his life ended so tragically- I'd definitely watch that biopic!

Blonde hair, Blue jeans said...

i didn't know he even camped out on Francis Ford Coppola's front lawn!

great post, i've enjoyed reading it a lot. definitely all starts in Rebel without a cause were doomed

good pictures as well !:)

FashionJazz said...

Love your style of writing babe! xx

Olga said...

In Hollywood history, there are many names that aren't so well known, but nevertheless deserve recognition. I understand that you are a specialist at gathering information, but I always marvel at the way you present it.

Rachel {Da Paura ♥} said...

WOW, this is so tragic. I absolutely love Rebel Without a Cause so this was extra interesting to learn more about him... especially because I have been so distracted swooning over James Dean all this time that I didn't think to learn anything about him! ;)

xx
Rachel

azu said...

Thanks for your comment!

Vent and rant all you want on my bloggy :) I have had a big, nasty migraine all day and reading your comment made me feel better. In response to what you said about those protestors...wow. You'd think that standing up for something you care about would mean that...you actually know what you're talking about. My friends and I in high school had a similar experience. We asked this lady who was handing out pro Bush admin stickers and flyers why she was supporting him and threw a few facts at her. She didn't say much after we asked her some questions.

Your posts are always a pleasure to read. And I don't mean "pleasure" in a perverted way. Maybe that was the wrong word? What I'm trying to say is that you can pretty much talk me into doing anything. That's how good you write. LOL!

Having said that, I am now looking forward to the biopic about Sal.

xoxo

Azu

Bravoe Runway said...

This story is incredibly sad! I have never seen rebel without a cause but I can certainly understand what happens when you are a teen heart throb but you can't bridge the gap... I think he was a bold man, and had supportive friends to help him when he hit rock bottom. Thank you for sharing, I will watch this biopic.

AKins said...

Such a crazy story. Didn't James Franco play James Dean in a film, too? Now he's making one about a co-star.

songbird said...

when you said disturbing i had no idea what was coming..i had been doing a yes or no about rebel without a cause..have to see it now...i agree with what bravoe runway said.

Oh to Be a Muse said...

i actually read that whole thing. i had no idea who this guy was, but sounds like life was pretty tough for him from the start. i might be interested in that biopic now.

The Woven Moments said...

I just have to tell you how much I LOVE these hollywood story posts.

And really, anything James Franco does immediately earns my attention.

Because he's dreamy.

StyleIDnet said...

What an interesting and somehow sad live.... he was a really cute guy. I always wonder what is the difference between those who reach success and sty there and those that reach it and then 'roll down' to never be remember again.

http://styleidnet.blogspot.com/
http://styleidcloset.blogspot.com/

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