Partner Aurand Harris

Queer Places:
Northwestern University, 1801 Hinman Ave, Evanston, IL 60208
2137 Sherman Ave, Evanston, IL 60201
Rock Lily Cemetery Winslow, Stephenson County, Illinois, USA

George Eells (January 20, 1922 - January 1, 1995) was an American author. Kay Francis' name turned up in the gossip columns often linked to gay men, who were in truth merely pals and escorts. Anderson Lawler, was reportedly paid $10,000 by Warner Bros. to accompany her to Europe in 1934.[15] Lawler told the writer George Eells that while they were in London, Kay, roaring drunk and totally nude, walked into his hotel room and declared, "I'm not a star, I'm a woman, and I want to get fucked." Asked by Eells how he "handled the crisis," Lawler replied: "I earned my ten thousand dollars." Eells, gay himself, went to some pains to deny lesbianism or bisexuality on Francis' part, citing her personal diaries that reveal long-term, anguished feelings over her various husbands and male lovers. He quoted an unnamed friend as admitting, however, that there may have been some affairs with women: "But that wasn't where her head was. There was never the slightest doubt that she was man-oriented."

George Eells was born on January 20, 1922 in the small town of Winslow, Illinois, population 399. After graduating from Winslow High School in 1940, Eells attended Northwestern University for three years before moving to Hollywood, where he began his career as a free-lance reader for Hollywood film studios. He soon moved to New York, where he took a job as Entertainment Editor for Parade magazine.

Nine months later he joined Look magazine, where he served as Entertainment Editor from 1949 to 1961. Eells resigned from Look in 1961 to create a television special based on Cole Porter's life and songs. The television deal did not materialize, and instead Eells wrote a biography entitled The Life that Late He Lead: A Biography of Cole Porter for which he received the ASCAP Award for biographical writing. While writing this biography, Eells also assumed editorship of Theatre Arts magazine and later of Signature, the Diners Club magazine.

George Eells went on to write a total of eight biographies in the following thirty years of his career. The next was Hedda and Louella: A Dual Biography documenting the life of Hollywood gossip columnists Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons. Ginger, Loretta and Irene Who?, a study of six actresses at the height of the Hollywood studio system, followed four years later. He collaborated with Ethel Merman to create Merman, an Autobiography. He also collaborated with jazz great Anita O'Day to create his self-proclaimed favorite biography entitled High Times Hard Times. Eells spent every Sunday evening for two years with Mae West at the home of her manager to collect information for Mae West: A Biography, which he wrote with Stanley Musgrove. Working without the cooperation of the actor himself, Eells wrote Robert Mitchum. In his last biography, Final Gig, The Man Behind the Murder, Eells recounts the events and provides his explanation for the dramatic murder/suicide of actor Gig Young and his wife Kim Young.

In addition to writing biographies, Eells created celebrity segments for the television show This is Your Life in its original incarnation and again when it was revived a decade later. Eells also had a strong interest in walkathons and circus memorabilia and corresponded with several former walkathon participants and organizers. As a playwright, he wrote several works, including The GloryWalk, the setting for which is a 1948 walkathon contest and for which he earned a National Theater Conference Fellowship.

George Eells has also written for a variety of magazines including Reader's Digest, Charm, This Week, and Good Housekeeping.

Eells died of pneumonia in early 1995, following brain surgery the previous June.[1] His long-time partner, the playwright Aurand Harris, died a year later.[2] Upon Eells's death on January 1, 1995, playwright Aurand Harris, his friend since their days at Northwestern, created an endowment known as the George Eells Memorial Fund to benefit the University Libraries. The Special Collections department of Hayden Library will use this fund annually to purchase recently published scholarly biographies of theatre personalities.

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