Partner Hermes Pan

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Gino Malerba (December 12, 1911 - May, 1973) was an Italian dancer and choreographer. While Hermes Pan was in Italy to choreograph Un Paio d’Ali (A Pair of Wings) (1957), he became an intimate friend of Malerba, at the time one of the dancers in "I 12 Solisti"; this was the start of a romantic relationship that would last for the next five years. Malerba was hand-some, talented, and ambitious, and saw in Hermes an opportunity to step up his career. Always anxious to help and befriend a dancer, Hermes welcomed Gino's attention and fell in love, though it is impossible to document the full extent of his attachment because Pan would allow the fulfillment of his same-sex desires only in the shadows. Jerry Jackson, Pan's assistant, who often saw the couple together, told John Franceschina that he never sensed Hermes and Gino were lovers. "Gino was very butch. I thought they were just good friends." Letters from Juliet Prowse and Fred Astaire to Pan, however, mention Gino in ways that suggest a more intimate involvement and Pan's friend and biographer, David Patrick Columbia, seems confident that it was a sexual relationship.

Hermes Pan was also a deeply closeted gay man who had trouble squaring his sexual desires with his Roman Catholic faith and a disapproving mother. He eventually entered into a relationship with dancer Gino Malerba, as revealed in John Franceschina’s biography, Hermes Pan: The Man Who Danced with Fred Astaire. Like many gay men of the era, he seldom appeared in public with male partners, and he never lived with Malerba. However, Pan was a frequent escort of Rita Hayworth.

Malerba appeared on the Italian movie Alvaro piuttosto corsaro (1954), with Renato Rascel and written by Garinei and Giovannini. He also collaborated on the TV special Another Evening with Fred Astaire (1959).

Gino John or Gene Malerba was born in Fano, Italy. He married English actress Margaret Lee and they had one son, producer/production manager Roberto Malerba (V for Vendetta and Speed Racer). Margaret Lee moved to Italy in 1963 and the same evening of her arrival she knew her future husband Gino Malerba.

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