Partner Herbert Alvin Wise, Roland Michely
140 Riverside Dr, New York, NY 10024
Columbia University, 116th St & Broadway, New York, NY 10027
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Glen LeRoy Boles (September 14, 1913 - July 24, 2009), an actor, appeared in the Broadway production of Langston Hughes' Mulatto. Glen Boles' life encompassed a Broadway and Hollywood acting career, United States military service as a counter-espionage agent, and a career as a psychoanalyst. He was a longtime resident of Manhattan and Cherry Grove.
Glen LeRoy Boles was born in Lomalinda, California. As a young boy, Boles was approached by a director on Sunset Boulevard who was shooting a film. He asked Glen to run out in front of a horse. Glen agreed, made five dollars, and was hooked on the film business. He continued to act in extra roles and worked his way up into supporting roles in Hollywood films.
While shooting "Flirtation Walk" with Dick Powell, he and Powell took a boat down the Hudson. Glen fell in love with the lush landscape, as opposed to the desert in which he grew up, and when he returned to Hollywood, he shot a few more films and walked out on his contract with Warner Brothers. He moved to New York City and garnered leading roles in Broadway plays.
On December 28, 1936, he played Robert Lewis in Langston Hughes' play, "Mulatto," at the Studebaker Theatre in Chicago, Illinois with Mercedes Gilbert (Cora Lewis); Morris McKenney (William Lewis); James Kirkwood (Col. Thomas Norwood); Evelyn Streich (Sally Lewis); Richard S. Bishop (Talbot); Frank Jacquet (Fred Higgins); J.J. Dillon (Henry Richards); Francis Hallaran (Storekeeper); Dillon Deasey (undertaker); and Allan Moore (Jed Tomkins) in the cast. Martin Jones was producer.
Roland Michely Unveils "Glen Boles" Book
David Clenny at Glen Boles' piano, with portraits of Glen behind him
From December 25, 1937 to January 1, 1938, he acted in George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart's play," You Can't Take It With You," in a National Tour production at the Hanna Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio with Ethel Wilson, Sara Sherburne, Ruby Oliphant, Donald Foster, Joseph Allenton, Roy Johnson, John Marriott, Priestly Morrison, Florence Williams, King Calder, Joseph Kallini, Harriet E. MacGibbon, Reginald Mason, Dorothy French, Clarence Oliver, Arthur Lipson, Donald Baker, and Ulla Kazanova in the cast. Donald Oenslager was set designer. George S. Kaufman was also director. Sam H. Harris was producer.
Boles was in the original cast of "You Can't Take It With You" and continued acting up until WWII. In the 1940s he was living with Herbert Alvin Wise at 140 Riverside Drive, New York.
During WWII he worked as a codebreaker in South America, returned to New York and studied with Margaret Mead at Columbia University. He attained a PhD in psychology and practiced psychotherapist for fifty years.
After discovering the grove’s beaches on a trip to New York City from Hollywood, Glen Boles and his friend—and lover for a brief period—Earl C. Blackwell Jr. counted themselves beneficiaries of the grove’s seclusion. Blackwell went on to form the Art Project in Cherry Grove with Helen Ely in the late 1940s. Boles’s acquaintances who visited the grove during the 1930s included Noel Coward, Christopher Isherwood, possibly Thornton Wilder, and W.H. Auden. Glen Boles recalled the need for secrecy and leading a double life: “You had to go to the right places and get the right pictures of you taken. They all had to play the straight game in New York. They wouldn’t hire you in a part, because if you were gay you wouldn’t be seen as masculine enough. But producers got gay guys and girls anyway whether they knew it or not. The going thing in the Grove was: no names, no pretense of being a star or anything like that. The Grove was a place of relief....”
On June 27, 2009, Glen Boles and Mathilde von Sluttenberg were Mr. and Mrs. Pride of the 11th annual LGBT Pride Parade. Boles passed away on July 24, 2009, less than two months before his 96th birthday.
On August 8, 2010, Roland Michely and Tim Steffen put together the book "The Mind and Life of Glen Boles," to frame the previously unpublished autobiographical writing of Roland's late partner, Dr. Glen Boles.
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