Mount Zion Cemetery, 59-63 54th Ave, Maspeth, NY 11378, Stati Uniti
Lorenz Milton Hart (May 2, 1895 – November 22, 1943) was the lyricist half of the Broadway songwriting team Rodgers and Hart. The earliest stories confirming Hart's homosexuality center on his life in Hollywood. He attended parties with Tallulah Bankhead and William Haines and followed the nightclub career of drag performer Jean Malin. While there, he came under a blackmail threat; he confided in one friend that "his mother would die if she thought her son was homosexual." One acquaintance recalled: "In those days it wasn't an open and acknowledge thing... Hart felt permanent guilt because he was a homosexual."
Hart lived with his widowed mother. He suffered from alcoholism, and would sometimes disappear for weeks at a time on alcoholic binges.
Many of his lyrics were the confessional outpourings of a hopeless romantic who loathed his own body. By all accounts, Hart, who stood just under five feet tall and wreathed himself in cigar smoke, saw himself as an undesirable freak. Homosexual in the era of the closet, he pursued a secretive and tormented erotic life of which only hints appear in his songs.
Hart suffered from depression throughout his life. His erratic behavior was often the cause of friction between him and Rodgers and led to a breakup of their partnership in 1943 before his death. Rodgers then began collaborating with Oscar Hammerstein II.
Devastated by the death of his mother seven months earlier, Hart died in New York City of pneumonia from exposure on November 22, 1943, after drinking heavily. His remains are buried in Mount Zion Cemetery in Queens County, New York. The circumstances of his life were heavily edited and romanticized for the 1948 MGM biopic Words and Music.
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