Partner Antonio de Jesus
1042 S Linden Ave, Alliance, OH 44601
1301 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica
Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cathedral City, Riverside County, California, USA
Robert Garth Wheaton (May 27, 1921 - March 24, 2007) was born on May 27, 1921 in Alliance, OH, the son of Harry Otis Wheaton and Helene Drothler. He studied at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, PA. He graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering in February of 1943. He .was a member of Delta Upsilon Fraternity, Manager of the varsity basketball team and was 'tapped in his junior year for the Senior Honor Society, Book and Key. During the war he served in the Navy as an officer in the 114th construction battalion in the Pacific area.
At the end of the war he served on the staff of Admiral Blandy's "Joint Task Force One" for the atom bomb test at Bikini Atoll. After the war, Wheaton continued his membership in the naval reserve and was retired as a commander.
Wheaton attended the graduate school of business at the University of Southern California from 1946-1947. Following that, he was employed by Container Corporation of America in Los Angeles. Robert went to France in 1950 to spend a year studying at the Sorbonne, University of Paris. While living in the Los Angeles area, he formed friendships with many film greats including, Cole Porter, George Cukor, Katherine Hepburn, Clifton Webb, and Noel Coward.
Michael Pearman, close with Cole Porter and George Cukor, recalled coming to Hollywood in 1929 for a party at William Haines' showplace home on North Stanley Drive and seeing Anderson Lawler and Gary Cooper there together. Other friends corroborate, recalling the stories Haines would tell of the It Boy mixing with his crowd. Certainly Cooper wasn't blind to the impression he was creating by consorting with Lawler. "Andy Lawler was probably the best-known homosexual in Hollywood during that time," said Robert Wheaton, who knew Lawler through Cukor. Robert Wheaton, a young, handsome serviceman when he arrived in Hollywood in 1943, recalled being picked up while hitchhiking one day on Sunset Boulevard. Wheaton didn't know the driver, who took him up to a house in the Hollywood Hills. "It was Irving Rapper's house," Wheaton said. "He was in the midst of making Rhapsody in Blue (1945), I remember. He asked me if I wanted to hear the sound recording from the film. I said yes, and then I looked around. My ride had taken off." With a wartime gasoline shortage, Rapper protested he couln't make a special trip into town. He asked shyly if Wheaton would be willing to spend the night. "So I did," Wheaton said. "That was my introduction to Hollywood directors." Tyrone Power is a classic example of that "second era" of gay star who played the game, and played it quite well. He was talked about among the crowd at the gay parties given by George Cukor or Cole Porter or Christopher Isherwood, but he was known only tangentially. "Tyrone would never have come to a gathering where there were mostly gays," said Robert Wheaton, close with both Cukor and Porter.
In 1951, he was employed by the Marshall Plan Agency as a Foreign Service Reserve Officer and was posted at the embassies in Rome, Paris, and Vienna as an Economic Attach. His final position in 1957 was as Director of the Technical Assistance Program for Austria. Wheaton joined the management-consulting firm McKinsey and Company in New York in 1957 as the first member of their international practice. Wheaton was assigned to clients in Venezuela, Peru, Columbia, and Canada. He later returned to Europe as a Director and Vice President of Mead Carney International Consultants where he was in charge of operations in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Turkey.
Following his early retirement in 1966, he continued to live abroad in Greece where his motor yacht "Hermes II" was one of the first foreign yachts to be harbored there. Since 1972, Robert has made his home in Portugal's Algarve region. In 1983, he bought a home in Palm Springs, CA where he and his Portuguese friend, Antonio de Jesus spent time each winter.
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