My title for this piece is actually so self-deprecating, I’m possibly revealing myself as mildly villainous.
This confession is inspired by a most legendary film about “The Theatah”:
ALL ABOUT EVE
And why is my title, ALL ABOUT MICHAEL, so possibly humiliating?
Even if you haven’t seen the unforgettable film, ALL ABOUT EVE, or read its description in Wikipedia, the villain in one of Bette Davis’ greatest successes, this time, is surprisingly not Bette Davis!
It is, however, a sort of “villainess”!
Portrayed to an Oscar nomination level by Anne Baxter.
What is so villainous about this villainess?!
She wants to be the next “Bette Davis as Margo Channing”!
Was there ever a moment in Bette Davis’ life where she knew or recognized or surrendered to the reality that her career in film had her actually competing with Katherine Hepburn?!
Bette Davis or Katherine Hepburn?
Which of them is the greater star?!
Which of them is the greater actress?!
The questions themselves can get ugly if the debaters are computing either of these actresses’ limitations.
Or making fun of their mannerisms.
Such debates, however, can, at times, become quite thrilling.
They certainly reveal as much about the debater as they do about the debated.
It is, at this point in my article, that I must reveal the name and sexual persuasion of the role I played to win the Tony Award.
It can be safely said that Julian Weston was the most shamelessly behaved homosexual yet to appear upon the Broadway stage.
Apart from enjoying a few impressive flirtations from gay men and one, very drunken night in Canada, I have been most consistently heterosexual in my life.
This fact, unfortunately, reached New York’s homosexual community and they had, for reasons I still can’t quite understand, been outraged that I was cast as Julian Weston.
As for the Tony Award I won portraying Julian Weston, I’ve hunted around for a glimpse of myself receiving that honor from the great Bette Davis herself?!
During my search, I came across this: http://conservativebase.com/the-new-world-orders-diabolical-pilgrimage-part-one-by-michael-moriarty/
Amidst the cited-above and necessarily long article, I found this:
Any photo or video-taped glimpse of Bette Davis handing me the award?!
So far and search as I have, I can’t find it.
I’m certain there is a photo of that Tony Award exchange somewhere.
Perhaps it will “find its way home”.
Why is this experience so important?
It is a major part of “ALL ABOUT MICHAEL”!
I didn’t discover the possible reason for Bette Davis being asked to present me with the Tony Award until much later that year, 1974.
Out of the blue and from a major corner of film and performing arts in America, the legendary director, Elia Kazan, whom I’d never met before, invited me to attend one of his classes at the equally legendary Actor’s Studio of New York.
Little did I know that I was being “set-up” for a mildly public protest and one of the most indelibly embarrassing moments of my life.
The cause for this entirely “gay” protest?
Apart from enjoying a few impressive flirtations from gay men and one, very drunken night in Canada, I have been almost homophobicly heterosexual.
That fact, unfortunately, reached New York’s gay community and they had, for reasons I still can’t quite understand, been outraged that I was cast as Julian Weston.
One of their own should have been chosen!
A proudly gay actor!
I looked rather helplessly at Mr. Kazan, not really knowing what to say but hoping for some kind of salvation.
Despite my apparent fraudulence… as a gay man, my performance did win a Tony Award.
What did I say?!
I can’t really remember what I said.
I must have mumbled through something, anxious to find a way to excuse myself and get the hell out of there.
As for Bette Davis and the Tony Awards?
I suspect the profoundly influential gay community of Broadway had already found out about my sexual proclivities and found them, as did their compatriots at the Actors Studio that afternoon, shamelessly insufficient!
What better way to send a message to Michael Moriarty than to symbolically cast him as the ambitious starlet in ALL ABOUT EVE and have Bette Davis… or rather Margo Channing… hand the new version of Anne Baxter’s Eve the Tony Award.
Now, at almost 76 years of age, I could care less about what anyone thinks of my life in the theater, in New York, in London, in Vienna or in any of the other capitals and small towns of the world I have lived in, worked for or passed through.
My grandmother’s advice to me early in my life was: “Do your best and then don’t give a damn!”
The only other advice I’ve taken seriously came from Alcoholics Anonymous: “Let go, Let God!”
Between those two doses of divine wisdom, I’m one of the luckiest and most ecstatic human beings I’ve ever had the good fortune and pleasure of getting to know!
Or the even more blissful experience of being!!
Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies.