Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor Allegedly Married to Cover up Their True Sexual Natures

Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor were the darlings of Hollywood, and their marriage seemed like a perfect one. However, many film historians have constantly analyzed their marriage.

Their union has been considered a ‘lavender marriage,’ that is to say, a relationship of convenience, fictitious, and arranged from the beginning to hide the true sexual orientation of Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor.

Even though she never spoke openly of her sexuality, her biographer Axel Madsen once described her as the most famous lesbian in the closet of Hollywood.

Born Ruby Catherine Stevens in 1907, she experienced tragedy early in life. By the time she was four, she had lost both her parents and was raised in foster homes.

At 14, she decided to drop out of school and got a job as a wrapper. She did a couple of odd jobs, from filing, pattern cutting to a typist, even though she wanted to be in the entertainment industry like her sister, a showgirl.

With a tenacious character and above all endowed with a will to succeed, she got into the entertainment industry. She became a chorus girl, a dancer, and a dance instructor for gays and lesbians.

In 1926, Stanwyck was introduced to Willard Mack, and then she started appearing on Broadway stages without any acting lessons.

She changed her name, became a Broadway star, and got the leading role in “Burlesque” in 1927. She then fell in love with her “Burlesque” co-star, Frank Fay, married by August 26, 1928.

Stanwyck, unable to have children, the couple adopted on December 5, 1932, Dion Anthony, born in February 1932. In 1929, she met director, producer, and writer Frank Capra and this launched her career.

Her personality won over Capra, and he helped her soften her image, which was a little too abrupt. This meeting with him opened new horizons for her in Hollywood.

The director has her sign a non-exclusive contract with Columbia, which will allow the actress to also shoot for Warner Bros studios and all the major Hollywood companies, from RKO to 20th Century Fox.

As her career went uphill, Fay’s career was at a standstill and this spelled doom for their marriage. They got divorced in 1935, and some have claimed that their relationship inspired William Wellman’s film, “A Star is Born.”

In 1936, on the set of “His Brother’s Wife,” Stanwyck became involved with one of Hollywood’s most attractive young firsts, Robert Taylor.

Between the 60s and the 80s, Stanwyck was seen as a cultural and personal template for lesbians. She never spoke about her sexuality and was said to have thrown a reporter out for asking her questions about it.

Born Spangler Arlington Brugh in 1911, the brilliant tennis player, proved to be very gifted for music and his mother also encouraged him to study the cello.

In 1929, he entered the Doane college, where he hoped to follow his father’s path of being a doctor, but his passion for music remained. He then took his cello lessons from Professor Herbert E. Gray.

He did not come from a family of actors but joined the campus theater group when he enrolled at Pomona College, and this was where he was spotted by a talent scout from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).

Taylor began acting in the 1930s, and after he signed the seven-year contract with MGM, the studio decided to change his name. At 24, he played the leading role in “Magnificent Obsession.”

As his career grew, he became a champion of action films in all categories. During his career, he was nicknamed “The Man with the Perfect Profile.”

Time Magazine also named him the most admired matinee idol since the late Rudolph Valentino. Hired as a volunteer during World War II, he also served as a training officer in the Navy.


Before they got married in 1939, the couple had starred in two movies together, namely “His Brother’s Wife” in 1936 and “This Is My Affair” in 1937.

Together, the screen legends, Taylor and Stanwyck signified an explosive mixture of sex, power, and celebrity status during Hollywood’s heyday.

After they were named as one of Hollywood’s unmarried couples, the MGM studio encouraged them to get married and helped organize the wedding, as it was relatively common practice during Hollywood’s “golden age.”

Even though the couple also didn’t say anything about their sexuality, it was said to be an open secret that they liked people of the same sex.

In these ‘lavender marriages,’ the couple might be celibate or go through sexual formalities for procreation while allowing for outside interests.

Madsen, who wrote the biography, “Stanwyck” revealed that the couple who were a ‘lavender couple’ got married to squash reports about their true sexualities.

He also revealed that even though they were officially married for 18 years, their marriage only lasted a few months. Stanwyck was mothered and bossed Taylor while also embarrassing him in the presence of his friends.

Stanwyck’s emotional commitment was far greater than Taylor’s and given his nature to avoid confrontations, Stanwyck was able to have things her way.

Once Taylor started to stray one too many times, Stanwyck was said to have asked for a divorce. Even after their divorce was finalized in February 1951, she never stopped caring for him.

Their divorce was also seen as one of the shortest divorces on record. After Taylor’s divorce from Stanwyck, he was married to German-born actress Ursula Thiess in 1954.

The couple had two children. In 1964, Taylor and Stanwyck would again come back on screen, as seen in the movie “The Night Walker.”

Shortly before his death and while he had terminal lung cancer, his wife, Thiess, invited Stanwyck over to see him. This was a heartwrenching moment for Stanwyck.

At his funeral, she was late, and by the end of the funeral, she had to be half carried out of the chapel because she stood up in a faint. Sources close to her said he was the love of her life and the only man who broke her heart.

Leave a Comment