Billy Dee Williams has admitted to turning down Marlon Brando’s romantic proposition.
Since the 1960s, the legendary actor has enchanted moviegoers with his dazzling good looks and unforgettable performances in films like Mahogany, Brian’s Song and, of course, the Star Wars franchise, where he played Lando Calrissian.
While his career in film shows no signs of slowing down, Williams has recently pivoted to the literary world, with the upcoming release of his candid memoir, What Have We Here? Portraits of a Life.
A synopsis for the book reads: “A film legend recalls his remarkable life of nearly eight decades—a heralded actor who’s played the roles he wanted, from Brian’s Song to Lando in the Star Wars universe—unchecked by the racism and typecasting so rife in the mostly all-white industry in which he triumphed.”
Ahead of the memoir’s 13 February release, Williams shared exciting new details about the book with People Magazine – including an excerpt involving Brando flirting with him.
“I’ve been getting hit on all of my life,” he told the news outlet. “Gay, straight, whatever, somebody’s always hitting on me.”
Williams went on to say that the A Streetcar Named Desire star was also one of his many admirers, with the latter even making a move on him.
However, the Lady Sings the Blues star admitted to denying Brando’s advances, telling the legendary actor he preferred women.
“[I told him] I’m not into guys. I had no qualms with that kind of stuff. Whatever you are, that’s who you are. I’m more interested in meeting interesting people.”
Williams isn’t the only person who has opened up about Brando’s queerness.
Back in 2018, famed music producer Quincy Jones claimed that The Godfather star had sexual relations with comedian Richard Pryor.
“[Marlon] Brando used to go cha-cha dancing with us. He could dance his ass off,” he said in the interview.
“He was the most charming motherfucker you ever met. He’d fuck anything. Anything! He’d fuck a mailbox.”
While family members of both Pryor and Brando denied the producer’s claims, the two acting talents have openly discussed their queerness in the past.
In his autobiography Pryor Convictions, the Harlem Nights actor admitted to having a two-week affair with a drag queen who looked like Josephine Baker.
“I discovered that she was actually a he. For some reason, I didn’t care… But after two weeks of being gay… I went back to life as a heterosexual,” Pryor wrote.
Brando also embraced his queerness, telling a journalist in 1976 (per People): “Homosexuality is so much in fashion, it no longer makes news. Like a large number of men, I, too, have had homosexual experiences, and I am not ashamed.
“I have never paid much attention to what people think about me. But if there is someone who is convinced that Jack Nicholson and I are lovers, may they continue to do so. I find it amusing.”
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