Was Troy Donahue gay? Learn all about his marriages and personal life

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This article explores the personal life of vintage star Troy Donahue and checks whether he was gay or not.

Is Troy Donahue Gay?

Troy Donahue, a charismatic actor, found himself embroiled in controversy due to persistent rumours regarding his sexual orientation. Despite these rumours, Troy consistently asserted his heterosexual identity. His four marriages and relationships with women were a testament to his personal life. 

Troy’s first marriage was to Suzanne Pleshette in January 1964, which lasted only nine months. Subsequently, he tied the knot with actress Valerie Allen, although their marriage also ended after a year. 

Troy’s third marriage was to Alma Sharpe, an executive secretary, in November 1969. He believed she could provide the care he needed, but their relationship ended in 1972. 

In 1979, he married land developer Vicki Taylor, but this union too ended in 1981. These marriages paint a picture of a man dedicated to pursuing heterosexual relationships.

The rumours surrounding Troy’s sexuality became particularly prominent in his later years. However, his long-term relationship with Zheng Cao in his final years seemed to refute these speculations. It wasn’t until he reunited with one of his former wives that he discovered he had a son named Sean. This revelation further solidified Troy’s heterosexual identity.

Regrettably, Troy Donahue passed away in September 2001. He had achieved teen heartthrob status during the 1950s and 1960s. His death occurred in a California hospital following a heart attack. 

Although an emergency angioplasty initially succeeded, he suffered another heart attack. Despite undergoing bypass surgery, Troy did not recover. 

In the years following his death, some fans remained curious about his sexuality, wondering if he had secretly dated men. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that Troy Donahue consistently maintained that he was not gay.

It’s important to remember that rumours and speculations about a person’s sexuality can be hurtful and misleading. Troy Donahue’s life and relationships should be respected for what he openly shared with the public.

Troy Donahue’s journey was marked by talent and success, earning him a place in the hearts of many fans. Despite the rumors that swirled around his sexuality, he affirmed his heterosexual identity through multiple marriages and relationships with women. 

His passing in 2001 marked the end of an era, leaving behind a legacy of charm and talent. It’s essential to remember Troy for his contributions to the entertainment industry and to respect his personal life as he presented it, as a heterosexual man.

Troy Donahue Personal Life

Troy Donahue came into the world on January 27, 1936, in the heart of New York City. His early life was profoundly influenced by his mother’s background as a retired stage actress, who also held a significant role as the manager at General Motors in the motion picture industry. His upbringing was in Bayport, along Middle Road. 

Initially, he enrolled in a New York military academy with a dream of one day attending West Point. Unfortunately, a knee injury dealt a blow to these ambitions, putting an end to his pursuit of that desired career path. Nevertheless, Troy’s unwavering dedication to service led him to volunteer for the army, despite not being ultimately chosen for service.

At the age of 18, Troy made a bold move to New York City and found employment at a film company founded by his father. Unfortunately, his stint there was short-lived as he faced dismissal.

Undeterred, he decided to further his education and enrolled at Columbia University, where he studied journalism. After receiving brief training from Ezra Stone, Troy decided to make the leap to Hollywood.

In Hollywood, fate took an unexpected turn when director James Sheldon and producer William Asher spotted Troy in a diner and arranged a screen test. Although the initial test didn’t yield success, Troy’s fortunes were about to change. A car accident brought him into contact with actress Fran Bennett, who introduced him to Henry Wilson. It was at this point that he adopted the name Troy Donahue.

In October 1956, Troy signed with Universal Studios, marking a significant milestone in his career. However, the road to stardom was not without its challenges. Initially, he landed small film roles. It wasn’t until 1958 that he secured a slightly larger role in “Live Fast, Die Young.”

Troy’s career included guest appearances on various television shows, and he often mentioned in interviews that these roles were sometimes more rewarding than his film roles. His big break came when he starred opposite Sandra Dee in “A Summer Place.”

The film’s success led to a long-term contract, and Troy Donahue’s name began to shine brightly in Hollywood. Another pivotal moment occurred when Delmer Daves replaced Joshua Logan as the director for “Parrish,” casting Troy in a leading role.

Throughout the 1980s and late 1990s, Troy continued to grace the silver screen with his presence. He became synonymous with the term “sex symbol,” a label that was first coined in the 1910s and 1920s to describe emerging film stars.

Movie studios often relied on the looks and sex appeal of their actors to captivate audiences, and Troy Donahue was a prime example of a popular sex symbol during the 1950s and 1960s.

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Edited by: Arnold