December 11th People

December 11th

12-11-1926 – 07-25-1984 Big Mama Thornton (born Willie Mae Thornton) – Born in Ariton, Alabama. She was an American rhythm big-mama-thorntonand blues singer, and songwriter. Thornton was the first to record Hound Dog.  She also wrote and sang Ball and Chain. She was openly gay and sang about her love for women. She often dressed as a man in her performances. She also taught herself to play the drums and the harmonica. Her playing with gender and sexuality set the stage for later rock ’n’ roll artists’ own plays with sexuality.

12-11-1913 – 11-08-1996 Jean Marais – Born in Cherbourg-Octeville, France. He was a French actor, director, and sculptor. Marais, who jean-maraiswas gay, was the muse and lover of Jean Cocteau for 25 years. He played over 100 roles in film and on television. In the 1970s he preferred performing on stage and did so up until his eighties. His sculpture “Le passe muraille” (the Walker Through Walls) can be seen in the Montmartre Quarter of Paris. From 1953 until 1959, his lover was the American dancer George Reich.

12-11-1889 – 02-08-1982   Sir Cedric Morris, 9th Baronet – Born in Sketty, Swansea, South Wales. He was an artist best known for his portraits, flower paintings, and landscapes. In 1918 he was in London where he met painter Arthur Lett-Haines. Morris and Lett-Haines became life-partners. In 1920 the couple moved to Paris. In 1929 they moved back to the United Kingdom and settled in Suffolk. Haines died in 1978, Morris in 1982. They are buried near each other at Hadleigh Cemetery in Hadleigh.

12-11-1899 — 12-10-1993   Victorina Durán Cebrián – Born in Madrid, Spain. She was a Spanish set and costume designer, and avant-garde artist associated with the surrealist movement of the 1920s and 30s. In 1929 she won the Chair of Costumes and Scenographic Art, becoming the first woman to obtain this position in Spain. She also made sets and decorations for films. Durán was a key player in the development of the Sapphic Circle of Madrid. After the Spanish Civil War erupted, in 1937 she went into exile in Argentina. She returned to Spain in 1949 to collaborate with Dalí at the National Theater of Spain. In the 1980s she settled permanently in Madrid. In her memoirs, she expressed her “passionate militancy in lesbianism in the context of a stale and intolerant Spain.”


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