October 23rd People

October 23rd

10-23-1893 – 08-16-1978 Jean Acker – Born in Trenton, New Jersey. She was an American film actress with a career dating from the silent film era through the 1950s. She was married to Rudolph Valentino briefly (The marriage was reportedly never consummated). Acker was protégée and lover of Alla Nazimova. Nazimova included Acker in what was called jean-ackerthe “sewing circles,” a group of actresses who were forced to conceal the fact they were lesbians, bisexual, and romantically and sexually attracted to women, therefore leading secret lives. Grace Damond was another one of her female lovers with whom she was involved with during her relationship with Valentino. Acker met Chloe Carter, a former Ziegfeld Follies girl, who was the first wife of film composer Harry Ruby. Acker would remain with Carter for the rest of her life. The couple owned an apartment building together in Beverly Hills. Acker died of natural causes in 1978 at the age of 84 and is buried next to Carter in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.

10-23-1896 — 03-21-1934   Lilyan Tashman – Born in Brooklyn, New York, the youngest of ten children to Jewish immigrants (her mother was from Germany, her father from Poland). She freelanced as a fashion and artist’s model and eventually entered vaudeville. By 1914, she was part of a successful traveling troupe appearing in Song Revue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with rising stars Eddie Cantor and Al Lee. In 1916, she was picked to join the Ziegfeld Follies. In 1919, producer David Belasco gave her a supporting role in the Broadway comedy The Gold Diggers. In 1922, she moved to California and found work in films. During her career in over 66 films, she became known as “the other woman” or the seductive “villainess.” On September 21, 1925, Tashman married her longtime friend, actor Edmund Lowe. It was a “lavender marriage” – Lowe was a gay man and Tashman was a lesbian. The couple had a mansion in Beverly Hills and threw wild parties that often turned into orgies. They also had a home in Malibu and threw parties there as well. In 1928, Tashman began a relationship with Greta Garbo but after four years Garbo grew tired of Tashman’s jealousy and ended the affair. Tashman made no pretense about her sexuality. There are several accounts of Tashman cornering women in public powder rooms. According to Garbo’s biography by Barry Paris, Tashman made passes at actress Lina Basquette and socialite Irene Mayer Selznick. She also had an affair with Tallulah Bankhead and Gertrude Lawrence. Tashman was almost charged with assault after she caught actress Constance Bennett in a compromising position with her girlfriend at the time. She passed away from cancer at the age of 37. The funeral was held in New York City on March 22, 1934. Eddie Cantor delivered the eulogy.

10-23-1989 Kyler Kelician “Kye” Allums – Born in Daytona Beach, Florida. He is a former college basketball player at George Washington University and a transgender pioneer. Nicknamed Kay-Kay, Allums was a kyler-kelician-%22kye%22-allumsself-described tomboy, who identified as male from childhood. “I’ve always felt most comfortable dressing like a boy, but my mom would take all of my clothes and force me to wear girl clothes,” he says. Allums would put boys’ clothes in his backpack and change before going to school, then change back before he got home. In college, he opened up to some of his teammates. “I do not like being called a girl. I’m a guy in a girl’s body,” he said. Allums says his teammates, coach, and family were all supportive. He is now a transgender advocate, public speaker, and mentor to LGBT youth. In 2010, Kye, a trans man, became the first openly transgender NCAA Division 1 college athlete. He starred in Laverne Cox’s documentary, called The T Word. His book called Who am I, features poems and letters he wrote about his parents and himself. In 2015, he was inducted into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame.

10-23-1998 Amandla Stenberg – Born in Los Angeles, California. Her mother is African American, her father is Danish, and her paternal amandla-stenberggrandmother had Greenlandic Inuit ancestry. Her name means “power or strength” in Zulu and Xhosa. She is an American actress. She is best known for her portrayal of young Cataleya in Colombiana and Rue in The Hunger Games. She is the co-author of the comic book Niobe: She is Life published in November 2015. She is bisexual and came out on January 8, 2016.

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