With a side of swimwear:
He had worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company in the 1980s and played King Lear with that troupe in 1999. He won too many BAFTA awards to count, and he won a Tony Award for Best Actor for his Broadway role as C. S. Lewis in the 1990 production of Shadowlands.
For over twenty years Hawthorne shared his life with screenwriter Trevor Bentham. Although he was an intensely private person, Hawthorn made no secret of his homosexuality. Nonetheless, he deemed it bad manners to "embarrass" people by talking about it. He was thus upset at being "outed" involuntarily in 1995 in the publicity surrounding his Academy Award nomination for the 1994 film, The Madness of King George. The movie was an adaptation of openly gay playwright Alan Bennett’s play, The Madness of George III (1991). Hawthorn had starred in both the British stage and Broadway productions of the play. Bennett insisted that Hawthorne also star in the Broadway staging, refusing to give him up for an actor more familiar to Broadway audiences. Hawthorne attended the Oscar ceremony with his partner Trevor (photo below), who spoke disparagingly about Hawthorne’s outing by the press:
So there you have it.
Hawthorne later spoke openly about being gay in interviews and in his autobiography, Straight Face (2003), which was published two years after his death. Hawthorne became Sir Nigel Hawthorne when he was knighted in 1999. He died from a heart attack in 2001 at age 72. He was survived by his partner, Trevor Bentham. On hearing of Hawthorne's death, Alan Bennett described him as "courteous, grand, a man of the world and superb at what he did...”
Post Apocalyptic Bohemian blog:
Keith Stern: Queers in History (2009)
For a 3-minute clip from his star turn in the film "The Madness of King George" and a copy of this feature without the NSFW photos, get on over to: