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How Hollywood heterosexualized Jessica Savitch; April 16, 1996. (From the Advocate Archives).

The debate over omitting gay sex from John Forbes Nash Jr.'s life in A Beautiful Mind echoes another whitewashed film released six years ago--the movie Up Close and Personal, based on Alanna Nash's Golden Girl. This book, an unsparing biography of groundbreaking TV anchorwoman Jessica Savitch, who died in 1983, did not shy away from Savitch's intimate relationships with women--or her abortions, cocaine addiction, and marriage to a bisexual gynecologist, none of which made it into the perky Disney biopic starring Michelle Pfeiffer.

As reporter Erik Meers explained, the biography's transformation from tough reality to glossy fantasy began as soon as the book was optioned. "This is not going to be the Jessy from your book," Nash recalled being told by Savitch's friend and agent, Ed Hookstratten. "This is going to be the Jessy I remember."

Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan blamed the "continual pressure [in Hollywood] to take out anything that might keep any segment of the audience away. They don't want anything too downbeat, complicated, or sophisticated."
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Title Annotation:'Up Close and Personal' motion picture
Author:Romesburg, Don
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 2, 2002
Words:172
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