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Hart, Moss (1904-1961)  
 
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Throughout Lady in the Dark, Elliott is identified as masculine. She wears severely tailored suits and sits at a "man's desk" in a "large and heavy" chair. Furthermore, she conducts her business affairs with rigorous authority and emphatically rejects any amorous advances from men. Yet Elliott envisions herself in her dreams as dressed in a conventionally feminine way and as involved in impassioned romances. In accord with Kubie's theories, Elliott resolves the conflict between her inner and outer selves by rejecting the "drive to become both sexes"; at the end of the end of play, she is more feminine in appearance and has opened herself to romance.

The conflict of gender identities is even more pronounced in the figure of Russell Paxton, who has flamboyant mannerisms and occasionally wears women's clothes. Paxton's homosexual orientation is emphasized by his gushing descriptions of more masculine characters. Paxton corresponds with Kubie's emphasis upon the "feminine personality of inverts." Tellingly, while Elliott is able to find happiness through transformation, Paxton remains unchanged and unfulfilled.

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Hart's therapy did not diminish his sexual attraction to other men. In the late 1930s, he had a prolonged affair and lived briefly with Glen Boles, a handsome young actor who gained a role in a touring production of You Can't Take it With You as Tony (the idealized romantic interest). Boles later wrote that his relationship with the sexually confused Hart ultimately inspired him to undertake a career as a psychiatrist, offering affirmative treatment to gay men in a era.

Also in the late 1930s and early 1940s, Hart became acquainted with Gordon Merrick, then an actor and later a literary agent and writer. According to his life partner, Charles Hulse, Merrick utilized Hart as the model for playwright Meyer Rapper, the central character of The Lord Won't Mind (1970), publicized as the first openly gay novel on the New York Times bestseller list. Otis Bigelow, who performed in Dear Ruth (1944), and several other men who acted under Hart's direction, have confirmed that Rapper is an accurate characterization of Hart.

As Hart did during the period of his association with Merrick, Rapper lives opulently at the Waldorf-Astoria, and he has many of Hart's distinctive physical attributes and mannerisms. Bluntly asking sexual favors of actors auditioning for parts in his plays, Rapper explains, "my analyst would never speak to me if I went into rehearsal with this situation unresolved. I might easily have a breakdown."

Marriage to Kitty Carlisle

On August 10, 1946, when he was almost forty-two years old, Hart married Kitty Carlisle (born Catherine Conn, September 3, 1910, in New Orleans). Despite her mother's insistence that she marry a wealthy man, Carlisle had remained single as she pursued her singing career. After appearing as a soprano in the Marx Brother's A Night in the Opera (1935), she realized that she was unlikely to be successful in the film industry. However, by the time of her marriage to Hart, she had gained national recognition as a nightclub singer and radio entertainer.

Hart's marriage greatly surprised most of his associates and friends, who assumed he was a lifelong bachelor or gay (or both), and some of them speculated that Hart was intending to fulfill Kubie's theories by adopting a "normative" lifestyle. In interviews, Carlisle has maintained that she received assurances from Hart that he never had any homosexual experiences before accepting his proposal. At the wedding reception at his house in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Hart embarrassed Arthur Laurents and other gay male guests by suggesting that they all take off their clothes while there were "no girls around."

After getting married, Hart ended his friendships with many "out" gay men. It was widely rumored in the theatrical community that Carlisle forced Hart to do this, but she has publicly stated that she had no role in this development.

Following a performance by Carlisle in Terence Rattigan's O Mistress Mine at Bucks County Playhouse in July 1948, Hart proudly presented son Christopher (born January 14, 1948 in New York City) to the audience--announcing "Now they won't be able to say I'm gay anymore." Hart and Carlisle also had a daughter, Catherine Carlisle Hart (born June 17, 1950 in New York City), who has gained recognition for her strong support of AIDS charities.

According to their friends, Hart and Carlisle developed a close and mutually supportive relationship, and she offered him great emotional support during bouts of depression. They collaborated together on a number of theatrical projects. Hart's direction of Carlisle in the starring role in Anniversary Waltz (1954) helped to establish her on Broadway as a significant comedic actress.

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