07 April 2011
Paul McMahon - subject of film "50 years" passes
Paul McMahon and his husband Ralph Hodgdon were the subject of my film "50 Years". Last week Paul past away suddenly from a cancer he had no idea he had at the age of 78.
Paul was a confident and stage manager for Ms Dietrich for 13 years. He met her when he tried to get her autograph back stage and was hit by the hair brush she had thrown at someone in a tantrum. He handed it back to her saying, "Miss Dietrich, I believe you dropped this" and they became fast friends.
Paul was also a photographer, silversmith and writer on top of being a pioneer in the fight for gay rights. He met his husband, artist Ralph Hodgdon in Central park, New York in the 50's and they never separated after that. I met them well over 20 years ago and we maintained a very nice friendship that led to my film about them.
A fixture in gay pride parades in Boston, the sign they carried said how long they had been together and how many years they were married.
This year's sign would have said: "Together 56 years, married 7".