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Wednesday 14 April 2010

"English Patient" hero was gay, letters show

Posted in: International Daily News, Movies
By daily News staff - 6th April 2010

Claims are emerging that the World War II spy whose story inspired the Oscar-winning film The English Patient was actually gay and in love with a Nazi soldier.

Ralph Fiennes in The English Patient
The Heinrich Barth Institute for African Studies in Cologne says it has love letters penned by Count Laszlo de Almásy which show he had a relationship with a soldier called Hans Entholt.

A member of the institute's staff has told Germany's Der Spiegel magazine the letters show he had several homosexual relationships: "Egyptian princes were among Almásy's lovers."

The son of a Hungarian nobleman, Almásy is portrayed in the film by actor Ralph Fiennes as the handsome young lover of British woman in pre-war Cairo, before he is badly burned in a plane crash.

In the film he dies of a morphine overdose, but his letters reportedly prove in reality he was killed by amoebic dysentery in 1951, while his lover Entholt died after accidentally standing on a German landmine.

The English Patient won nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture, at the 1996 Oscars.

UK newspaper The Telegraph says The Heinrich Barth Institute has refused to publish the letters in full.

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