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August 05, 2019

Sal Mineo's Boyfriend Courtney Burr Once Opened up about Life after the 'Rebel without a Cause' Actor's Death

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In a rare interview, Courtney Burr once discussed his life after the demise of Sal Mineo, who made his initial mark in 1955's "Rebel Without a Cause" as Plato.

At the time of his murder, Mineo, who became one of the first influential actors in Hollywood to openly acknowledge his homosexuality, had been involved with Burr for six years.

"I felt so isolated and much more alone than I would have...not that I wanted to have a lot of people around me."

Sal Mineo circa 1955. | Source: Getty Images

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In a 2011 interview with Boy Culture, Burr recounted his life after the death of Mineo in 1976 at 37 years old. 

"I felt like I was just dropped," he said. "I'd always relied on him for support, and he was gone so I was even more isolated."

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"The thing with the family, even though the apartment was in my name here in L.A.—I had signed the lease because Sal's financial situation was dubious—when the murder took place, they cordoned it off and they wouldn't let me in," he added.

"The family…I could understand during the investigation, but I felt that I should be the first person let in, but I wasn't."

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Burr continued that they let the family in first alongside some "Big guys" from New York who came in and took all his letters to Mineo and burned them in the bathtub.

"When I found out they'd been allowed in the apartment first, I was enraged," he explained. "I didn't know the law, but it was already done. It wasn't like there was anything of great value, but anything that they thought would have pointed to his sexuality, any magazines or anything else he had around, they burned all that."

He added, "Everyone was trying to strong-arm me and that felt miserable. I felt so isolated and much more alone than I would have...not that I wanted to have a lot of people around me."

Burr said that he didn't know where to go at the time. He then decided to move back to New York and began working again in the theater. Fortunately, he has received many projects since then.

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