In 1954, Mike Connolly, the gay gossip columnist for the Hollywood Reporter from 1951 to 1966, was described by Newsweek as "probably the most influential columnist inside the movie colony," the one writer "who gets the pick of trade items, the industry rumors, the policy and casting switches." He was indeed one of the most talented and influential members of the Hollywood press of his time, and his column, for those who could read between the lines, was a daily chronicle of gay goings-on. Fifty years later, his cumulative output is a virtually untapped lode of gay Hollywood history. Mike Connolly's life and work are the focus of this book. It considers his formative years, pre-World War I life at the University of Illinois and in Chicago, and the ways in which the homosexual community in Hollywood lived lives both secretive and open in the forties, fifties and sixties. It also examines the literary merit, power and newsworthiness of Connolly's "Rambling Reporter" column in the Hollywood Reporter and its significance as a chronicle of gay Hollywood life, the previously unexplored role of Connolly's column in the Hollywood blacklist and how his anti-Communist crusade was rooted in his earlier campaign to close down the brothels in his college town, and how his life informed his column and how his column shaped his life.