The Hollywood Museum’s presentation places the exhibit in the historical context of Hollywood, which is home to a large LGBT entertainment industry population. “The museum welcomes the opportunity to create and showcase this important exhibition, sharing with the public the artistic expression of the LGBT culture and its transformative impact on the world through the entertainment industry,” said Donelle Dadigan, Founder and President of The Hollywood Museum, which is located in the Historic Max Factor Building at 1660 N. Highland Ave, at Hollywood Blvd., in Hollywood, California. In addition to Dadigan, Reel to Real was curated by Bob Pranga and Steve Nycklemoe.
Some of the fascinating items displayed in the Reel to Real Exhibition include a Photo Wall with images of renowned actors who have portrayed characters that have become gay icons over the years, including Annette Bening/The Kids are All Right; Glenn Close/Albert Noble; Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet/Modern Family; Colin Firth/A Single Man; Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger/Brokeback Mountain; Sean Hayes and Eric McCormack/Will & Grace; Felicity Huffman/Transamerica; Nathan Lane and Robin Williams/The Birdcage; Sean Penn and James Franco/Milk and Hilary Swank/Boys Don’t Cry.
An award-winning screenwriter's on-set chairs are shown with various awards he has received. Featured outfits include Michael Douglas’ suit from Behind the Candelabra, Nathan Lane’s costume from The Birdcage, cast costumes from the gay wedding from Days of Our Lives and outfits worn by Sonny and Cher. A display of celebrity hair stylist Dean Banowetz’s work includes masks made for Ryan Seacrest and Sanjaya used for his work on American Idol.
Display cases contain items from television shows associated with such award-winning craftsmen as Graphic Designer Sandy Devore; Amy Feldman, Art Director for 2 Broke Girls; Norman Buckley, Director for Pretty Little Liars; Ron Franco, Set Decorator for True Blood; and Duane Poole, Writer/Producer for TV, film and theatre, most notable for One Christmas with Katherine Hepburn. One of the pieces displayed from True Blood is a pink-lined coffin Franco designed to look like a Chanel handbag for Pam’s character (Kristin Bauer van Straten) on the show.
In addition to some of his personal effects, The Roddy McDowall Powder Room contains photos and quotes supporting LGBT from Antonio Banderas, Kristin Chenoweth, Bette Davis, Rupert Everett, Tina Fey, Portia de Rossi, Ian McKellen, Marilyn Monroe, Daniel Radcliffe and Betty White, among others.
Along with a cocktail dress belonging to Elizabeth Taylor, there are her touching quotes regarding Rock Hudson and AIDS: “It’s bad enough that people are dying of AIDS, but no one should die of ignorance” and “Because of Rock (Hudson) that damned disease had an identity, AIDS finally has a face.”