Kenneth Anger Biography

Kenneth Anger was born in Southern California in 1930. He played the role of a child prince in the lavish 1935 film version of A Midsummer Night's Dream. He also had Shirley Temple as a dancing partner at cotillions of the Maurice Kossloff Dancing School. He grew up in a fairly well off family that had some ties to Hollywood and its film industry.

He began making films when he was just 11 years old, beginning with Who Has Been Rocking My Dreamboat in 1941. He would make about five more films, about one per year, before he would finally make one in 1947 titled Fireworks that would be released and remain in distribution. He was then only 17 years old. Unfortunately, of his early films there are no descriptions in print.

As he moved into his teens, his work began to take on defiantly original and many times, openly gay themes. The first of these statements was 1947's Fireworks. Anger appears and plays roles in many of his films.

From his late teens onward, he became fascinated by the supernatural and the occult. He became a disciple of world famous satanist and occultist Aleistar Crowley. This interest of his had a great influence on his films and on his life in general.

He ironically gained the most fame, or notoriety, in 1958 when he wrote the book Hollywood Babylon, a tell all book revealing scandals and controversies in Hollywood among the rich and famous.

In 1966, in Anger's booklet of notes on his Magick Lantern Cycle, his collection of films from 1947, he provided a schematic autobiography.

SOURCES:
Sitney, P. (1979). Visionary film - the american avant-garde. New York: Oxford University Press.

Fonoroff, N. & Curry, M. (1988) Canyon Cinema - Catalog 6. Ann Arbor, Michigan: McNaughton & Gunn.

Kenneth Anger