Gay philanthropist, art collector, and movie industry insider Salah Bachir tells his life story in a new autobiographical book
A marvelous and compulsively readable collection of stories from the life of Salah Bachir — philanthropist, art collector, movie industry insider — who, through his sheer joy of life, art, giving back, and human interaction, has endeared him to some of the most famous and creative people in recent times.
Well-known gay Lebanese-Canadian activist and humanitarian Bachir (He/Him), has taken the groundbreaking and forward-thinking step of including gender pronouns in the author’s byline.
It is a compulsively readable collection of stories from the life of Bachir, whose infectious joy in life and art has endeared him to some of the most famous and creative people in recent times.
Bachir, who immigrated to Canada from Lebanon in the 1960s, has been a gay activist who has worked in the film world for over four decades. While this has given him undeniable front-row access to Hollywood’s biggest stars, it is Salah’s personal charm and kindness, his philanthropy, his overall style (think hats, scarves, brooches, pearls, diamonds) and deep involvement in the art world that has made him a friend, companion, confidante, and/or lover to so many — including Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Joan Rivers, Mary Tyler Moore, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Edward Albee, Orson Welles, Aretha Franklin, Norman Jewison, and Elizabeth Taylor — although it’s true that Katharine Hepburn once turned him down, very nicely.
Collected here in this wonderful book are personal stories of them all — some short, some long, some surprising, others juicy, and all fascinating. Through them we get to know Salah, a larger-than-life character that embodies the many worlds he shapes — the kind of person it would be hard to make up if he didn’t already exist.
Available from Penguin Random House
“Salah Bachir’s encounters with stars who have passed through his beloved Toronto over the years opens on a backyard garden barbecue with Marlon Brando, and bread continues to be broken with icons as fascinating and seemingly disparate as Muhammad Ali and Liberace, Margaret Atwood and Cesar Chavez, Andy Warhol and Princess Margaret, to name just a few. But the true literary coup is that the biggest, brightest star we encounter is the author himself.”
— Alan Cumming
“Salah is the patron saint for all of us who are full of curiosity, hungry for celebration, horny for fun, and who won’t stop until every need is fulfilled. His appetite and passion for life is voracious. His ability to transform those passions into making life better for others is even more impressive.”
— Atom Egoyan
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.