Frank Phillip Merlo & Tennessee Williams

1948 - 1963

Tennessee Williams and Frank Phillip Merlo  

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Frank Phillip Merlo and Tennessee Williams were in a relationship for 15 years before Frank Phillip Merlo died aged 41.

About

American Writer Tennessee Williams was born Thomas Lanier Williams III on 26th March, 1911 in Columbus, Mississippi, USA and passed away on 25th Feb 1983 New York City, New York, USA aged 71. He is most remembered for A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. His zodiac sign is Aries.

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References

Relationship Statistics

StatusDurationLength
DatingJul 1948 - Sep 1963 15 years, 2 months
Total Jul 1948 - Sep 1963 15 years, 2 months


Tennessee Williams met long-term partner Frank Merlo in the summer of 1948 (Merlo died of lung cancer in the fall of 1963). Though separated briefly in 1961 and again in 1962, the two were partners for 15 years. Merlo acted as his personal manager/secretary.
Williams spent the spring and summer of 1948 in Rome in the company of a teenaged Italian boy, called "Rafaello" in Williams' Memoirs, to whom he provided financial assistance for several years afterwards, a situation which planted the seed of Williams' first novel, The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone. When he returned to New York that spring, he met and fell in love with Frank Merlo (1922–1963), an occasional actor of Sicilian heritage who had served in the U.S. Navy in World War II.
This one enduring romantic relationship of Williams' life lasted 14 years until infidelities and drug abuse on both sides ended it. Merlo, who became Williams' personal secretary, taking on most of the details of their domestic life, provided a period of happiness and stability as well as a balance to the playwright's frequent bouts with depression and the fear that, like his sister Rose, he would fall into insanity. Their years together, in an apartment in Manhattan and a modest house in Key West, Florida, were Williams' happiest and most productive. Shortly after their breakup, Merlo was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer and Williams returned to take care of him until his death on September 21, 1963.

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Relationship Timeline

July, 1948 - Hookup

Couple Comparison

Name
Frank Phillip Merlo
Tennessee Williams
Frank Phillip Merlo
Tennessee Williams
Age (at start of relationship)
26
37
Occupation
Military
Writer
Hair Color
Brown - Dark
Brown - Dark
Nationality
American
American

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