It was just as well that his wife didn’t find out until years later that, just hours after Vanessa was born, he’d spent the night in the arms of the actress Edith Evans.Often guilt-ridden about his homosexual affairs, Michael once cried himself to sleep after telling Rachel about a new love.But Sir Michael, along with the star's mother Rachel Kempson, feared she would become a housewife and sacrifice her movie career if she wed, according to previously unseen letters in the archives of the famous acting dynasty.Kempson wrote to her husband, “Vanessa is completely infatuated...Until that point, in fact, many of his friends had assumed he was gay.
Years later, Coward told Rachel that he hadn’t wished to hurt her, but he’d been unable to help himself because Michael was irresistibly charming.
Growing up in this dysfunctional household inevitably left its mark on the children, all of whom grew up to become acclaimed actors.
Their father may have hidden his bisexuality, but they were aware of unspoken tensions.
Yet, when the couple married on April 28, 1962, not everyone was convinced that Vanessa would live happily ever after.
For all their mutual passion, there was one rather worrying problem: Tony Richardson was bisexual.