Letters from Hungarian adventurer Count László de Almásy, who was the
basis for Ralph Fiennes's character in The English Patient, have
unearthed, confirming long-circulated rumors that the World War II spy was gay.
According to London's Daily Mail, Almásy's letters were discovered by the Heinrich Barth Institute for African Studies in Cologne, Germany. He was apparently not a womanizer, as the film suggests, but instead in love with Hans Entholt, an officer in the Wehrmacht under Nazi Germany. Entholt died during Gen. Erwin Rommel's retreat from Africa after stepping on a land mine.
The Institute refuses to publish the letters, but a staff member told Der Spiegel magazine that Egyptian princes were among Almásy's lovers.
The English Patient won nine Academy Awards for 1996, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress (Juliette Binoche). Fiennes was nominated for Best Actor.