Gregory Harrison) with AIDS.
And his character on Dallas (1983-84), Peter Richards, a psychology major who mentors Ewing heir John Ross Jr., can be read as gay-vague, even though he is bedded by an older woman
Then he played a swashbuckler (The Pirate Movie), a stripper (A Night in Heaven), a lifeguard (Wet and Wild Summer), a sexy vampire (Dracula Rising), a professional gambler (Shoot), and. . .well, just about every profession that has been featured in a Harlequin Romance, always with a fade-out kiss.
But is beefcake enough? Arnold Schwartzennegger has appeared nude a lot, also, but he's hardly a gay icon.
Maybe it's because of how his body was displayed. Men on display on screen are usually in instrumental poses -- they are fighting or having sex. We're not supposed to be desiring the bodies, we're supposed to be admiring their utility. But Christopher's poses were usually ornamental -- he was standing, or dancing, or lying on a bed, doing nothing, displaying his body for its own sake, as an object of beauty.
Maybe it's his amazing gay-friendliness. During the 1980s, most male actors refused to acknowledge that they had gay fans, or acknowledged them with a hysterical protest of their own heterosexuality, but Chris genuinely liked and supported his gay male following, and that in itself helped not a few come out: "It's ok to think Chris is attractive -- it's ok to be attracted to men."
And he's in even better shape now than he was in 1980.
There are nude photos of Chris Atkins on Tales of West Hollywood.