Ken Olandt was almost overlooked. Trained as an advertising agent, he and his physique started making the rounds of tv guest shots in 1983 -- Love Boat, The A-Team, Simon & Simon, Hotel. He got a recurring role as a streetwise dock boy on the short-lived Riptide (1984-85). But he was rarely asked to do as much as unbutton a button by casting agents accustomed to walking, talking versions of Michelangelo's David.
Hell Night -- but Ken spent a long scene in his underwear (and, incidentally, buddy-bonding), and gay men and straight women finally started paying attention.
And so it went for the next decade. Whether he guest-starred on a remake of the 1960s tv show Gidget, set mostly on the beach, or Murder, She Wrote, set elsewhere, more likely than not, Ken would be asked to strip down to his underwear or appear nude except for a g-string or swimsuit.
Not that anyone was complaining.