He's gotta be sure, and it's gotta be soon,
And he's gotta be bigger than life.
We got Jon-Erik Hexum. But he was a gift to the world for only 24 months.
It was put on Sunday nights opposite 60 Minutes, which the oldsters liked, and just before Chips: obviously aimed at an audience of kids, especially gay boys, who couldn't forget the sight of Jon-Erik in a brown vest and a white shirt unbuttoned to his navel.
He starred with super-famous Joan Collins in a tv-movie, The Making of a Male Model (1983).
He played a Prince on an episode of Hotel (1984).
He co-starred with Gary Busey in the football drama The Bear (1984).
There were rumors of destructive behavior, fast cars, all-night clubbing, orgies, drugs. Maybe they were just rumors. Or maybe Jon-Erik was becoming too famous, too fast.
He was often seen dancing in gay clubs, so maybe he was gay in real life. Or maybe he just liked the adoration of both male and female fans.
Later in 1984 he landed the starring role in Cover-Up, a tv series about a male model and a female photographer who go undercover in exotic locations to solve crimes. He filmed six episodes.
While filming the seventh, on October 12th, 1984, he was playing Russian roulette with a gun loaded with blanks. Or maybe he was just joking around. Apparently he didn't know that at close range, blanks can kill.
Cover-Up tried to slog on without him, but after 22 episodes it was cancelled.
The world tried to slog on without him, too.