Apr 25, 2013

Dan Gauthier: Prime Time Muscle

Don't mix up Dick Gautier with Dan Gauthier -- no relation, and there's an "h."  Dan was born in 1963, one of the last of the Boomer kids, and worked as a model before his physique was displayed to the world on the gay teen favorite Married...with Children (1987).

He played a local hunk that daughter Kelly hooks up with during a family vacation in Florida.

Teen Witch followed (1989), which works well as a comedy, except that no gay boy leaving the theater could remember anything except for Dan's shirtless shots.

And then lots of starring roles on tv series, such as the aptly-named Muscle (1995). Dan played a police detective who dates Ellen's best friend on Ellen (1996-1997); a pro baseball player who dates Samantha on  Melrose Place  (1998); and various other hunks who date women, not to mention sheriffs, detectives, athletes, and nuclear family dads.

He also starred in movies in a wide variety of genres, including horror (Groom Lake, 2002), romance (Dating Games People Play, 2005), and comedy (Help for the Holidays, 2012).

Directors ordered Dan's clothes to stay on most of the time, recognizing that whenever his shirt came off, heterosexual women and gay men stopped paying attention to the plot.  But still he got his fair share of shirtless, underwear, and nude shots.

While his characters usually dated women, buddy bonding was not unknown. No gay characters, but he would be happy to play some.

He's a gay ally, even good at finding subtexts.  When he was on One Life to Live (2003-2010), he became best buds with Trevor St. John, who played Todd Manning, and suggested that their characters might have a romantic connection: "We could be daytime's first power gay couple!"