Jun 30, 2016

Lorenzo Lamas: from Gay-Vague Prettyboy to Straight Kickboxer

The son of Hollywood royalty, Fernando Lamas and Arlene Dahl, Lorenzo Lamas had a delicate, prettyboy face, big hair, a slim, hairy chest, and a penchant for semi-nudity that made him perfect for gay-vague roles.

 Gay teens first noticed him in Take Down (1979), as a high school wrestler who finds inspiration in his unconventional English teacher (Edward Herrman).

And in  the short-lived California Fever (1979), hanging out on the beach with Jimmy McNichol and Marc McClure.

And in a photo spread in the gay-vague magazine After Dark (1979).

They were expecting a lot from the gay-coded young hunk.  But it didn't happen.

Instead he got married -- twice by 1983, four times altogether.

And he landed the nighttime soap opera Falcon Crest (1981-1990), as Lance Cumson, the lazy playboy grandson of matriarch Angela Channing (Jane Wyman).  His character was married four times during the course of 227 episodes.

Meanwhile Lorenzo started bulking up, to take advantage of the 1980s fad for man-mountains, and he branched out into martial-arts actioners.  Except instead of saving a buddy, he distancesdhimself from his earlier gay-vague roles by saving girls: his sister in Snake Eater (1989), his girlfriend in Night of the Warrior (1991), a female archaeologist in The Swordsman (1992).

There were a few minor buddy-bonding roles, such as the kickboxing movie Final Impact (1992), but nothing like the promise of the 1980s.  At least he took off his shirt a lot.

During the 1990s and 2000s, Lamas could be seen mostly in low-budget actioners.  He also starred in the soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful (2004-2007) and parodied himself in the tv series Leave it to Lamas (2009) and Love Sex God (2012).

Not a lot of gay content in his work, but he has performed in The King and I and A Chorus Line at the Ogunquit Playhouse in the gay resort town.

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