Apr 14, 2013

David Mendenhall and the Older Man

Born in 1971, David Mendenhall spent his adolescence doing voices for cartoons (The Berenstain Bears, Rainbow Brite) and starring in movies in which his characters are mentored, nurtured, and rescued by a series of bicep-bulging older men; all fathers or father-figures, but still, they allowed many gay boys to fantasize about riding off into the sunset with a hunky older boyfriend.

 Space Raiders (1983): Space pirate Hawk (Vince Edwards) bonds with 12-year old stowaway Peter (David), and rescues the boy when he is captured by evil bounty hunters. But in the end the two part company.

Over the Top (1987): Truck driver/arm wrestling champion Hawk (Sylvester Stallone) reunites with Mike (David), the 15-year old son whom he hasn't seen in many years, and rescues him when he is kidnapped by thugs hired by his evil grandfather.  In the end, they start a trucking business together.

They Still Call Me Bruce (1987): Korean martial artist Bruce (Johnny Yune) mentors the orphan Billy (David), who gets assaulted by a gang and goes into a coma. But he wakes up in time to inspire Bruce to win an important karate contest.

In Going Bananas (1988), David is nearly 17, but still small and slim, with a boyish face that makes him look like a child rather than a teenager, especially when paired with plus-sized actors (Dom Deluise and Jimmie Walker) in a plot about a talking chimp.
But his small starture facilitates gay subtexts: in the tv drama Our House (1986-88): he played J.R. Dutton, best friend to the teenage David (gay actor Chad Allen), but he actually seems more interested in the feminine-coded friend Mark (Thomas Wilson Brown).

In 1990 David retired from acting to go to college, getting a law degree in 2003.  But recently he has returned to show biz to guest star in some tv series and produce the game show Take it All.