May 8, 2013

Edson Stroll: Bodybuilding Opera Buff

I met Ed Stroll when I was working for Muscle and Fitness in Los Angeles: dashing, energetic, and still extremely buffed in his 50s. He was working in real estate, but he spent most of his time at the Marina del Rey Yacht Club, and knew everything there was to know about high culture: concerts, ballets, and especially opera.

And, whenever he could spare a moment, playing high-powered businessman types on Murder She Wrote, Hotel, Dynasty, Simon and Simon....

I didn't know that he had been in show biz for over 30 years. Or that his real name was Edson.





Born in 1929, Ed trained as a bodybuilder, actor, and singer, performing on stage in Shangri-La, Carousel, On the Town, and other plays before breaking into tv with guest shots on How to Marry a Millionaire, Sea Hunt, Lock-Up, and Men into Space.  












He starred in two famous episodes of The Twilight Zone: "Eye of the Beholder", about a society where the idea of beauty is our "ugliness"; and "The Trade-Ins," in which an elderly couple shop for hot new bodies.

He starred in the military comedy McHale's Navy (1962-66), as Virgil Edwards, "the handsome lover boy of the crew" (according to Wikipedia; I've never seen it).











He appeared in Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961) as Prince Charming, and The Three Stooges in Orbit (1962), as romantic lead Captain Tom Andrews.

Not a lot of gay content, but you don't really need any when you spend all of your time hanging around gay men.








I assumed he was gay; he never said he wasn't.

When he died on June 18, 2011, his obituary stated that he was survived by Anita Winters and his two dogs,  Eddie and Sugar Baby.    I have no idea who Anita Winters is.