Apr 8, 2016

John Hamill: The First Nude Physique Model

Born in 1947, the boyish, good-natured John Hamill began his career as a physique model, one of the first to pose fully nude.  Sometimes he even had a partner, in explicitly homoerotic scenes aimed at the increasingly visible gay male audience.  He also appeared in both gay and heterosexual "blue movies."

But he aspired to become a serious actor, so he studied at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts and began appearing on stage, notably in the gay-themed Boys in the Band in 1969 (presumably as the hustler hired to become a "birthday present").

His film career began in 1970, with starring roles in the thrillers The Beast in the Cellar (not as the beast), Trog (not as the rampaging caveman), and No Blade of Grass.  He also had some guest spots on tv series such as Paul Temple, The Befrienders, and Crossroads.  

But, like many bodybuilders, especially those with a "gay reputation," John found himself stuck in minor roles as threatening bad guys or inarticulate hunks.  In Tower of Evil (1972), for example, his character is introduced, takes off his clothes, flexes his muscles and gets killed, all in about thirty seconds.

Anxious for work, he agreed to star in the sex comedy Girls Come First (1975), as an artist asked to paint nude models.  Released in both hardcore and softcore versions, it was popular enough to lead to two sequels, and parts in similar movies, like Hardcore (1977).

But nothing else.  After a two-parter on Space: 1999 in 1978, he retired from acting and became a furniture refinisher.

Being so open about sex, and so nonchalant about both male and female partners, limited John's career, but left him -- and his fans -- with many fond memories.

You can see the nude photos on Tales of West Hollywood.