Mar 8, 2014

Stan Brock: Man-Mountain, Adventurer, and Philanthropist

When I was a kid, we were in church ever Sunday from 9:30 to 12:00, and again from 6:30 to 9:00, with exceptions only during our annual family vacation or when we were sick. And don't try that "stomach ache" routine, or your parents will decide to fix fried chicken while bringing you a bowl of chicken broth.

It didn't make much sense to stay home anyway, since there was nothing good on tv.  Totalitarian cartoons like Underdog and Tennessee Tuxedo.  Heretical Lutheran programs like Davy and Goliath

And that horrible nature program, Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom (1963-1971), with grandfatherly Marlin Perkins showing us five minutes of footage of lions followed by five minutes of  "Just as lions take care of their families, you should take care of your family with life insurance. Mutual of Omaha..."


He had a couple of cute co-hosts, though: Jim Fowler, obviously his boyfriend (#9 on my list of Top 10 Nature Show Hunks), and the British-accented Stan Brock.

Neither showed substantial muscle on camera, so I was surprised to discover that Stan Brock had a superlative bodybuilder's physique (top photo)






Born in England in 1936, Brock spent his young adulthood working as a cowboy in British Guyana (he wrote about his experiences in All the Cowboys were Indians).  He got the gig on Wild Kingdom through his personal connection with Marlon Perkins, and stayed on through 1971.

During the 1970s, he tried his hand in two man-mountain movies:

Escape from Angola (1976); A zoologist and his family (Steven, Peter, and David Tors, sons of famous undersea director Ivan Tors) must flee from war-torn Angola and take off their shirts.

Galyon (1980): He's not a barbarian or a superhero, in spite of stealing the graphics from the 1979 Superman movie on the poster.  He's a man-mountain hired to rescue a couple from the South American jungle.

In 1985 and 1986, he and Peter Tors (left) starred in a fictionalized reality series, Stan Brock's Expedition: Danger.  A sort of Brazilian Tarzan, he ventured into the jungle to save people and animals from raging rivers, anacondas, poachers, and terrorists.  You can see it on youtube.

Later in the 1980s, he founded Remote Air Medical (RAM), a charitable organization that provides free medical care to people in isolated areas, originally the Brazilian jungle, but now mostly Appalachia.  He lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, and still follows a strict regiment of diet and exercise.




No wife mentioned, and a lot of time spent in the company of men.  Maybe he's gay.

See also: Mark Trail, a Substandard Tarzan.