May 8, 2014

Peter Brown: Buddy-Bonding Cowboy of the 1950s

I never saw this massive chest before yesterday, that I remember, and he has a pretty common name, so sorry if I get the pictures wrong.

He's Peter Brown, a heart throb to the first generation of Baby Boomers.

Born in New York in 1935, he graduated from UCLA and hit Hollywood in 1957.  Guest bits on swinging detective and Western shows landed him his most famous role, Lawman (1958-62)

It starred John Russell (the one with the basket) as Marshall Dan Troup of Laramie, Wyoming (the name Laramie was taken).  Peter played his partner, deputy, and close friend Johnny McKay.

Sounds like a lot of gay subtext potential.  No wonder the first generation of Boomers remembers it fondly.

Next came some Disney movies, the sexploitation Kitten with a Whip (1964), and the surfing-buddy movie Ride the Wild Surf (1964), also starring teen crooner Fabian Forte.

I've already discussed its many gay subtexts.

In 1965-67 Peter returned to the Old West to star in Laredo with bodybuilder William Smith.

Then came more guest spots, soap operas, sexploitation movies like Teenage Tease (1971) and Foxy Brown (1974), and bad horror movies like Piranha (1972).  He was very busy as an actor, but his glory days were obviously past.

Peter been married five times, so I'm going to guess he's heterosexual.  But back when he was playing cowboys, his beefcake and homoerotic buddy-bonding kept lots of Boomer kids interested.

You can see more pictures of Peter Brown on Fabian Forte on the Beach.