Aug 8, 2016

Michael J. Pollard, Lost Boy

When I was a kid in the 1960s, I thought Michael J. Pollard was the cutest guy around.  He was short, husky, and blond (I thought), with an impish smile. And he always played lost boys.

I first saw him in "The Magic Mirror" (1966), an episode of Lost in Space, playing a boy trapped in the mysterious world on the other side of a mirror.

And then in "Miri," an episode of Star Trek (1966), as the leader of a group of kids trapped in a perpetual childhood.

And then in "The Scene," an episode of The Danny Thomas Hour about a girl lost in the psychedelic world of the hippies.  He played her hippie friend.

He befriended girls, but never displayed any romantic interest in them.  Maybe he liked boys!

Years later, I saw some of his more serious roles, where Michael used his boyish quirks to play man-childs, sometimes affecting, sometimes dangerous and deranged.

In Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Michael played C. W. Moss, who befriends the criminal duo (Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway) and has a rather obvious crush on Clyde.

In Little Fauss and Big Halsey (1970), he is the inept, childish motorcycle racer Little Fauss who can barely contain his crush on the superstar Big Halsey (Robert Redford).

Dirty Little Billy (1972) is an unromantic portrayal of Billy the Kid (Michael) as a leering psycho.

Off camera, he was a leather-jacket rebel. Once when he was in Morocco with Jim Capaldi, he helped write the lyrics for "Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys," a gay-themed song recorded by Traffic (1971).

If I gave you everything that I owned and asked for nothing in return
Would you do the same for me as I would for you?
Or take me for a ride, and strip me of everything including my pride
But spirit is something that no one destroys
And the sound that I'm hearing is only the sound
The low spark of high-heeled boys

I don't know if he is gay or bisexual in real life, though he was married to actress Beth Howland (of Alice) from 1961 to 1969.

Actor Michael Andrew Fox changed to Michael J. Fox as a homage to Michael J. Pollard.

I haven't seen much of Michael's more recent work, though I understand that he's still playing mostly hippies, psychos, and man-childs, and in a humorous turn, the mischievous transdimensional Mr. Mxyzptik on Superboy.

Here he is recently.  An elderly, white-haired gentleman with an impish grin and a black leather jacket. I'd date him.

But I'll always remember the Lost Boy of my childhood.

See also: Lost in Space