Nov 26, 2016
Ron Glass: The Gay-Vague Cop at the Gym
I had a big crush on the dimwitted, muscular Wojo (Max Gail), but I loved the fussy, swishy, stylish, gay-vague Detective Ron Harris.
A glimpse of sophistication and freedom on dark, gloomy Thursday nights in a Rock Island where everyone was terrified to admit that gay people existd.
Harris was always impeccably dressed, a shining exception to the crumpled cops around him
And, incidentally, he had a breathtaking bulge.
Later, when I was living in West Hollywood, I saw Ron often at the gym. Not much of a physique: he went for lean and lanky, and he was extraordinarily feminine, not my type. But he could really fill out his gym trunks. Mega-huge!
I heard that Tony Geary from General Hospital was his former lover.
Ron Glass grew up in Evansville, Indiana, and worked in theater before coming to Los Angeles in 1972. Aside from Barney Miller, he was known for The New Odd Couple (1982-83), playing the fussy Felix Ungar to Demond Wilson's Oscar Madison; and the futuristic science fiction series Firefly (2002-2003), playing the religious zealot Shepherd Book (nice name).
But he had over 70 acting roles, mostly in an extraordinary array of sitcoms, from the 1970s (Maude, All in the Family, Good Times) to the 2000s (Friends).
I've only found one semi-beefcake photo online.
But it wasn't about the beefcake. It was about the glimpse of freedom for gay kids lost in the wilds of the Straight World.