Jul 30, 2017

Matthew Laborteaux

Born in 1966, Matthew Laborteaux starred in several movies and tv series, including The Red Hand Gang, but he first drew the interest of gay boys and their straight female friends around 1980, when his character Albert on Little House on the Prairie shifted from cute kid to dreamy teen.  The teen idol treatment followed, with lots of pin-up pictures of Matthew and his brother Patrick (also on Little House).  

Patrick, who had a more muscular physique, may have received even more teen idol attention, though he left Little House in 1981.

In 1983 Matthew became the star of Whiz Kids, which lasted only one season but left an indelible mark on gay teens everywhere.  It was about a teenage computer whiz and his friends who solve crimes, with the help of their newspaper reporter mentor Lew (played by Max Gail of Barney Miller).  Richie (Matthew) was the computer whiz; Hamilton (Todd Porter) the jock; Jeremy (Jeffrey Jacquet) the black kid, and Alice (Andrea Elson) the girl.

There was significant bonding, oddly, between Lew and Hamilton.  In one episode, after Lew has been rescued from torture at the hands of evil record producers, Hamilton sits next to him and tenderly holds his hand.

None of the teen characters express any heterosexual interest, though Lew gets a crush on Richie's mother to explain why he hangs around teenage boys all the time.

After Whiz Kids, Matthew starred in a couple of bad movies and then moved into production and voice work.  He is rumored to be gay, but hasn't made any public statements.


  1. Is his brother Patrick gay?

  2. I think I must have been the only one back in the day who was never attracted to Matthew AT ALL. I was, however, VERY interested in his brother Patrick after he hit puberty and became a "teen idol" (featured more prominently in the teen 'zines than his television/film career at the time would indicate). I vaguely remember 'Whiz Kids' and primarily remember Todd Porter as being one of the most beautiful boys I'd ever seen (as a very femme and very blonde little gay boy, I was primarily attracted to brunettes like Todd Porter, Ronnie Scribner, Noah Hathaway, Brian Bloom, etc).. Unfortunately, Todd's career ended fairly abruptly at the height of his "teen idol" fame and beauty (much in the same way they all did, with the possible exception of Brian Bloom).. I wish he'd had the opportunity to have done more because my GOD he was beautiful.. Oh well.. At least we'll always have the Tiger Beat "cheesecake" centerfolds of yesteryear..


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