Sep 28, 2017

The Goldenboy in the Attic: Jeb Stuart Adams

There are lots of threatened gay-vague kids in movies and tv, but not many are threatened by their own parents.  Flowers in the Attic (1987) is an exception.  It was based on a 1979 novel by Virginia Andrews, about four children who go to live with their grandmother because their mother doesn't like them.  But Grandma doesn't like them either; she locks them in the attic for several years, and finally tries to poison them.  The eldest two, Chris and Cathy, develop an incestuous romance.

The movie omits the incest, thus omitting any hint of heterosexual interest, transforming Chris (Jeb Stuart Adams) into a gay-vague teenager.  Grandma (Louise Fletcher) struts around with a Bible, accusing Chris and the other kids of "sin," which of course adds to the gay symbolism.

The incest angle, murderous relatives, and some nasty plot elements made the film controversial, but it didn't help Jeb's career.

Blond goldenboy Jeb Stuart Adam looked like he sprang up from the Appalachia of the Dukes of Hazzard, but he was actually the son of gay actor Nick Adams and his wife, Carol Nugent, and he grew up among the Hollywood glitterati.

His angelic smile and a smooth, firm but not muscular chest, making him perfect for roles as threatened kids: threatened by drug dealers on Quincy ME (1982),  a bad father in His Mistress (1984), and a hippie cult on Airwolf (1985).

He also had significant supporting roles in The Goonies and Once Bitten, plus a 7-episode story arc (1977-78) on Baa Baa Black Sheep, about World War II fighter pilots led by Pappy Boyington (Robert Conrad).

After Flowers in the Attic, Jeb was threatened a few more times, in They Live (1988), Dragnet (1990), and Sworn to Vengeance (1993), but you can't play threatened kids forever. He retired from acting and moved into production design and stuntwork.

Today Jeb has a successful real estate business in Ventura, California, specializing in the million-plus market.


  1. I was almost certain that Jeb had a prolonged scene wearing just his boxer shorts in an episode of Black Sheep Squadron. I was so certain that 30 years later i watched every episode of Black Sheep Squadron that he appeared in, and no such scene existed. I must have dreamed it. Memory is a bitch.

  2. I don't remember a boxer scene, not for certain anyway. Although, sometimes I think they just make those things disappear for good. He looked absolutely EXQUISITE filling out those Officer's Khakis though!

  3. I had forgetten that the original movie version didn't have the incest. There is, I guess, a Cable movie : much more recent, rich in all the lurid details and also with a very appealing cast. As appealing as Jeb Adams though, I don't think can be found.

  4. That scene from Black Sheep was probably 'panned and scanned'--cropped, when it was reissued. Imdb says those eps were made in 1978. Jeb was already 17 or 18 by then. But playing 16. On reissue,the Studio may have made some decisions based on the audience they expected. It's amazing that he was nearly 10 yrs older when he did 'Flowers..."

  5. The magazine pics are interesting too: I can't help wondering why a kid named JEB Stuart has what appears to be a UNION cavalry officer's hat hanging from his dresser mirror. And I love how the subscript in the other one begins: "It won't be long before Jeb is 18...."


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