Sep 6, 2017
Robert Ellis: Gay Best Friend of the 1950s
Corliss Archer was first introduced in a series of short stories by F. Hugh Herbert (published in book form in 1944): a bright, sassy teenager who kept trying to involve her unwilling best buddy Dexter in her wild schemes. Dexter was not interested in girls, but he liked hanging out with Corliss because, in spite of his grumbling, he enjoyed the excitement and adventure.
Warren Berlinger, but Robert Ellis was best at providing a "Holy Cow!" unwillingness.
As Ralph on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1956-58), he buddy-bonded with Ronnie Burns and tried his best not to get "snared" by a girl, in spite of his scripted girl-craziness.
In Gidget (1959), he played Hot Shot, a gay-vague surfer boy whom Gidget hires to make the Big Kahuna jealous. He didn't go through with it, but he did manage to display some impressive muscles and a spectacular bulge.
Robert's last screen appearance was in The Jackie Gleason Special (1973). He died in 1973, at the age of 40.
I just heard a story about Drake dating Robert Ellis in 1956, until Ricky Nelson stole him. See Tales of West Hollywood.