Dec 13, 2016

Jay R. Ferguson, Teen Idol

Born in 1974, Jay R. Ferguson first received gay teens' attention in the short-lived tv adaption of The Outsiders, about boys falling in love with each other.  He had a lengthier tenure on tv series Evening Shade (1990-1994), with Burt Reynolds as Wood Newton, a high school football coach in one of those quirky small town that popped up everywhere in the 1990s.  Jay played his teenage son, Taylor, who was star quarterback, and as aggressively girl-crazy as most other teenagers on prime time in the 1990s.  But for many teens, being "dreamy" was enough.

Jay redeemed himself with The Price of Love (1995): he plays a gay hustler who shows the ropes to the "gay for pay" Bret (Peter Facinelli).

His dreaminess quotient decreased when he got a reputation as a hard partier.  Even tearing off his shirt during a party at Fox didn't help.  Kids like their teen idols wholesome and innocent.

During the late 1990s, Jay did a few buddy-bonding movies.

Blue Ridge Falls (1999), about four friends bonding over a murder. His Shane buddy-bonds with Danny (Peter Facinelli).

Hollywood Palms (2000), about the interconnected lives of residents in the Hollywood Palms apartment complex.  Jay plays rocker Riley, who buddy bonds with Dexter (Jeff Russo).  Together they try to prevent a murder.

But when he graduated to adult romantic leads, the buddy bonding dried up.  All I could find was a 2005 episode of Medium: Jay plays Tommy Lehane, best buddy of the medium's brother Michael (Ryan Hurst), who might be a murderer.

More recently Jay has played Stan Rizzo, the homophobic art director at the 1960s ad agency on Mad Men (2010-2012), the non-homophobic dad of a gay teen on The Real O'Neals (2016-), and a guy who tries to "Live Biblically."

He's still quite muscular, and not averse to stripping down to his underwear, in spite of his huge bulge.

See also: Living Biblically


  1. You have a picture from, but don't mention, the short-lived TV version of The Outsiders, in which Jay played Ponyboy. The Outsiders is all about boys falling in love with each other, and the TV series, which takes up just after the events of the book/movie, is no different- even though the replacement for the late Johnny Cade character is a tough, butch little lesbian.

  2. More recently he has stared in the Conners as Ben, romantic interest of Sarah Gilbert's Darlene. Rosanne's bad press aside. The show has included a couple LGBTQ+ characters. Darlene's son Mark is gender non-conforming and shows romantic interest in boys. And Robyn, played by Alexandra Billings, a trans woman supervisor where Darlene and Becky work. They haven't shied away from the issues surrounding people in the LGBTQ+ community either. I just wish the show was better.

    1. In the original series, Dan was quite homophobic. How is his character handling a gender non-conforming grandchild?


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