Jul 26, 2016

Doug McClure: From Physique Pictorial to The Simpsons

One of the supporting characters in the "my secret" teencom Out of This World (1987-91), about a teenage alien, was Kyle X. Applegate (Doug McClure): a bumbling, dimwitted has-been tv star.  In 1991, a bumbling, dimwitted has-been movie star began appearing on The Simpsons with the schtick "Hi, I'm Troy McClure.  You may remember me from such movies as..."

Who was this Doug McClure, and how did he get typecast as a bumbling, dimwitted has-been?

A little research reveals quite a different character:

A fitness model who appeared in the gay-vague Physique Pictorial in 1957 (here pinning Clint Eastwood).

Appearances in nearly 100 movies and tv shows, playing cowboys, detectives, and adventurers, usually in gay-subtext buddy pairs.

1. Jed Sills, partner of Don Corey (Anthony George) in the swnging 1960s detective series Checkmate (1960-62).

2. Engineering student Chuck Manning in The Lively Set (1964), who teams up with young mechanic Casey Owens (teen idol James Darren) to build a jet-powered car.  He's not interested in girls, but his sister hangs around to provide Casey with the fade-out kiss.

3. John, brother to Beau Geste (Guy Williams of Lost in Space) n the French foreign legion adventure (1966).

4. Trampas, head farm hand on the Shiloh Ranch in Wyoming run by The Virginian (James Drury) (1962-71).  This was his most famous role.  Apparently he knew how to fill out a cowboy suit, especially with a rifle handy.

5. Cash Conover, partner of 19th century secret agent Boomer Cable (William Shatner) on Barbary Coast (1975-76).

Doug continued to play cowboys, detectives, secret agents, and adventurers through the 1980s, but he never had another starring role. Maybe that's where he got the "has-been" image.

 All of that buddy-bonding fueled some substantial gay rumors, even though he was married to women five times.

See also: James Shigeta.


  1. I heard he was gay

    1. Simpsons had an episode alluding to the gay rumors as well.

  2. McClure had plenty to beefcake appeal


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