Jan 20, 2021

Forgotten Gay Actor Antony Hamilton

When I was living in West Hollywood, half the guys I met were aspiring actors, and the other half had dated or hooked up with actors.  If you were gay and in show biz, I knew you, or had met you, or had at least heard about you in a conversation.

But I never met, or even heard of, Antony Hamilton.

Born in 1952, he danced for the Australian Ballet and modeled in Europe, both for fashion magazines and for physique photographers like Bruce Weber, before hitting Hollywood.

His first role was the vampire-disco comedy Nocturna (1979), starring John Carradine as Dracula and Yvonne DeCarlo as someone named Juglia Vein.

But his big break was as the legendary muscleman in the tv movie Samson and Delilah (1984).

On April 1, 1984, I was watching The Jeffersons and Alice.

Then he was offered a role as model-secret agent Jack Stryker, a replacement for the deceased Jon-Erik Hexum in the last seven episodes of Cover-Up (1984-85).

I never watched.

In Mirrors (1985), sort of like Chorus Line with ballet dancers, he plays the dancing great Gino Rey.

I didn't watch.

He was considered for the new James Bond in The Living Daylights (1987), but he was gay in the homophobic Hollywood of the 1980s.  What if he was outed?  They went with a heterosexual.

I saw that.

Then came a few square-jawed tv guest spots: Twilight Zone, The Charmings, L.A. Law.

I watched The Charmings, but don't remember his episode.

And a couple of horror movies..

He played Max Harte in Mission: Impossible, a remake of the classic 1960s tv series that lasted for two seasons (1988-1990).  Peter Graves reprised his role as Jim Phelps, leading a team of experts engaging in top-secret government operations, but now they were more likely to capture criminals than interfere with the political structures of foreign countries.

On Sunday nights in 1988-89, I was watching Family Ties and Married...with Children. 

He has two more tv guest spots listed on imdb, plus a minor role in Fatal Instinct (1992).

He died of AIDS in 1995.

So an exceptionally hot gay actor was wandering around West Hollywood the same time as me, but our paths never crossed.

What other treasures did I miss out on?


  1. He had the classic good looks to play a super hero. He died too young

  2. I remember he took my breath away whenever I watched Close-Up.

  3. That whole generation did. I mean, pundits like to say gen x is more conservative than boomers, but only in terms of reacting to AIDS.

    There was a dark period of superhero movies in the 80s and 90s. TV was great, but the movies, not so much. Not sure I'd want that.

    Nocturna is the name of a Batman villain tho. She actually dated both Bruce and Kate, albeit several Crises apart. I think all the lady Batman villains are bi by default now. Actually, there's probably a niche for a queer Batman parody that doesn't invoke Wertham's humorous book.

  4. I knew Tony. I met him while having dinner at a restaurant in WeHo with a friend, Tony was at an adjacent table with a date. Being the dog he was (in a good way), he kept staring at me and not paying attention to his date. When I went to use the restroom (really!), he followed me, introduced himself and gave me his number. I called him that night. He was astonishingly good looking. He eventually became a friend, and I learned a lot about him - and although a lot of the WeHo queens loved to gossip about him and told salacious stories about Tony's bathhouse hijinks, I learned that he was a very sensitive guy, with tons and tons of internalized homophobia. He left Oz because he couldn't tolerate the homophobia, but it stayed inside, of course. It still hurts to think of his death - but he'll always be that beautiful guy to me.


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