Sep 25, 2020

The Mystery of Lee Kinsolving Solved

You asked about the hunk on the left in this publicity shot from The Explosive Generation (1961).

Short answer: 

He's high school student Dan Carlyle (Lee Kinsolving), helping classmate  Bobby Herman (Billy Gray) hold up a girl in a scene that doesn't appear in the movie (it's about teaching sex education).

You're probably more interested whether there are any more beefcake shots.

So am I.

Long answer:

Arthur Lee Kinsolving Jr. was born in Boston on August 30, 1938, son of Rev. Arthur Lee Kinsolving, Rector of Trinity Church, and Mary Kemp Blagden.  He had three younger siblings (born in 1940, 1942, and 1948).  In 1947, Rev. Kinsolving became Rector of the extremely prestigious St. James Episcopal Church at Madison and 71st in Manhattan.

Going by "Lee" to distinguish himself from his father, the younger Kinsolving graduated from Episcopal High School, an exclusive private boarding school in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1956.

He enrolled at Trinity College, an exclusive private college in Hartford, Connecticut. The summer after his freshman year, he was performing at the Westchester Playhouse, when a Broadway scout signed him on to star in Winesburg, Ohio (which ran from February 5th to 15th, 1958, at the National Theater).  He played Seth.

 Next Agent Richard Clayton, the gay agent who signed on such gay and gay-vague stars as James Dean, Tab Hunter, and Richard Chamberlain, signed Lee on and got him gigs on some East Coast tv programs (Playhouse 90, Alcoa Theater).  

I wonder if Richard Clayton had a casting couch.

After graduating from Trinity in 1959, Lee moved to Hollywood, and  appeared in a variety of tv programs, mostly in dramatic roles and Westerns (Have Gun -- Will Travel, The Rifleman).

His movie credits include: All the Young Men, The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (which won him a Golden Globe nomination), Ah Wilderness, and The Explosive Generation.

He retired from acting in 1966 due to "personal frustrations with the business."  That is, he hadn't worked in 2 years.

He managed the hip restaurant Toad Hall in Manhattan from 1968 to 1969.  I wonder if it's the same Toad Hall in Soho today.

In 1969 he moved to Palm Beach, Florida, where he managed the Lillian Phipps Gallery and later the Wally Findlay Gallery, which "became the opulent setting for flamboyant openings for socially prominent artists."

Must have been some gay people wandering around.  Wally Findlay himself died in 1996 at the age of  92, never married.

Lee also raced speedboats and acted as the captain of the DuPont Family yacht.

This guy was well-connected!

He was linked romantically with Tuesday Weld and Candace Bergen, and was married to  model Lillian Bishop Crawford from 1969 to 1972.  I don't know what "linked romantically" means, but such a short marriage may indicate that he was gay and closeted.

Sometime in 1974, he contracted a respiratory disease that didn't display any symptoms, so no one was aware that he was sick until, on December 4th, he collapsed at his apartment and died.  He was 36.

The Photos of Celebrities Website claims that the following shirtless and nude photos are of Lee Kinsolving.  Which ones are real?

1. Doubtful.

2. No way.

3.  Not even the right hair color.


  1. "...or point out that a character is Not Wearing a Sign." LOL, what? What does that mean? Regardless, Lee was cuter than those guys pictured, at least in his part in The Rifleman. I don't think most guys were into those six-pack abs back then. Personally, I'm not into them now. Flat tummy is nice and it looked like Lee had one of those. He was hot, or maybe it was just that he was a vulgarly young adult ;) It's sad he died so young. Thanks for the info I was looking for.

    1. Many people thinkthat if there is any possible way to read a fictional character as straight, they must read as straight. Characters can be read as gay only if they specifically announce it, if they are wearing a sign. So when I say this or that character can be read as gay, they comment: "No, he must be straight, He never announces that he is gay. He isn't holding a sign."

    2. What's even more infuriating is when there are multiple ways to read one or more characters as gay, but the best-known one is kinda gross. Like, I can give you a very gay DCU, Teen Titans/Young Justice is ideal for this because Wolfman already intended one character to be bi but couldn't get it past censors, but most older generations cling to the 30-year-old man in the bat suit with the 8-year-old boy in the multicolored leotard.

  2. Re: the girl in the beach photo at the beginning of this article looks like Patty McCormick who played the lead high school girl in "The Explosive Generation." There was a brief beach frolic but I don't recall them doing anything other than run along the beach and wade a bit....nothing as close up as the promo photo

    1. Um...well, that's a first. You must not have noticed, but this is a site about gay themes, characters, and subtexts, mostly in tv and movies. My readers are mostly gay men, so they don't care about the girl. The mystery is actually about the guy on the left.

    2. back then, gays didn't wear rainbows, it was much more subtle. After all, it was illegal. It was mostly all underground and often covered up by marriage, sadly. I doubt serious I'm telling you anything that you aren't aware of. Young gays today, don't know how lucky they are.

    3. "This guy was well connected" I agree, he was nicely put together, very well connected in all the right places. All you need to do is watch him bend over and pick up his hat, then walk away in his last scene in the Boomerang episode of the Rifleman.

  3. I Like that photo. Maybe it's a bi thing. (FWIW, in my ideal beach scene, only the guys are naked. Watching Blue Lagoon on TBS made an impact.)

    1. So, for FWW, a Google search yields Flyheel Weight, Front Wheel Walker, Final Written Warning,and First Wives Web.

    2. Much like Polyphemus, you're missing an I.

      For What It's Worth.

    3. Strangely enough, I had eye surgery on Monday, and can't see very well. The I vanished amid the wavering Ws

    4. It happens. Try to write "minimum" with medieval pens. You get "ıııiııiıııııııı". The "ck" diagraph in English exists mainly for readers with astigmatism.

      But yeah, the image is nicer if the two guys were naked, no? Maybe just playing volleyball or flexing or surfing.


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