1921-10-17

GEORGE NADER was a film actor born in Pasadena, California, on this date (d: 2002); George Nader became interested in acting while still in school and appeared in several productions at the Pasadena Playhouse. This led to several small parts in movies before earning the lead role in the infamous 3D thriller Robot Monster (1953). The movie was bad but profitable, and Nader soon had a contract with Universal Pictures. Unfortunately, the studio already had on its roster such good-looking and athletic actors as Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis and Jeff Chandler, so Nader often found himself being cast in their leftovers, usually playing parts that emphasized his “beefcake” appeal. (At 6′ 1″ and 180 pounds, Nader had the kind of physique fan magazines drooled over and unlike many of his colleagues, he frequently appeared with his chest hair intact.) However, he did enjoy a few good years in the mid-1950s, turning in a commendable performance in Away All Boats (1956) before his career began to decline. 
 
After agreeing to be outed by Confidential magazine as gay rather than his good friend Rock Hudson, an ‘A’ list actor, Nader was resigned to being a ‘B’ list actor.  Despite the fact Nader’s career was more or less sabotaged by Universal and sacrificed to the tabloids in order to save Rock’s much more lucrative reputation, Hudson and Nader remained life-long friends. Nader was named one of the beneficiaries of Hudson’s $27 million estate when the star died of AIDS in 1985. 
 
After Nader was finished in films, he turned to writing. His 1978 novel “Chrome” broke major ground in that it was the first sci-fi thriller to have a homosexual theme (gay robots!).