A Look Back at Gay History: 1997
The Year in Gay History: 1998

Boyhood Crushes on Male TV Stars of the 1960s


At the time, I didn't know why it was, but during the 1960s (when I was between the ages of 4-13) I was drawn to male TV stars in a way that their female counterparts couldn't replicate.  Sure, I liked Patty Duke, Sally Field, Marlo Thomas, etc. but it was because they were perky and made me laugh - they created no yearning or stir anything inside me like the guys did.  With that said, here are ten of my crushes from primetime TV (in chronological order):   



Of all of my crushes, Bridges (actor Jeff's father) was by far the oldest of my crushes.  I was 4 or 5 years old, and he was in his late 40s!  It may have been because, as scuba diver Mike Nelson on Sea Hunt, he was regularly bare chested - something not commonly seen on TV of my youth.  He died in 1998 at the age of 85.





Edwards starred as surgeon Ben Casey in the eponymous medical drama in the early 60s.  I liked him better than Richard Chamberlain, who starred in Dr. Kildare at the same time, probably because Edwards was swarthier and beefier.  (Ben Casey was the higher rated of the two shows.)  He died in 1996 at the age of 67.









He starred in My Favorite Martian on CBS in the early '60s, and then in The Courtship of Eddie's Father on ABC at the end of the decade.  Bixby was a favorite because he exuded such warmth and charm.  He also starred in The Magician and Incredible Hulk in the 1970s.





Goddard played hot-headed Major Don West on CBS's space adventure Lost in Space.  He looked especially sexy in his metallic silver spacesuit (which resembled the space age outfits the group Labelle wore 10 years later.)  FYI, in 1978 Goddard performed on Broadway with Liza Minnelli in The Act.  He's still alive - now 85 years old (2021).





He played magazine editor Donald Hollinger, the long- suffering boyfriend of Anne Marie (played by Marlo Thomas) on That Girl.  He made being an intellectual sexy - and I also liked that he was called "Donald" rather than "Don".  I preferred him more in the early years of the show when he had a more clean-cut look.  Following Marlo Thomas his next co-star was a chimpanzee in the much derided and short lived Me & the Chimp.





A movie star in his native Argentina, Rey played the role of Carlos Ramirez, the Latin playboy and San Juan casino owner who befriended Sally Field's Sister Bertrille on The Flying Nun.  Of all my crushes, Rey died the youngest, at the age of 57 (in 1987) - but Bill Bixby (age 59) and Ted Bessell (61) weren't far behind.





Both actors were on CBS's Sunday night spy show Mission: Impossible.  They took care of wire tapping and planting explosive devices in order for the team to carry out each "impossible" assignment.  FYI, Lupus later appeared in a nude spread in Playgirl.  He's now 89 (2021) whereas Morris died in 1996 at the age of 62.


Peter Lupus


Greg Morris


One of the youngest of my crushes, Cole was 28 when he was cast as Pete Cochran in the action-crime drama The Mod Squad in 1968.  In the show's opening credits I pictured myself as Peggy (we were both blonds) being supported on either side by Pete and Link as they ran through that dark, dank tunnel.  Cole is now 81 (2021).







The straight-laced co-star of Adam-12 (along with Martin Milner), he was in his late 20s when the show debuted on NBC's Saturday schedule.  Much later in his career he played a judge in the legal drama JAG and in 2003 he ran for president of SAG but lost to Melissa Gilbert (of Little House on the Prairie fame).  He's now 79 years old (2021).








Lyle Waggoner/ Carol Burnett Show


Robert Conrad/ The Wild Wild West
Richard Chamberlain/ Dr. Kildare


David Jansen/ The Fugitive


Tony Franciosa/ The Name of the Game




I was born in 1963 and I remember my first crushes were Robert Conrad (always loved his shirtless scenes in the Wild Wild West), and Van Williams (loved the dashing suits he wore in the Green Hornet)!

Chris Marks

A bit older here and my first celebrity crush was Ricky Nelson. Ricky grew up on TV and went from being the ornery (but polite) little brother to David to a big recording star and major teen idol. Even as he got older (up until his untimely death) Nelson was a major hottie.


born in 1965, my crushes were a shirtless Lyle Waggoner on Carol Burnett or Tony Dow on Leave it to Beaver.....plus Dennis Cole and Robert Conrad too!!! Sigh oh the memories!


What about Brian Kelly, the dad on "Flipper?" Handsome, tanned and bare-chested almost every show!




javier erazo

Omg I have the same crushes when I was a kid in Honduras ..I knew all their names .. thanks for sharing


This is amazing! I had crushes on every one of these men too at the same ages as the webpage author.

My all time favorite remains Robert Conrad in TWWW.

thomas scott

almost the same men maybe it was the laid back calmness of male identity so secure. don't forget david selby dark shadows and david hedison and ron ely and dennis cole ,too many..dan from land of the giants

Douglas Decker

Then there was Hugh O'Brien on The Life and Times of WyattbEarp

Peter Foss

Robert Fuller on Laramie was the perfect male. Chaps, nice bulge, ass you could bounce a quarter off of. Tight muscled body. Was a song and dance man as well.

Scott Kjeer

My dad reminded me of a time he caught me kissing Mark Goddard (on the console television). When he asked me why I did that, he says that I answered: "Because I think he's pretty". I had crushes of most of the same men you did. Mine also included the hot young firemen at Station 51 and the doctor at Rampart General of Emergency!


Hi Scott, that's a great story! And how did your father react?


I had a big crush with James Darren actor of the " time tunnel " I thought he was gorgeous akso in the movie "Gidget".


If I think back to my very first crush on an actor in a tv series, it would have to be Spencer Milligan, who played the patriarch on Land Of The Lost: He had a sexy voice, was always protective of his kids (and Chaka) and had a furry, masculine chest.

Other tv characters I had a slight crush on (besides those already mentioned) was James Komack (Bill Bixby's playboy buddy on COEF), Russel Johnson (Gilligan's Island), Victor French and Merlin Olsen (Little House on the Prarie), Dan Haggerty (Grizzy Adams), William Shatner (Star Trek), Sturart Margolin and Herb Edelman (Love, American Style) and James Brolin (Marcus Welby, MD).

Oh yeah, and don't laugh - but was also kinda sweet on Columbo, too.


How cow. I too had gay crushes on many of these guys and even fantasized about many of them. Thanks for sharing. I recently saw the nude playgirl spread that Peter Lupus did. So so sexy.

jimmy woo

Robert Fuller, Lee Majors as Heath Barkley, Gary Lockwood, Kent McCord, James Darren, Robert Conrad, Mark Goddard, John Saxon, Dark hair and chest hair did it for me.

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