Friday, May 25, 2018

Let's Dive Into Memorial Day Weekend!

Ah, Memorial Day, the official start of swimming pool season! We wait for it each year after a typically long, dull, harsh winter. And our favorite way to commemorate the occasion is to feature a raft of celebrity men folk sporting their swimwear, whenever possible a Speedo. Today's cover boy is a bit of a surprise to me and may be to you, too?  Recognize him? He's a movie actor who was once a competitive diver.
Even this close-up shot from the time may not be enough to do it as he has changed a bit since then... It's action star Jason Statham during his time on the 1990 British Commonwealth Games diving team.
Wading back in time a bit, we find Buster Crabbe, who we just can never seem to get enough of during this period of his life and career.
It might startle you to realize that this fresh and handsome young man is one Gilbert Roland, who later worked as a lean, rather grizzled-looking character actor.
Hopping out of the pool and in search of his robe...
...is one Fernando Lamas.
The movie these pictures are from is called The Girl Who Had Everything (1953), starring Elizabeth Taylor, but from the looks of it, he's the one who had everything!
What plant wouldn't want to be sprinkled by the divinely beautiful Van Williams, of The Green Hornet fame?
Now entering the John Gavin exhibit of today's post. I've never hated a ball more before in my life!
Okay, that's better. What a hunk.
I wish this photo shoot had been in color.
He shoots. He scores.
How much fun would it have been to frolic in the water with Mr. Gavin?! That Constance Towers was one lucky wife.
It's a little bit difficult at first to determine who this is, but it's Roger Moore, presumably catching some rays during down time on Gold of the Seven Saints (1961.)
Lex Barker, who as Tarzan was used to wearing little in the first place, enjoys the sunshine with a female companion.
Here we find 1960s singer and actor Jordan Christopher, preparing to take a dive (in or around the time of Angel, Angel, Down We Go, 1969,?)
One of my loyal readers sent me these next two pics, of Cary Grant during the making of That Touch of Mink (1962) with Doris Day. Ol' Cary is giving us a touch of butt crack here!
And here we have some of the same sequence in color.
There's never a picture of Hugh O'Brian in Love Has Many Faces (1965) that we don't wish to savor and share. He was just the living end in that movie!
Here he is again in one of his teensy swimsuits from the sun-baked movie. (This pic was featured once before, but this is a clearer version. Important for reasons that ought to be obvious!)
Here we find Hugh with Lloyd Bridges of Sea Hunt as they get their shuffleboard game going. Love Bridges' suit!
This is Tony Curtis emerging from the ocean (in, I think, Don't Make Waves, 1967, ?)
I think I posted shots of this scene once before from The Quiller Memorandum (1966), but since I recently got ahold of a better quality print, I'm heading here once more.
At one point in the spy thriller, George Segal visits a men's swimming pool and bears witness to these German hunks coming out of the water in their skimpy briefs.
I was just simply born too late... even George seems to be interested!
When they talk about washboard stomachs, this isn't what they mean...! But since singing sensation Engelbert Humperdinck is hunkered over while sailing, we'll cut him some slack. I like his button-front trunks with the white detailing.
On the mystery series Petrocelli, murder suspect David Shenar is being questioned by the show's star Barry Newman as he gives his dog a bath.
It soon becomes evident that Shenar is wearing a wildly patterned Speedo.
Shenar, who has an unusual birthmark that's shaped a bit like the state of Pennsylvania (!), dives into the motel pool to rinse off, followed by his dog, to the manager's dismay.
Last year, I got to show off young Gil Gerard during his time on The Doctors wearing a red Speedo. This time I'm checking back with Dale Robinette (applying sunscreen to the actress who was actually Gerard's unfaithful wife on the show.)
Check out the suit our lothario is sporting during this lakeside picnic!
This was around 1973, for those who are curious. Robinette was later tagged to costar with Antonio Fargas in a Starsky and Hutch spin-off to be called "Huggy Bear and the Turkey," but the back-door pilot was so poorly received by viewers it didn't proceed.
At this point, virtually every man on The Doctors who was depicted in a swimsuit was handed a Speedo by the costumer.
Another case in point was Palmer Deane, playing a doctor on his honeymoon. That meant swimming and a lime green Speedo.
This being the time before such beefcake on The Young and the Restless made such a thing commonplace, the actors, even if they were in great shape as Deane was, were rather self-conscious.
There's no place to hide in a Speedo.
Several months ago, the local channel that was carrying this show took it off the air, so if I want to watch it, I have to periodically check youtube. But the swimsuit days seem to be few and far between lately.
Of course the other big place to find Speedos in the 1970s was Battle of the Network Stars. Whenever we think we've finally seen all the pics, unseen ones surface. Here Gabe Kaplan poses with ABC teammate Robin Williams.
And here Williams prepares for a swimming relay (with beautiful Richard Hatch in the water already.)
Eight is Enough's Willie Ames was a popular participant. Not sure who his pal with the kayak oar is.
Bruce Boxleitner draws some attention.
This isn't Battle, but some other event, likely for daytime TV as Levar Burton was the host of Reading Rainbow.
And I really don't think he wanted his picture taken just then, either...! RUN!
Those were the days... Lorenzo Lamas (whose father appeared earlier in this post), Jack Scalia and Steve Kanaly confer.
The aforementioned Richard Hatch is about to take the plunge, in a sadly roomy set of trunks...
Here we find Chris Sarandon, one-time husband of Susan, in the 1979 film Cuba.
After doffing his robe, we see he has on a trim, skimpy l'il suit on.
A closer look.
And from behind.
Even ol' Jack Nicholson was in on the Speedo gambit, this time in Cannes for the annual film festival.
The Blue Lagoon's (1980) Christopher Atkins is attempting to catch some dinner.
Few who've sat through Can't Stop the Music (1980) have forgotten the Busby Berkley-inspired swimmers in the "Y.M.C.A." number.
As the years went by, the Speedo began to take on a rather campy aura, as sported by romance novel cover boy Fabio at poolside.
Shots like this one with David Hasselhoff made it seem ever more cheesetastic...
I rest my case.
Still, one might come across an actor on a prime-time soap, such as Michael Nader as Dex Dexter on Dynasty...
Who still made the Speedo his swimsuit of choice as late as 1988.
If anyone felt that Nader's suit was in any way less than masculine, they certainly weren't going to point it out to the rugged, gravel-voiced actor in person!
More often than not, slinky, skimpy suits are meant for comic effect nowadays. The 2017 comedy Rough Night has a sequence with a frat boy dressed up as Borat playing beer pong.
Later in the same movie, Ty Burrell shows up (with a languid Demi Moore as his wife) in a Speedo.
The couple turns out to be lascivious and rather sexually fluid.
Then on a more serious note, there was Darren Criss in the 1990's Miami set American Crime Story, in which he briefly donned a Speedo.
Here we see him in his dressing trailer prior to putting the scanty item on!
Still there's hope for a legitimate renewal if people like Welshman Luke Evans (of Dracula Untold, 2014, and Beauty and the Beast, 2017, among other films) will dare to bare...!
Butt But for now, Van Williams and I must give you:  The End!