Thursday, July 14, 2011

George Nader, Renaissance Man

When he was beginning film his career, George Nader was three things that don't go together much better now than they did in the 1950s: a gay, Arab-American, movie idol.

Appearing shirtless throughout much of his first starring vehicle, the ultra low budget sci-fi flick "Robot Monster" (1953), George got the rapt attention of audiences, stirring their "imaginations" (also known as sexual fantasies). As shown below, the post-apocalyptic world was tough on George's clothes: before long, his T-shirt is in shreds, until he suddenly strips it off completely. (It is hot out there.)

Below, George Nader shows his stuff in publicity photos.

Below, George Nader with Rock Hudson.

Being an out-of-the-closet gay man negatively impacted George's Hollywood career, and in the early 1960s he relocated to Europe with his longtime partner. There, he made occasional films through the decade until an eye injury left him sensitive to bright lights.

Quite the renaissance man, he then embarked on a new career as an author. His 1978 novel "Chrome" is regarded as the first science fiction novel centered on a gay love story.


  1. He was also in The Million Eyes of Sumuru with Frankie Avalon, which featured in a hilarious episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. And I've wanted to pick up a copy of Chrome for YEARS now, but it is hard to find at a cheap price.


  2. Hi Ace, Thanks for the tip about another of Mr. Nader's appearances. He did do a bit of television - a number of episodes of The Loretta Young Show for example - and is always a welcome presence. Indeed "Chrome" has become a collector's item and thus copies tend to be pricey.
    By the way, I hope you're feeling better.

  3. I am currently watching "Miss Robin Crusoe" (1954) a gender flipped re-telling of the classic "Robinson Crusoe", little more than good looking people shipwrecked. George has just arrived, sprawled on the beach after the latest storm--shirtless. His naval trousers all but disintegrate in the next few minutes, leaving him in a 19th century Speedo...there are times he might as well be naked...

  4. OMG FelchingPisser, that sounds like a must-see. Where did you find it? It doesn't appear to be on DVD or am I wrong?

  5. Turner Classic Movies programmed it in January. I tape (yes, tape...) delayed it and just got around to watching it. If you have TCM on your cable, keep an eye open--they usually bring new things back for a second time.

    When I wrote the above, George had not yet started running up and down the beach to escape the hostile natives. His package moves with a life of it's own...

    1. FelchingPiser, Sigh... I would love to see George run and bounce.
      Alas we don't have TCM but maybe I'll be lucky and there will be a DVD release. Thanks for alerting me to this film.