Friday, June 5, 2009
Does Chaka know?
With the new "Land of the Lost" movie opening today, I suppose it was the perfect time for the original "Will", Wesley Eure, to come out.
The story of Eure’s life – being cast to replace David Cassidy on The Partridge Family right before the show was canceled, for example – has always been interesting. But now that he’s opening up about being gay, his story also includes the stuff of even the richest of memoirs: his 70s love affair with Richard Chamberlain, his behind-the-scenes firing from Days of Our Lives, his relationship with some of the most famous closeted gay men in the Hollywood, and his touching thoughts on being a closeted teen heartthrob.
As a kid, like "Kung Fu", I never missed an episode of "Land of the Lost".
I can still sing the theme song to this day (yet, I can't remember how to switch between calls on my cell phone) and I couldn't wait for Saturday morning to come along so I could see the next adventures of Marshall, Will, Holly (or "Horry" as Chaka would say) and, of course, the Sleestak...those Mr. Tudball shuffling menaces with the big eyes and leaking gas pipe vocals.
I loved them!
I also had forgotten, until I found this production picture above, that the show pulled a Darrin Stephens towards the end of the series and replaced the original Marshall (the dad) with a new actor. I suppose that kids probably didn't notice or care at the time and, without the internet and text messaging to rely on, continued watching while eating their Boo Berry cereal.
Wesley's interview is actually pretty interesting and a lot of fun to read. It's easy to forget now, with gay actors coming out almost weekly, that there was a time when that really wasn't an option for an actor if they wanted to have a career. He shares some great stories about that time and gives a, somewhat, painful recounting of his experiences on the TV Land awards, as well as going to the "Land of the Lost" movie premiere recently (he had to pay for his own parking).
If I was him, I'd bring a recognizable co-star with me to any personal appearances.
Nothing says "photo opp" like a guy walking the red carpet with a Sleestak.