Morning Man Classic: Gardner McKay!
Had not heard of the hunky Gardner McKay before and there’s a reason why: his showbiz career was very brief.
He only starred in one TV series (Adventures in Paradise, 1959-62) and two minor films (1964′s The Pleasure Seekers and 1968′s I Sailed to Tahiti.
After a childhood spent partially in Paris, he became an overnight sensation on the TV series as Adam Troy, the dashing skipper of the schooner Tiki, which plied the South Pacific.
He was sitting in a Hollywood coffee shop when Dominick Dunne, who was co-producing Adventures in Paradise, spotted him reading a book of poetry.
”He was at the time, in the parlance of the town, nobody, absolutely nobody, but his attitude declared that he was somebody,” Dunne wrote in a 1999 article in Vanity Fair.
But he abandoned the spotlight to move to the Amazon jungle to work as an agronomist’s assistant. McKay later became a successful playwright and an author.
He died in 2001 and was still receiving fan mail at the time of his death.