Tuesday, April 7, 2009

An Era Ends: Gay Legend Jack Wrangler is Dead

Once an icon, now a memory.

(Compiled from various sources)

JACK WRANGLER (1946 – 2009)

(Philadelphia / New York, April 7, 2009) Jack Wrangler, iconic adult and musical theater performer passed away today from complications from lung disease. He was 62 years old.

With piercing blue eyes, unruly blond hair, a chiseled physique and cocky swagger, Jack Wrangler was the king of ‘70s gay porn. Forging a gay sexual revolution, he wasn’t the typical object of homoerotic desire but an intelligent, full-bodied, self-confident male. Exulted for his 80-plus adult films, the openly gay superstar even conquered the straight adult world and legitimate theater. Mr. Wrangler eventually married pop vocalist Margaret Whiting and their relationship would last for the rest of his life.
Jack was a smoker and died from lung disease.

The documentary Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon, recently won the 2009 GayVN Award for Best Alternative release.

“It was truly an honor and a privilege to get to know Jack Wrangler through making the documentary about his life. Jack was truly a class act.” said director Jeffrey Schwarz. “He was a pioneer, a born showman, and a loving husband to Margaret Whiting. Jack Wrangler knew the power of image-making and inspired an entire generation to be comfortable in their own skin and to become the man of their dreams. He lived his life with grace, humor and confidence and will be missed.”

“Jack was one of the earlier pioneers in helping to bring awareness to the gay community by being open about who he was and about following his dreams,” said Lewis Tice, Director of Publicity and Marketing for TLA Releasing. “We are deeply saddened as he is an essential part of our gay history. Our sympathies go out to his family.”
Wrangler and his wife the singer Margaret Whiting

Wrangler Got His Start in Christian Television!

Wrangler came from a prominent Hollywood family and got his start in Christian television, only to go on to become one of the first gay porn actors to achieve star status and a cult following in the 1960s and ‘70s. He made over 80 adult films, including Wanted and Sex Magic. His rugged, masculine good looks helped define the sexual attractions of a generation of gay men.

Wrangler stunned fans when he switched over to straight porn later in his career -- confounding them yet again when he retired from porn all together after meeting and eventually starting a relationship with pop singer Margaret Whiting. He did not spend his last years alone.

Wrangler went on to enjoy a successful career in musical theater.

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