Jack Cole ‘discovered’ Steve Reeves

Film · Theater

As you see from the above “information sheet” for “Theatre World” magazine, Steve Reeves, the astonishingly buff muscle guy in his first creative foray worked for the choreographer Jack Cole in Kismet on Broadway. Reeves played the “Wazir” [chief of police]’s guard.

Reeves (not to be confused with George Reeves, television’s “Superman”) was big on ‘sword-and-sandal’ movies. They had names like, famously, Hercules (1958). Then followed, Hercules Unchained (1959); Goliath and the Barbarians (1958) The White Warrior (1959); The Last Days of Pompeii ( 1959); Morgan the Pirate (1960); The Trojan Horse (1961).

And oh! He also “stood around guarding stuff” in the MGM movie version of Kismet (1955).

A nice, informative interview with Reeves is posted here.

Jack Cole liked muscular men. I would never get into personal peccadilloes, but as a wise man once said, “Some like it hot.” Others, it seems, like ’em muscular.

Cole’s personal penchant for musclemen would be a theme in the homoerotic dance numbers he created throughout his career, but never more famously than in “Ain’t There Anyone Here for Love”? for Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953).

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