Mickey Hargitay died on September 14th, 2006. While researching, I came across a couple of references to the passing of my old friend & J Brian model Steve Boyd. Then, alomost at the same time, I received an email from Joe Leitel's roommate indicating he had passed away as well. Three gone in one day. There is something Hollywoodesque about this.
Mickey Hargitay was a flaboyant Hungarian body builder better known for being married to Hollywood's blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield than for the many titles he won as a body builder.
Once into Hollywood circles Mickey tried his hand at acting with minimal success. In some sense he paved the way for Arnold, an Eastern European body builder on the big screen.
Still, he and Jayne were the toast of Hollywood, a seemingly happy, although young couple.
On June 29, 1967, Jayne Mansfield died in a tragic automobile accident. After recovery from the shock, Mickey returned to competitive body building and remained a figure in Hollywood circles until his death.
Happy-go-lucky Joe Leitel started his male modeling career in the mid-late 1950s, working for Bob Mizer (A.M.G.), Bruce of Los Angeles, Milo, and almost anyone in the Southern California area who would use him.
Always a horn dog with a classic lithe physique, Joe was an instant star and continued to work into the 1970s. Even later, Joe appeared in Bob Mizer's AMG camp fire classics and openly discussed his life as a male model. Unlike some, he did not turn his back on his work and was very proud of all he had done. In the AMG movie, he discussed life at Bob Mizer's studio and paints a very favorable picture of the situation.
I never met Joe or even talked to him and his roommate is too emotional about Joe's passing to give me any details, so it seems one of the real good guys of the industry is gone.
Steve Boyd, of course, I knew very well. I photographed him, hired him as an escort, and was his good friend during my years with J Brian (1970-1977). Even after that we exchanged letters & Xmas cards. I last heard from Steve in the early 1980s and he was married, living in Florida with his wife & 2 kids. He seemed very happy and content.
Steve & I got along because we were both countercultural types, always railing against government mistakes. I caught up with Steve at the end of the Viet Nam tragedy and he was still bucking the system with his internet blogs in 2005.
Toward the end Steve lost his voice, but never his cause - he became known as whispering Steve to his friends and Internet bloggers.
I knew Steve so well, it's hard to write this right now. So maybe it's enough to say we lost 3 good guys, but for me Steve was simply the best.