Hollywood leading man George Nader, who came out of the closet in 1986, died Monday at the Motion Picture and Television Fund Country Home in Woodland Hills, Calif., at the age of 80. A longtime resident of Palm Springs, Nader had developed a bacterial infection in September following a trip to Hawaii. One of the last of the Universal beefcake contract players, Nader appeared in such films as Six Bridges to Cross (opposite Tony Curtis, who called Nader "one of the kindest and most generous men I've ever known"), Lady Godiva, Away All Boats, and The Unguarded Moment. Bad-movie aficionados will recall Nader's appearances in such schlocky sci-fi films as Robot Monster, The Human Duplicators, and The Million Eyes of Sumuru.
But in the mid 1960s, news of Nader’s private life reached the editors of scandal sheet Confidential, which threatened to publish the details of Nader’s supposed relationship with Rock Hudson. (In fact, Nader was much more seriously involved with Mark Miller, Hudson’s personal secretary. Nader and Miller became lifetime companions.) According to many Hollywood whispers, the studio cut a deal and agreed to fire Nader if the information about Hudson was suppressed. Nader then moved to Europe, where he appeared in a number of films, including a series of German-made adventures in which he played FBI agent Jerry Cotton. (Hudson later named Nader one of the heirs to his estate.)
After retiring from acting in 1973, Nader took up writing. His books include the 1978 science-fiction novel Chrome, and the soon-to-be-published The Perils of Paul, a novel about gays in Hollywood that he cowrote with Miller and did not want published until after his death. "George has filled my life with happiness that knows no bounds," said Miller, Nader's partner of 55 years. "He is the most loyal and faithful friend and partner anyone could have."