Vanity Fair did an article on him a long time ago, with a gorgeous photo. He died a little over ten years ago I believe.
Nancy "The Best Blowjob in Hollywood" Reagan infamously allowed Gardner McKay to appreciate her skills once in the coatroom at a party when she was married to Ronnie in the early 60s.
Take this with a grain of salt, but an article in the Enquirer about Merv Griffin (which ran shortly after Merv died) said that Gardner had an affair with Merv and that Merv was head-over-heels in love with him.
You gay guys really like to tell big lies. Why do you do that? Gardner McKay was absolutely not gay. Men were not what he wanted in his bed. And, why would he want to marry when he was enjoying all those beautiful women.
You tell 'em, Linda! I know he loved having all that fine pussy at his fingertips, just like I do. It's a problem deciding which of my regular hot chicks I'm in the mood for on a given night. Sometimes I sleep with more than one!
I vaguely remember him from that series Adventures in Paradise when it was in perpetual reruns on local NY TV in the 1960s. But did he ever make any films of note or do any other TV?
For such a gorgeous Hollywood hunk his resume is mighty short.
Matthew, thank you for your comment. It was a delight. It is so wonderful to read a comment from the kind of guy who enjoys what a woman has to offer a man. Sometimes I worry that something has gone wrong with genetics in the males of the human race. Your comment was delightful and confirms that there are real men left in this world.
Who's Linda and what have you done with Cheryl?
R14 - McKay's only noteworthy film credit is Jean Negulesco's "The Pleasure Seekers," which in essence was a showcase for Ann-Margret's ample talents and Negulesco's sad decline.
McKay's showbiz resume was brief because he quit the business after his contract with 20th Century Fox expired. Marilyn Monroe handpicked him to co-star in her uncompleted final picture "Something's Got to Give," but, having already made up his mind to quit, he turned the part down.
Uncomfortable with fame, he left Hollywood to pursue his real interests -- writing, sculpting, photography, sailing, and traveling. Since he was born into wealth, he could afford these leisurely pursuits.
It's funny. In so many of those photos at r7's link, Gardner is posed with a cigarette but it looks more like a prop, like he didn't really know how to smoke.
R17, it sounds like he refused to perpetuate the fiction that he was a straight Hollywood ladies' man. Walking away and living his own private life was probably the only way to preserve his sanity.
His NYT obituary can shed some light into what he did after his short stint as a model/actor. He didn't renew his contract with 20th Century Fox, and went into reclusion in the Amazon Jungle.
Also, interesting tidbit, he attended Cornell for a couple of years, so he was no bimbo. And he was not 6'4".
He was 6'5"!
Gorgeous man who was also a truly awful playwright.
LORT B houses everywhere
He was also the drama critic for the late, lamented LA Herald Examiner in the '70s and '80s.
I'm guessing that the part Monroe wanted him for was the one that eventually went to Tom Tryon -- the playboy yachtsman she got stranded with on a deserted island. This would've been a hilarious send-up of McKay's famous television role. Perhaps he didn't want to be typecast.
R17, well, who knows for sure why. Reading his bio and the NYT piece, it seems to me that McKay sought more fulfillment in being an adventurer than working long hours on a movie/tv set and playing the Hollywood game.
I remember his picture on the cover of LIFE magazine when Adventures in Paradise began. They called him the next Clark Gable. He was so good looking in that picture, I had to watch the show, and I think the picture started me masturbating! (I thought he lived in Hawaii when he left the show.)
McKay, 1950s supermodel Suzy Parker, and male model-Olympian Robin Tattersall made a dashing trio in Richard Avedon's famous fashion series shot in Paris in 1956. The series, which showed the threesome having a grand ol' time around Parisian hotspots raised a few eyebrows at the time.