Actor Brad Davis died of AIDS in 1991. He was only 41. He was survived by a wife and daughter. The HBO production stars actors who are openly gay and are getting work. Back in the 1980s and 90s, actors were in fear of coming out because the revelation could halt their careers and their income. That's what the attitude was like then. I know. I remember. I was there. Brad Davis was a brave and openly bisexual actor. He was intimate with men. He was intimate with women. He was a serious actor. Like today's Bradley Cooper, he could've just coasted on his good looks. But he didn't. He was committed to doing the work and challenging himself.
Billy Hayes and I did a second part to our previous chat. In the podcast that's still up this weekend, Billy shares great memories about Brad Davis -- a good actor who should not be forgotten. He talks about how they met and and he has funny stories about the making of Midnight Express. Could not using deodorant for a week help one get an Oscar nomination? Apparently it worked for one crew member.
Did Brad's willingness to play gay characters on screen and on stage limit his job opportunities in Hollywood? Billy talks about that. And he talks about his new stage project. He's gotten excellent reviews for his one-man show telling the rest of the story after his escape and on the rocky road of being a news/show biz celebrity. Since we recorded the interview, Billy took his New York City stage production on tour to London.
Billy, thank you for your generous and gracious time, your good humor and your good advice. I wish you continued success and happiness with Riding the Midnight Express.