For many gay and bisexual men of a certain age, the first inkling that they weren’t like other boys came on Saturday mornings from 1974 to 1976, in the form of a television show called The Land of the Lost. The show, about a father and his two children who were stranded in a mysterious land of dinosaurs, also featured vicious, but curiously slow-moving reptilian humanoids called Sleestak. Now the classic kids’ program by Sid and Marty Krofft, the producers of H.R. Pufnstuf and Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, has even been made into a feature film starring Will Ferrell, opening this Friday.
But it wasn’t just the gloriously campy-even-at-the-time nature of the show itself that appealed to gay boys. It was also the fact that it featured the role of Will, the Marshall’s handsome teenage son, played by an actor billed only as “Wesley,” but whose full name is Wesley Eure.
A major teen idol at the time, Eure eventually found his way out of the time vortex that was the Land of the Lost, appearing as Michael Horton on the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives for almost ten years (several of them while simultaneously filming Land of the Lost), and then moving onto to hosting Finders Keepers, a children’s game show on Nickelodeon.
Eure on Days of Our Lives (left) and hosting Finders Keepers
Eure still works in children’s entertainment, having created the animated PBS series Dragon Tales and authored a number of children’s books, including The Red Wings of Christmas, which was almost turned into an animated Disney movie in the 1990s.
And all those gay and bisexual boys who had their first crushes on Will Marshall? It turns out that the actor playing him had something in common with them: he was gay too, something the actor is publicly talking about for the first time in this exclusive AfterElton.com interview.