WOODLAND HILLS, CA--George Nader, the brawny, second-tier leading man of the 1950s whose promising career was cut short when rumors about his private life led to his banishment from Hollywood, died here February 4, of cardiac pulmonary failure, pneumonia and multiple cerebral infarctions. He was 80. MSTies will recall his starring roles as Roy in episode 107 - ROBOT MONSTER, as Glenn Martin in episode 420 - THE HUMAN DUPLICATORS and as Nick West in episode K18 - THE MILLION EYES OF SU-MURU.
Born in Pasadena in 1921, Nader became interested in acting while still in school and appeared in several productions at the Pasadena Playhouse. That work led to a number of bit parts in 1951 and '52. His big break was in 1953's "Robot Monster." While the low-budget 3D sci-fi outing is deservedly famous as one of the worst movies ever made, it nonetheless made money, and helped land Nader a contract with Universal.
Though he won a Golden Globe award for "Most Promising Newcomer," he often found himself struggling in the shadow of more famous leading men, such Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis, and Jeff Chandler. His films of that period included 1954's "Carnival Story" and "Sins of Jezebel and 1956's "Away All Boats." He moved to television in the late 1950s, and appeared in several short-lived series including "The Further Adventures of Ellery Queen," "Man and the Challenge" and "Shannon." He also appeared frequently on "The Loretta Young Show," a dramatic anthology series.
But in the mid 1960s, news of Nader's private life reached the editors of a scandal sheet called Confidential Magazine, 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.
His career in Hollywood all but dead, Nader moved to Europe, where he continued to work steadily. In the mid 1970s, Nader suffered an eye injury in an auto accident. No longer able to tolerate the bright lights of movie sets, he retired from acting. He took up writing science fiction; his best-known work is "Chrome," published in 1978.
Nader and Miller eventually returned to the U.S. and settled in Palm Springs, CA. He had been hospitalized since September, 2001. According to Variety Magazine's Army Archerd, Nader recently completed a book called "The Perils of Paul," about the gay community in Hollywood, which he did not want published until after his death.Nader is survived by Miller, his cousin Sally Kubley and his nephew, actor Michael Nader.