Scream to Screen: Digging Up The Gay Origins Of Dark Shadows

Joel Crothers (Joe Haskell)

For my money, Joel Crothers was the series one certifiable hunk. He played fisherman Joe Haskell, the all-American good-guy boyfriend of bad girl Carolyn Stoddard—and later the fiancée of frequently victimized waitress Maggie Evans.  There was also his role as the dastardly, though no less dreamy, Lt. Nathan Forbes during Victoria Winters’ trip back in time to 1795. (Hey, it was a soap opera!)

Later in his career, Santa Barbara, Crothers would be noted by gossip columnist Liz Smith for his striking resemblance to Tom Selleck. But during his time on Dark Shadows (1966-69), he was a fresh-faced twink. Though he got star billing in the original off-Broadway run of Torch Song Trilogy, Crothers never came out publicly: When he died  in 1985 from AIDS-complications, he was engaged to actress Veleka Gray.