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Mark Patton Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (5)  | Personal Quotes (13)

Overview (2)

Born in Riverside, Missouri, USA
Height 6' 1" (1.85 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Mark Patton was raised in Riverside, Missouri, a Suburb of Kansas City. His first interest, starting at age 8, was in gymnastics. By his high school years, he had excelled in the Junior Olympics. But acting had also begun to interest him. Mark began studying in his high school's drama department and soon found himself appearing in Emlyn Williams's "Night Must Fall" and John Guare's "House of Blue Leaves" for the Missouri Repertory Company. He also had an interest in country and western music, which his folks had always tried to encourage him to pursue.

At 17, after graduating high school, he flipped a coin to determine which would it be: New York or Nashville. It came up tails, and it was off to the Big Apple, where he landed weeks later with $132 in his pocket. He stayed at a Broadway hotel, and was able to find work almost immediately, first as a waiter and then, upon searching for an agent, work in advertisements and in off-Broadway productions.

In 1982 he landed a role on Broadway opposite Cher, Sandy Dennis, Kathy Bates, and Karen Black, playing a gay character, Joe Qualley. The play, written by Ed Graczyk and directed by Robert Altman was adapted into the film of the same title, Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982), which launched his Hollywood career. Graczyk wrote the screenplay and Altman again directed. The following year, he starred in Anna to the Infinite Power (1983) and appeared in a made-for-television movie, Kelsey's Son (1983), alongside Chuck Connors. Two years later, he landed the role in the sequel to A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985).

Patton, who had felt like an outsider and endured bullying at school, had been out about his homosexuality in New York, but Hollywood was a different, very homophobic, world. After appearing in "Nightmare 2", the public began to notice a gay subtext in the movie, which screenwriter David Chaskin purposefully included in the script. At the time, he denied it, blaming Patton for playing it "too gay".

He had received a request from the gay magazine "The Advocate" after making "Jimmy Dean", but was told he absolutely couldn't speak with a gay magazine, even though he had played a gay character. In 1987, he was cast to play a groundbreaking gay character on a major television network series, but was asked if he could play a gay character while telling people he was straight. Tired of the homophobia in Hollywood that was so different than the theatre scene in New York, Patton left acting and became a successful interior decorator.

While battling what he thought was bronchitis, Patton underwent tests that revealed he was HIV-positive, suffering from thrush, pneumonia, and tuberculosis. He was diagnosed on his 40th birthday, and three days later was in the hospital. His health slowly improved and he moved to Mexico where he met Hector Morales Mondragon, who would later become his husband.

In 2010, Patton was approached to appear in Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010), a documentary about the Elm Street franchise. He learned that "Nightmare 2" had become a cult classic among both horror fans and the LGBT community, being celebrated as one of the gayest horror films of all time. Patton agreed to appear in the documentary and was finally able to be truthful about his sexuality. Screenwriter Chaskin finally admitted that he had included the gay subtext.

Since that time, he is lauded as the first "male scream queen" while touring horror conventions all over the world. He sells t-shirts with some of the "gayer" lines from the film - "He's inside me, and he wants to take me again!" - along with the derogatory ones, such as "Jesse is a Homo". He donates much of the money he makes from his appearances to HIV treatment organizations and charities for LGBT youth such as The Trevor Project.

As of 2013, he and his husband own an art store in Puerto Vallarta where Patton sells some of his own work, including a line of painted handbags he designed.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jim Walker <Hingis55Jim@aol.com>/cnsublett

Spouse (1)

Hector Morales Mondragon (2004 - ?)

Trivia (5)

Auditioned to play Glen in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) but lost out to Johnny Depp. Later ended up auditioning for A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985).
In 2004, on his 40th birthday, Patton was diagnosed with HIV along with pneumonia, thrush, and tuberculosis. His medications interacted badly and he was hospitalized. Upon recovering, he moved to Mexico, where he met and later married Hector Morales Mondragon.
Currently directing Off-Broadway Theatre (1995)
Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico (August 2013).
Became friends with his A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985) co-star Robert Rusler. They remained friends even after Mark moved to Mexico.

Personal Quotes (13)

I have every character I've ever played tattooed on my body. But I've decided to put the name Lazarus next, because that's who I am. I've walked out of the grave time and time again. (Showing the name "Jesse" tattooed on his forearm.)
I had a rough time in school. I was a very pretty boy and where I come from everyone looks exactly the same. If you're even the slightest bit different you're a target. I was a hypersensitive kid and I was bullied quite a bit.
They wouldn't even let me do certain interviews. I remember getting an interview request from "The Advocate" after we made "Jimmy Dean" and they told me I absolutely couldn't speak with a gay magazine, even though I was playing a gay character. I think they were scared I would say something about my sexuality, and they were probably right.
I found out on my 40th birthday and three days later I was in the hospital. But because of the infections I had, they made me take tuberculosis medicine and that didn't mix with those older HIV meds. There were so many side effects. It was like I was poisoned. I almost died there, but thankfully my friends took me to an AIDS health clinic, which saved my life. (On his diagnosis with HIV, thrush, pneumonia, and tuberculosis.)
When I got off the plane to New York, I breathed my first relaxed breath, probably in my life. Because I realized I was safe. There, all of my negatives turned into positives. Things like the way I walked became an attraction as opposed to something people would laugh at.
My dad took me in the bathroom and said, "Look in the mirror. Look in that man's eyes. That's who you're going on this trip with. Know him, be on his side." (After coming home in tears because he had been bullied at school.)
I remember my first manager came to my house, went to my closet, and told me what I could and couldn't wear. All the things I could wear, she threw them on the floor in the closet and said, 'This is the way normal boys dress. They wear wrinkled and dirty clothes. And the other things you really love? Don't wear them.' (On how he was put in a closet in Hollywood by others.)
The only thing we're waiting for is me. It's not that I'm embarrassed in any way, but I'm a private person, and I have a different life now. These are parts of my story that have never been published before, and I've had to think about whether or not I was prepared to have those conversations over and over again. But I've decided to share them with you today because I think I'm ready to tell the next part of the story. It's my obligation to tell it the way it happened, and it's a story that needs to be told. I've looked at my mortality, and I lived through it. (On plans to film a documentary of his own life, titled, "There is No Jesse".)
I don't think I was ever closeted, to be honest with you. Once I figured out I was gay, I always acted on it. But I was always afraid some redneck would kill me on a back road. That's where I thought I would end up because that's where I come from. Theater provided me a safe space.
It was what I would consider my last true hardcore audition. They began to ask me if I would be comfortable playing a gay character and telling people I was straight if they began to question my sexuality? I remember looking around that table and I knew every one of those men were gay. All I could think about was how everyone I knew was dying from AIDS and we were having this bullshit conversation. My heart just broke and that was the line for me. I knew I would never be able to do what they were asking, so I walked away from Hollywood and decided to move on to a place where it was totally acceptable to be gay. (On his audition for a gay character on CBS.)
That advice that my father gave me all those years ago has proved to be true. I'm authentically me, and now every day I feel more free. I'm so thankful I have so many stories to tell and have lots of different ways I can tell them. Whether it's cooking you dinner, painting you a purse, or making a movie - it doesn't matter. I'm a storyteller and I have a fabulous memory. So watch out because I don't forget a thing.
When I started working in New York, I didn't have the common sense to keep my sexuality a secret. I wasn't famous. I was just a kid going to auditions for commercials and stuff. In New York I would go out to gay bars and it was no big deal, but in Los Angeles, I was told I wasn't allowed to step foot in West Hollywood because agents would post people in the L.A. gay bars so they could sabotage the career of any actor who competed with one of their clients. It was very cutthroat. (On the homophobia in Hollywood.)
I knew I was going to be hired for "Jimmy Dean". It was one of those moments where you knew it was your destiny.

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