Book Review: The Jack Wrangler Story or What's a Nice Boy like You Doing? by Jack Wrangler along with Carl Johnes
For me, conventional biographies have always been kind of boring. If I wanted to know about celebrities I could pick up one of the tabloids, but if a celebrity is obscure then those are the types of biographies I like reading.
And there's the old adage everything old is new again.
Born in 1947 into a show business family (his father was an executive producer) the young John Stillman appeared on a religious television show from 1953-1955 which also starred Eleanor Powell.
In 1970, Jack Wrangler was "born" (with the last name coming from the jeans) and for the next eight years he would also become an icon in the gay pornographic industry. Blonde, blue eyed, muscular, Wrangler was a hot property and considered himself to be gay.
Up until 1978 Wrangler appeared strictly in all male films until he "crossed over" to straight films with his appearance in China Sisters. He continued to perform in gay pornography along with appearances in straight films.
Then one night he met his future companion, Margaret Whiting (whom he would later marry in 1994) and was 23 years his senior. Whiting was fully aware of the Wrangler persona and soon after meeting went to see a live show where he was performing.
The two became great friends and their love for one another continued to grow, but Wrangler knew he was living a lie and wanted to break the relationship off due to his conflicting feelings and while frustrated and saying that he was gay (for the restaurant to hear) Whiting quipped, "Only around the edges."
Wrangler left the industry in 1986 and then went onto co-produce the 1997 Broadway hit Dream and directed Whiting in several shows as well as writing revues and theatre.
While this book is out of print you may be able to find copies but be prepared to pay a hefty price since it is a collectors item. Also, don't expect a lot of "behind the porn industry" gossip.
Summed up it's about a man on a journey through life and the ups and downs that come with it.
It would have been good if Wrangler and Johnes had collaborated again after the porn king retired to see how his life turned out but sadly, Wrangler died on April 7, 2009 leaving his legacy behind.