George Nader was one of the great Hollywood heartthrobs of the 1950s. A great friend to the legendary Rock Hudson, the popular actor was as often seen on topless photoshoots as he was on the silver screen. His acting talent was never in doubt, however, and he was one of the main men of Universal Pictures during the mid-50s.
The latter half of Nader’s acting career, however, saw his major film roles dry up. The Hollywood gossip rags outed Nader as gay and may even have been tipped off by Universal themselves. However the rumours did get out, they sent Nader to TV and to Europe for much of his later work. One of his final major roles, though, was once again on the silver screen.
The actor’s final film role was a 1973 Filipino-American sci fi horror called Beyond Atlantis. Directed by Eddie Romero, the movie was filmed in the Philippines with a comparatively sizeable budget of around $200,000 – $250,000.
Nader played Nereus, an elder member of a lost civilisation of sea people. Their home island was discovered by a band of adventurers on the hunt for valuable pearls. Whilst the pearl hunters searched for their treasure, Nereus decided that his beautiful daughter Syrene must mate with one of the visitors. That would be the only way, after all, for his people to survive and live on.
After Syrene successfully seduces the human expedition leader, Nereus instructs his people to kill all the visitors. In the ensuing fighting, Syrene dies and her entire species is doomed. They march en masse into the sea and leave the adventurers to their pearls. An attempted double-cross, however, leaves the adventurers fighting on their boat as they leave the island and sends the pearls to the bottom of the sea.
In spite of the movie’s relatively high budget and some impressive underwater scenes, Beyond Atlantis was not a success. It failed both financially and critically, with the LA Times claiming that it was ‘almost totally lacking in production values’.
Nader’s Final Acting Bow
After his final film role in Beyond Atlantis, Nader had only one more acting job. That was a part in the pilot of a 1974 TV Series called Nakia. His acting career was entirely curtailed shortly afterwards, by a car accident. Nader escaped life-threatening wounds in the crash but did suffer an eye injury.
That injury left him particularly sensitive to bright lights. He could no longer, therefore, stand the glare of studio lighting and would never act again. Instead, he turned his hand to writing and would go on to release two novels; Chrome in 1978 and Perils of Paul which was released after his death in 2002.