Hair Color: Dark Brown
Eye Color: Hazel
Height: 6 feet
Cock: 8” cut
Photographer Fred Bisonnes, the founder of Advocate MEN magazine, called Henson “”the most handsome man I ever photographed, with a ‘natural’ physique usually seen only in ancient Greek statues.””
Yet if you talk to people who worked with Henson — and I have spoken to his discoverer, William Higgins, and one-time scene partner Kristen Bjorn — it’s astonishing how little they can tell you.
One is that he was straight, although whether marriage preceded his porn career or followed it is unclear. Henson wanted to be a model, so he agreed to do gay porn as a steppingstone to fashion modeling. Ironically, he did get a few non-porn modeling gigs in Europe, but his porn rep derailed the modeling career he so wanted.
While he was making porn films, Henson was also an active duty U.S. Marine sergeant. Onscreen, he was sort of diffident and shy. Bisonnes says it was because “”he was uncomfortable performing gay sex in front of the camera,”” but that is not what comes across in his scenes. Henson’s is more of a Jimmy Stewart kind of aw-shucks expression of sexuality. All he needs is a bit of encouragement and he’ll try anything.
And nobody on the planet, any time or anywhere, has ever looked better in a ranger uniform than Henson.
Henson’s perfect swimmers’ physique graces two of the most iconic box covers in gayporn: Sailor in the Wild and A Matter of Size. That was in 1983. According to the late Matt Sterling, A Matter of Size is the best-selling gayporn film of all time, superceding the other film that claims that title, Powertool. It’s interesting that Henson is not the title character in Sailor in the Wild and he’s only in two scenes, yet he got the box cover and he’s the one who people remember, rather than star Brian Thompson (images 1-3 below), who in one segment stuffs his cock and both his balls into his own asshole.
There’s another iconic image associated with Bill Henson: the very first Calvin Klein billboard, which featured pole-vaulter Tom Hinthaus with his pole making a big vault in the pouch of his CK tighty-whities. The second of Henson’s two scenes in Falcon’s The New Breed is a solo, in which the billboard comes to life, as Bill Henson, and delivers what the photo only promised.
Henson made four films in little over a year, then vanished. Years later, a screen test surfaced and was include in a compilation film by John Travis, titled Private Collection Screen Test. I have not seen that film, but various Internet sources say that although Henson’s name appears in the credits, his screen test is not in the film. Other films that list Bill Henson in the credits are compilations, but beware of films starring “”Billy Henson,”” who is not the same model.
Steve Henson, another model of the period, was promoted as Bill Henson’s younger brother, but they were not related. If you go to the Falcon Studios website and search for Bill Henson, you will find a couple of pictures that are, in fact, Steve (a ravenously hot beast in his own right). A later porn star named Mike Henson was also unrelated.
If you drill deep enough online, you can find stories that say Henson and his wife found blissful anonymity with Henson leaving the service and getting work as a telephone lineman (sounds like a porn scenario); you can also find stories that say Henson died of AIDS in 1990. I was unable to confirm any of them.
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photo courtesy: Catalina Video