Flesh and Spirituality

Richard DuBois     Mae West
Early 1950s

The lady on the right is a screen legend and needs no introduction from us. If you've been in the vicinity of Planet Earth during the past century or so, you can probably quote verbatim from her nearly inexhaustible supply of wit and wisdom. She had more one-liners than Confucius and she was a hell of a lot funnier too.

The guy on the left, however, is something of an enigma about whom we know very little, but the very little we do know is curious to say the least.

Under the name Richard DuBois he was one of the most successful and sought after physique models of the 1950s, winning such titles as "Mr. USA" and "Mr. America." Nothing particularly odd about that.

Under the name "Richard Sabre" he appeared in at least one major film, 1954's Athena, which starred Jane Powell, Debbie Reynolds, Vic Damone and Edmund Purdom. The film also featured an early screen appearance by Steve Reeves. Nothing particularly odd about that.

However, this is where the Richard DuBois/Richard Sabre story starts to get sort of interesting thanks to the legendary muscle magazine Physique Pictorial. DuBois turns up rather frequently in the magazine all through the 1950s and into the early 1960s. Photos of the countless Physique Pictorial models are often accompanied by short biographical sketches and the ones for Mr. DuBois get progressively more strange from issue to issue.

For instance, when we are first encounter Mr. DuBois in Physique Pictorial (December 1953), we learn that he has a "vivacious, intelligent personality" and he has ambitions to become an actor. Nothing particularly odd about that.

In a later issue we learn that Mr. DuBois is an "excellent trick swimmer" and that during his appearances with Mae West's night-club act he was "warmly received by audiences everywhere." Nothing particularly odd about that.

In still a later issue, and in text accompanying a totally nude DuBois while he enjoys an outdoor shower, we learn that he is still interested in acting, but that he has "broadened" his interests to include the study of "great philosophies" and meditation in the wilderness. Now it's starting to get just a little bit odd.

A few issues later we find a nearly nude DuBois flexing his stuff on the grounds of a Bel-Air mansion allegedly owned by somebody named Anthony Norvell, who, according to Physique Pictorial, is a "20th Century Philosopher." We learn that Norvell is one of "the great contemporary religious teachers with whom DuBois has conferred in his never-ending search for TRUTH." We also learn that DuBois has already announced to the press his plans to enter the ministry.

You may not think any of this is particularly odd, but if you continue to check on DuBois's progress in even later issues of Physique Pictorial, you will discover that he has become a Pentecostal Evangelist with a knack for communicating with extraterrestrials!

We have just one question...

What did he wear in church?