September 22, 1958 |
Kansas City, Missouri
|Occupation||Actor, interior designer|
|Spouse(s)||Hector Morales Mondragon|
Mark Patton (born September 22, 1958) is an American interior designer and former actor. Beginning his professional acting career at the age of 18, Patton is perhaps best known for his feature film roles as Joe Qualley in the 1982 dramatic film Come back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean and as Jesse Walsh in the 1985 horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge.
Patton grew up in Riverside, Missouri and, after graduating high school, he moved to New York City to pursue an acting career. Within a few years he landed the role of Joe Qualley in the 1982 Broadway production of Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. Patton reprised the role in the 1982 film of the same name. Although his character in the play and film was gay, Patton was not allowed to do an interview with the LGBT-interest magazine, The Advocate. Patton identified this as an early indicator of the homophobia in Hollywood at that time.
In 1985 Patton landed the lead role in the horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge portraying Jesse Walsh, a teen whose body becomes possessed by Freddy Krueger. Critics and audiences noted the gay subtext of the film, something screenwriter David Chaskin initially attributed to Patton's portrayal of Jesse. However, in the 2010 documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy Chaskin acknowledged that he, himself, was responsible for the film's deliberate gay subtext.
Patton had a guest appearance on the television series Hotel. He also starred in a television pilot with Chuck Connors entitled Kelsey's Son, which was never picked up. Other roles include General Hospital as Greg Collier, Misplaced with John Cameron Mitchell, Anna to the Infinite Power with Dina Merrill and Martha Byrne and Have You Tried Talking to Patty with Heather Langenkamp.
Patton says he gave up on his acting career following being cast in a planned CBS series in which he would have played a gay character. "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?...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."
Patton is openly gay. On his 40th birthday, he 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. The couple owns and operates an art store in Puerto Vallarta.
Patton appears in the A Nightmare on Elm Street documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy, directed by Dan Farrands. Following his appearance in the documentary Patton began touring horror conventions where he is lauded as mainstream cinema's first male "scream queen". He donates most of his appearance fees to HIV treatment groups and charities benefiting LGBT youth such as The Trevor Project.
- A Nightmare in Hollywood Couldn't Kill Mark Patton
- "Never Sleep Again – Twitterfeed Wednesday Edition and MORE!". DreadCentral.
- Bobbin, Jay: "Kelsey's Son"
- "Never Sleep Again: After Decades ... Mark Patton Talks Elm Street 2". DreadCentral.
- "Never Sleep Again: A Talk with Directors Daniel Farrands and Andrew Kasch". DreadCentral.