Queer Places:
Happy Homestead Cemetery South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County, California, USA, Plot Block A-O, Row 03, Lot 09

Rick Sandford (December 31, 1950 - September 28, 1995) was a documentary research assistant, editor and actor of gay erotic movies and author.

Rick Steven Sandford was born on December 31, 1950, in Denver, Colorado, and grew up in the Lake Tahoe area. His early difficulties learning to read led his parents to enroll him in a private school, Peter Pan.

After his graduation in 1969, he first went to Los Angeles on vacation, to see the musical, ''Hair'' and the Russian motion picture version of ''War and Peace'', and after 1972, Sandford remained in Los Angeles employed in various positions, from an usher at Grauman's Chinese Theatre to a television show stand-in.

In 1977 he met Josh Becker, American writer and director, of films and television, who would become his long-time friend, according to Becker, Sandford only heterosexual friend.

Initially living in a bungalow behind a house in West Hollywood, Sandford was evicted and with his best friend, Stacey, with whom he had grown up in Reno, he moved into a one-bedroom apartment at 666 N. Van Ness. Soon thereafter, Stacey’s lover, Krista, went to stay with them.

Sandford received credit as research assistant on ''50 Golden Years of Oscar: the Official History of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences'' and Ronald Haver's ''David O. Selznick's Hollywood''. Sandford served as assistant on the 1990 documentary ''Hollywood Mavericks''.

Sandford appeared on television shows and in motion pictures as an extra and in a few bit parts: in episodes of ''Police Woman'' in 1974 and ''Step by Step'' in 1991. During the late 1970s and early 1980s he worked as an editor on 3 gay erotic films and appeared as Benjamin Barker or Ben Barker in 13 gay erotic motion pictures including ''Kip Noll and the Westside Boys'', ''Rear Deliveries'', ''Skin Deep'', ''The Class of '84 Part 2 Jocks'', ''Gold Rush Boys'', ''The Boys of San Francisco'', ''A Night at Halsted's'', and ''Games''.

In the mid 1980s, Don Bachardy sketched Sandford for his book, ''Drawing of the Male Nude''; both Bachardy and his partner Isherwood were friends with Sandford. During this time, Sandford introduced Bachardy and Christopher Isherwood to Yale-trained actor Peter Evans and his then lover Craig Lucas. Sandford and Lucas had a fling, and Lucas remembered "He came to New York with a strip show. To "Another Hundred People" from ''Company'', he arrived onstage with a suitcase, and met invisible New Yorkers, stripping for them, looking for love. Afterward, we had to wait while older men went into his dressing room to make appointments. Or something. Rick asked what I thought of the performance. Idiotically, to my continuing shame, I gave him notes. "Wouldn't the piece want to be more shaped, cohesive? Didn't it lack an intentionality?" Rick said, "If you don't respect my work, then you don't respect me.""

In 1991, his short story ''Forster & Rosenthal Reevaluated: An Investigative Report'' was published in the anthology, ''Indivisible: New Short Fiction by Gay and Lesbian West Coast Writers''. In 1994, another of his short stories, ''Purim'' was published in ''Blood Whispers: L.A. Writers on AIDS, Volume 2''. Two more of Sandford's short stories were published posthumously, ''The Gospel Of Bartholemew Legate: Three Fragments'' in ''His 2: Brilliant New Fiction by Gay Writers'' and ''Manifest White'' in ''His 3: Brilliant New Fiction by Gay Writers''. In 2000, his novel, ''Boys Across the Street'' was published.

Sandford died of AIDS during the evening of September 28, 1995.


  1. Finding aid of the Rick Sandford Writings Coll2009.001: https://oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt0199r3gd/