NSFW: KoVert – Physique Photographer & movie drag queen


Frederick Kovert physique photography
Fred Kovert, Hollywood silent movie star and nude male photographer

Frederick Kovert, otherwise KoVert, or Kovert of Hollywood, enjoyed a silent movie career as a drag queen comic and dancer and as a costume designer. When his film career ended, Frederick opened a male nude photography studio in Hollywood — a pioneer of physique photography.

Scroll down for the nudes.

Frederick Kovert’s film career included an appearance in the 1925 silent adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. (No, not as Dorothy.) He stars in a sequence probably designed purely to highlight his talent for design. A magician produces a spectacularly costumed Frederick from an apparently empty cane trunk.

Check out the clip from The Wizard of Oz at the bottom of the article. Hundreds of peacock feathers though less impressive than the headdress he wore in The Queen of Sheba in 1921. That one featured 1000 feathers, was 36′ wide, and weighed 150 pounds.

Frederick Kovert also toured with his own dance show and newspaper articles indicate he enjoyed regular employment as a choreographer and costume designer during the 1930s.

frederick kovert physique photography

However, in the 1940s, Frederick transitioned to a new career. He opened Kovert of Hollywood, a nude male physique photography studio. His pioneering studio employed famous early physique photographers like Konstantine, Spartan of Hollywood. Bob Mizer also served an apprenticeship with Fred before opening his famous AMG Studio.

Sources differ over whether Fred took pics himself or left that to others while he focussed on mail/male order sales. He boldly placed classified ads for models in the daily papers and displayed nude male photographs in the studio. That proved his undoing with an arrest for selling obscene material, probably in September 1945 when the newspaper ads suddenly stopped.

Few examples of Fred’s superbly lit male nudes survive. His negatives were lost after the friend who inherited them died by suicide.

There is no definitive proof of Fred’s death. But according to rumour, the multi-talented out gay man died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1949 at the age of just 48.

frederick kovert physique photography
Ad for models in the Citizen News, 1945.

NSFW: Full-frontal nude of Buck Lewis by Kovert of Hollywood.

NSFW: Full-frontal nude of Tom Mathews by Kovert of Hollywood.

NSFW: Another full-frontal nude by Kovert of Hollywood.

NSFW: Two nudes from Hollywood Nudes: The Physique Photos of Fred Kovert.

Read also: Vintage photographs of nude and almost nude Aussie male swimmers.

Frederick Kovert in The Wizard of Oz.

NSFW! Joe D’allesandro: film’s first nude male superstar

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Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at destinyr@qnews.com.au.

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