He Played Dwayne in "The Lost Boys." See Billy Wirth Now at 60.
The former teen vamp is an artist, musician, and American Gladiators veteran.
A vampire named Dwayne? It was 1987. Decades before Edward Cullen or Bill Compton, actor Billy Wirth inspired troves of moviegoers to develop a thing for the tall, dark, and goth-y undead with his portrayal of the enigmatic second-in-command of a gang of SoCal vampires with hair metal hairdos in The Lost Boys. While Wirth's character, whose name we only learn in the credits, ultimately meets an explosive demise, the actor has had a storied career in the arts in the 35 years since the cult film made its debut. Read on to see where Wirth is now at age 60.
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He faced off against the American Gladiators.
Shortly after the release of The Lost Boys, Wirth scored another memorable role—as one of the contestants facing off against the muscle-bound stars of American Gladiators.
Wirth appeared on three episodes of the iconic '80s competition show in 1989. He made it to the semi-finals, scoring a flashy victory against Gladiator Malibu in the Assault event and earning the grudging respect of Gemini for his skill at Powerball.
Appearing on a cheesy TV show might seem an odd move for an actor who had just appeared in a hit teen horror film, but Wirth chose to do it because he thought it seemed fun.
"I loved doing that show," he told an interviewer back in 1989. "The competition was great, and I had so much fun. I'd do it again in a minute…I've had people tell me I've got to be more focused with my career, but that's bull. I don't want to be just one thing. I do what I want to do because I like it. And as long as I've got food on the table, my rent paid and a little spending money, that's all I need."
He's remained a familiar presence on TV and in films.
Though The Lost Boys gave Wirth his most iconic acting role, it was hardly his last. In the 35 years since, he's logged dozens of credits, appearing as often in films as he does as a guest star on television.
When not wearing spandex and shooting tennis balls at bodybuilders, Wirth has appeared in a number of films, including the sci-fi thrillers Body Snatchers and Venus Rising (opposite a young Jessica Alba in her second role), Boys on the Side, Relax…It's Just Sex, Being Flynn (starring Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore), and a string of low-budget and direct-to-video horror thrillers. The late '90s found him playing the love interest in music videos with Meredith Brooks and Shania Twain, while he also lodged guest appearances in TV series including Sex and the City, Charmed, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and Chicago PD.
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He directed a film.
Wirth was shooting a documentary about Los Angeles' unhoused community when he met the girlfriend of playwright Tyrone Atkins, who passed on some of his writing. The two partnered with a screenwriting team to develop Atkins' story about a group of L.A. residents struggling with addiction into the 2001 film Macarthur Park, directed and produced by Wirth under a company called Wirthwhile Productions. The film starring Thomas Jefferson Byrd, Julie Delpy, David Faustino, Balthazar Getty, Lori Petty, and others was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival that year.
He's flexed his creative muscles as an artist and musician.
Wirth is best known as an actor, but he is also involved in other creative pursuits. He's a prolific painter, and his Instagram account is filled with images of his artwork, which he presents as photographs of Polaroids depicting his pieces, which range from a realistic windmill to abstract imagery. According to his bio, his work has been displayed in galleries in California.
Wirth is also a musician. In the early '90s, he led the Los Angeles-based rock band Dust N' Bones; the band never released a full album but some of their demos can still be heard on SoundCloud. Currently, he occassionally performs with a band he formed in the '90s with musician Stephen Costantino called The Cronies.
He's always been grateful for his role in The Lost Boys.
Even after so many years, Wirth remains grateful for his early role as a bloodsucker in The Lost Boys and for the opportunities afforded him by the film's director, Joel Schumacher.
In a message to his fans shared on his Facebook page after Schumacher's death in 2020, Wirth wrote, "I want to share my deep appreciation and gratitude for some of the blessings Joel granted me. All the love, kindness, and encouragement I receive from all who love The Lost Boys is because of Joel. He cast me in my first major motion picture. Thirty plus years later I am part of a classic film that stands the test of time. I am part of a family, a legacy kept alive by and for those who love The Lost Boys, from those connected to the making of the film to the fans that help keep it alive with their support and appreciation. Joel's leadership and creativity were essential to the film's great success and longevity."