Guess Who’s Coming Out at Dinner?

His life reads like a celebrity tell-all, complete with all the drama and humor one might accumulate over five decades in entertainment. “I was a kid model at four years old,” says Robert “Sandy Beach” Hitchen. A native of Atlantic City, the towhead cut his teeth doing catalogs and conventions for a line of kids clothing based on the Bat Masterson TV show. A serious case of acne sidelined his teenage dreams until he was tapped for a dance party show broadcast from Steel Pier. “There were these teenage girls throwing themselves at me,” he says. “One girl overdosed on aspirin because I wouldn’t go out with her.”

Then came a very influential summer at Bucks County Playhouse, where he got his first real kiss—from a man. “We were at the cast house for a party,” remembers Hitchen, when an older actor treated him to an “acting” lesson. “The next thing I knew he threw his lips on me,” he says. “A few seconds later, I kissed him back. And then I kissed him for a long time.”

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