biography

Alan Steel was born Sergio Ciani in Rome, Italy, on September 7, 1935. While many Hercules actors were American bodybuilders, the handsome Steel began his acting career as a stand-in for Steve Reeves and later played second banana to such sword and sandal actors as Brad Harris. However, by 1964 Steel was starring in such peplums as Hercules Against Rome (1964). Another starring vehicle for Steel, Hercules Against the Moon Men (1964) is one of a handful of sword and sandal movies to incorporate science fiction into the sword and sandal genre. Reg Park's Hercules in the Haunted World (1961; with Christopher Lee) and Gordon Mitchell's The Giant of Metropolis (1961) also blend sci-fi with sword and sandal. Today, the big claim to fame for Hercules Against the Moon Men is that the film was featured in an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 in 1992.

the films of alan steel

Samson (1961)

Brad Harris and Alan SteelBrad Harris and Alan Steel

From the peplum Samson with Brad Harris in the title role

Samson and the Slave Queen (1963)

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Stills from Samson and the Slave Queen

Hercules Against the Moon Men (1964)

Alan SteelAlan SteelAlan SteelAlan SteelAlan SteelAlan Steel and Jany Clair

LEFT and CENTER: Steel dukes it out with the rock-like moon men in his best-known film Hercules Against the Moon Men. RIGHT: Steel romances Jany Clair

3 Avengers (1964)

Alan Steel

Steel as Ursus in 3 Avengers

Hercules and the Black Pirates (1964)

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Promotional photos from Hercules and the Pirates

Hercules Against Rome (1964)

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LEFT: Original poster from Hercules Against Rome. CENTER and RIGHT: Images and video captures from the film, thanks to Alex Chirita. Note that, in profile, the bearded Steel bears a striking resemblance to Steve Reeves

Fast Hand Is Still My Name (1972)

Alan Steel

Alan Steel portrays the title character in the spaghetti western Fast Hand Is Still My Name

later years

Whereas sword and sandal films were largely made in Italy and shot in Italian, most of the lead actors were from other countries. With the success of Steve Reeves' Hercules in the late 1950s, Italian producers scoured California seeking other bodybuilders with acting experience. At the time, physique culture was not as popular in Italy, which often relegated homegrown talent to a supporting role. However, Alan Steel and Kirk Morris, another Italian who found fame in sword and sandal epics, muscled their way through to starring status.

When the era of the sword and sandal film died out in the mid 1960s, Steel continued acting in other film genres. His acting career appears to have wrapped up in the late 1970s. Sadly, Alan Steel passed away on September 5, 2015, at the age of 79.

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filmography

FILM
Baby Love (1979)
Io tigro, tu tigri, egli tigra (1978) with Erika Blanc
Robin, frecce, fagioli e karate (1977)
Dagli archivi della polizia criminale (1973) with Gordon Mitchell and Edmund Purdom
Silent Horror (1973) with Carroll Baker
The Young Cowboy (1973)
Fast Hand Is Still My Name (1972) with William Berger
Slaughter on the Khyber Pass (1970)
Sapevano solo uccidere (aka Saguaro) (1968) with Kirk Morris and Gordon Mitchell
Addio, mamma! (1967)
Un Colpo da re (1967)
A come assassino (1966)
Samson and the Mighty Challenge (1964) with Howard Ross and Moira Orfei
Hercules and the Masked Rider (1964) (aka Goliath and the Masked Rider) with Mimmo Palmara
Hercules and the Black Pirates (1964) with Rosalba Neri
Hercules Against Rome (1964) with Daniele Vargas and Mimmo Palmara
3 Avengers (1964) with Mimmo Palmara, Lisa Gastoni, Rosalba Neri, and Carlo Tamberlani
Hercules Against the Moon Men (1964) (aka Maciste and the Queen of Samar)
Hercules and the Treasure of the Incas (1964)
The Old Testament (1963) with Nando Tamberlani and Brad Harris
The Rebel Gladiators (1963) (aka Ursus, the Rebel Gladiator) with Dan Vadis and Gloria Milland
Samson and the Slave Queen (1963) (aka Zorro Versus Maciste) with Pierre Brice
The Fury of Hercules (1962) with Brad Harris
Samson (1961) with Brad Harris
Giant of Marathon (1959) with Steve Reeves
Hercules Unchained (1959) with Steve Reeves, Sylva Koscina, and Sylvia Lopez

links

Other Hercules Heroes
Go to the Other Hercules Heroes page, featuring Paul Wynter, Peter and David Paul, Richard Lloyd, and Jacques Sernas.

Alan Steel Film Now Showing

Watch Alan Steel's 1964 sword and sandal epic Hercules Against the Moon Men (1964)
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This page premiered June 15, 1998.
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