Hootenanny Hoot (1963, MGM)
dir.: Gene Nelson
Nick Novarro as Jed Morse
Pam Austin as Billie-Joe Henley
Nick Novarro has exactly two recorded entries on imdb.com: Hootenanny Hoot (1963), a country-themed musical for MGM; and Scream of the Butterfly (1965), a low-budget shocker with a surprising twist (Nick's character is a gay-for-pay gigolo). That's it. No biographical info. No other credits. And it made us curious: how do you go from being featured in an MGM musical (albeit a Katzman unit quickie) to a seedy, barely-distributed exploitation flick in just over a year? Even more puzzling: with a face and frame which still inspires lustful admiration from contemporary viewers who have belatedly discovered Scream of the Butterfly as a cult film, how do you completely disappear into anonymity?
With a little investigative research (okay, Googling) we discovered something: the lithsome Nick, although credited as "Novarro" in both films, was listed as "Navarro" in some of the advertising copy.
Nick Navarro has a still-brief, yet somewhat more extensive list of credits as a dancer and choreographer, which would fit in with his role as a high-kickin' hootenanny hooter. He also was sometimes billed under what we assume is his given name, Nick Covacevich - which is how he appeared in West Side Story (1961) as "Toro."
Dancer Kathy Kroll also lent some tantalizing clues, crediting Nick Navarro on her website among the choreographers she worked with over the years, including the Bare Touch of Vegas revue from 1978-80.
And then the trail goes cold again. The last credit we can find is as choreographer for LaToya Jackson's Playboy Celebrity Centerfold home video, which we can only assume is no better than Scream of the Butterfly. Nick Novarro, Navarro, or Covacevich, if you're reading this, inquiring minds want to know where and how you are.