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Born Walter Wakefield Poole III in Jacksonville, Florida in 1936, Poole joined the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in 1957 and later became a dancer, choreographer, and director on television and Broadway. From 1964 to 1968, Poole was married to Nancy Van Rijn, a Broadway performer and choreographer. In the late 1960s, Poole and his lover Peter Schneckenburger (later known as Peter Fisk, star of Boys in the Sand) began experimenting with film and multimedia shows, culminating in a multimedia gallery show for Broadway poster artist David Edward Byrd at the Triton Gallery in New York. Poole made his directorial film debut with Boys in the Sand (1971). He and Boys in the Sand producer Marvin Shulman made another film the following year entitled Bijou, starring Bill Harrison. Poole and Shulman then attempted to make a crossover film, Wakefield Poole's Bible, a trio of Old Testament stories focusing on female Biblical figures and starring Georgina Spelvin as a comic Bathsheba. The film was unsuccessful with audiences, though well received by the few critics who saw it. A number of Poole's films starred Casey Donovan, one of the best known porn stars of his time.
Poole appears in the documentaries Ballets Russes, That Man: Peter Berlin, and Where Ocean Meets Sky. In 2000, Poole published his autobiography Dirty Poole, which was reprinted with a new afterword by Lethe Press in 2011. A documentary based on the autobiography was directed and produced by Jim Tushinski (That Man: Peter Berlin).
The Wakefield Poole Collection was released on DVD in 2002. The two-disk set includes Boys in the Sand, Bijou, and Boys in the Sand II along with several shorts, director commentaries, image galleries and an interview with the director. Moving! and One, Two, Three... were remastered and released in 2011 on a single DVD by Gorilla Factory Productions, who also remastered Boys in the Sand and Bijou for future release.
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