Californian actor and model Tony Ward is well known for the gritty, dark, and alternative photography he often appears in – and it wouldn’t be the same without him. Tattooed with a devil-may-care attitude to haircuts and shaving, he certainly isn’t your average model. Not to mention, at 51 he’s pretty old in the ruthless terms of the modelling industry. So what’s made him just so successful?
Tony Ward’s modelling career actually kicked off with Calvin Klein. Although he doesn’t have the all-American Calvin Klein look now – he certainly did back in the day. This is a rare image of the supermodel WITHOUT a beard...
You may also know him as a former boyfriend of Madonna’s. He starred in a number of her music videos and in some sensuous shots by Herb Ritts at the start of the ’90s. Madonna’s weren’t the only music videos Tony Ward has starred in either – he appeared in videos as diverse as Belinda Carlisle (I Get Weak), the Spice Girls (Say You’ll Be There), and George Michael (Fastlove).. He also played the lead role as a male prostitute in Bruce LaBruce and Rick Castro’s Hustler White, a sexually explicit film that followed the hustler’s exploits in West Hollywood.
Before truly entering the world of high fashion modelling – Tony Ward started out as a star in erotic photography for gay magazines, such as the now defunct In Touch. He has never been shy about laying it all bare… During his relationship with Madonna, apparent candid photographs of him and Madge were published in a rare coffee-table book called SEX – a book that would now cost you upwards of £200 if you wanted to get hold of a copy. One of the most notorious images showed Tony with Madonna’s face in his ass… Needless to say, it caused quite a stir at the time.
When confronted on his sexuality, Tony Ward refuses to define himself. In fact, he has a contempt for labels and ‘eyebrow-raising’ when it comes to sexuality, pointing instead to the all the atrocities that happen in the world without us even paying attention.
“BEFORE I EVEN ARRIVED IN L.A. THERE WERE PICTURES OF MY NAKED ASS ON GUYS´ REFRIGERATOR DOORS ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY.” – TONY WARD, I-D MAGAZINE
“IT´S NOT ABOUT LOVING IT ANYMORE. IT´S ALMOST LIKE A DUTY. TO ME, MY LAST PHOTOGRAPH IS GOING TO BE A SELF PORTRAIT AS I DROP DEAD” – TONY WARD, I-D MAGAZINE
Nowadays Tony continues his modelling career, alongside his photography and painting. He’s married and a father to 3 children in LA, where he dedicates himself to his wife and children. This guy has had quite the life, and quite the story to show for it, and deserves the title of BANG+STRIKE #coolboy!