Mel Roberts Catalog of Male Models, 1969. Photographer and filmmaker Mel Roberts (1923–2007) lived and worked as an openly gay man at a time when it was illegal to do so. Hailing from Toledo, Ohio, Roberts started shooting 16mm films of his friend as a teen before being drafted in 1943, where he served as a cameraman documenting World War II in the South Pacific. Like so many gay men of the era, he migrated to California after the war, drawn to the heady mix of freedom of expression and career opportunities. After getting his degree in filmmaking from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, Roberts worked as a film editor and soon discovered Physique Pictorial magazine at a newsstand near the studio. Measures 8.5x11"