Björn Andrésen was 15 when his role in 1971’s “Death in Venice” earned him the title of “The Most Beautiful Boy in the World.” It nearly ruined his life.

Björn Andrésen was 15 when his role in 1971’s “Death in Venice” earned him the title of “The Most Beautiful Boy in the World.” It nearly ruined his life.

It’s a story about the perils of child stardom. It’s a cautionary tale about the exploitation of young stars and the commoditization of beauty. It’s a horror story about the stripping of one’s agency at a young age and the reverberating effects that has on the rest of their life. It’s a glimpse at the generational cycle of trauma, guilt, and depression, and the seeming impossibility of feeling one’s own worth. …

“Beautiful!” Visconti exclaims. “Ask him to undress.” The casting director next to him asks Andrésen to bare his torso, and we watch as photographers busily photograph Andrésen in his underwear as Visconti asks him to walk around the room and stare into the camera.

By Kevin Fallon, The Daily Beast

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