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 John Michael Sill

John Michael Sill

Birth
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Death 20 Dec 1994 (aged 60)
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Burial Kaysville, Davis County, Utah, USA
Plot 56-2-E-11
Memorial ID 122603 · View Source
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Son of Sterling Welling Sill and Doris Mary Thornley

Mike Sill (1934-1994) was truly a "golden boy," a gifted athlete, sculptor, and graceful model whose work with several West Coast physique photographers (most notably, Dave Martin, Bruce of Los Angeles and Bob Delmonteque) cemented his popularity in the mid-1950s and resulted in numerous magazine covers.

Having suffered from rickets as a child, Sill began training with weights at age 14 to improve his body. Two years later, he won the Jowett World Body Building Trophy at age 16. During high school, he excelled in track and field events. In 1955, he was named Mr. Utah (Jr. Division) and the following year was named Mr. Utah (Sr. Division). In 1957, he won top honors in both the Mr. Rocky Mountain and the Mr. Western America competitions.

For two years, he attended the University of Utah, where he studied sculpture and swam on the university's swim team. He later posed for the famous paintings that Arnold Freiberg created for Cecil B. DeMille's film, "The Ten Commandments." He also posed for Dr. Avard Fairbanks' rendition of "Lycurgus," located in Greece, and the Aaronic Priesthood statue located on Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Sill served a two-year mission in London during the late 1950s, where he was profiled and photographed for the physique magazine Popular Man (June 1959) by the physique photographer Domenique (William Domenique). In fact, Sill's family was a prominent Mormon family. Sill's father, Sterling W. Sill, was an elder of the church, the host of a radio show broadcast on Sunday evenings from Salt Lake City's Temple Square, and the author of 30 inspirational books.

Photographer Dave Martin, who was credited with discovering Sill, said, "Mike Sill was my greatest success." Bob Delmonteque, who also photographed Sill extensively, remembered him as a vivacious young man who, despite his religious convictions, was proud of his body and enjoyed baring it for his camera.

Mike Sill died December 19, 1994 at age 60 of a heart attack.


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  • Imported from: UT State Historical Society
  • Added: 2 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 122603
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John Michael Sill (12 Dec 1934–20 Dec 1994), Find A Grave Memorial no. 122603, citing Kaysville City Cemetery, Kaysville, Davis County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by Utah State Historical Society (contributor 4) .