‘Muscles & Mayhem: An Unauthorized Story of American Gladiators’ is a Netflix documentary miniseries that focuses on the history of ‘American Gladiators.’ The latter aired between the years 1989 and 1996 for seven years, giving the starring “gladiators” a chance to truly shine in the limelight. However, few gained as much fame as Jim “Laser” Kalafat-Starr, whose persona in the show soon became beloved by the public. If you are wondering where the reality TV star is these days, worry not because we have your back!
Who is Jim Starr?
Having grown up in a household where his father did not seem to pay enough attention to him, Jim confessed to always striving hard to make his father proud of him and gain his recognition. His efforts seemingly paid off when he was made a part of the Los Angeles Rams NFL lineup following the original’s strike for the season. However, his on-ground career ended shortly due to an injury he sustained in a game on October 4, 1987, against New Orleans Saints at Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Due to the accident, Jim broke his shoulder, punctured a lung, and crushed his larynx. In fact, it took him a really long time to be able to verbally communicate proficiently once more. It was during this time that he met Danny Lee Clark, who would go on to star in ‘American Gladiators’ as Nitro. In fact, the two had both met when they were a part of the Ram’s replacement lineup. Their friendship meant they soon started to live together and used the settlement money Jim had gotten after his injury.
Soon both Jim and Danny were working odd jobs in the entertainment industry before Danny became a part of the game show. While Jim was somewhat miffed that his friend had not told him about the opportunity, Danny redeemed himself by telling the showrunners to hire Jim as a gladiator for the second part of the first season. This led to the birth of Laser, the television star we all love and care for.
Following the success of the show, Laser became a star, and he was easily recognized when out in public. However, in the Netflix documentary, he did admit to using steroids and described an incident between himself and Danny where the two apparently ended up brawling on the side of the road due to the high levels of adrenaline or “roid rage.” With their rising fame and heavy workload during the live tour, many of the gladiators decided to ask the producers for their fair share of the merchandising revenue though Jim did not join the protest as he did not want to jeopardize his living, given that he was married and had kids.
Due to various decisions made by some of his teammates, the producers, and Jim himself, the latter is the only gladiator who was part of all seven seasons of the show. Following the show’s finale airing, he even took part in performing at the franchise diner in Orlando, California. While there, he described an incident where he had apparently blacked out in rage and did not remember getting into a physical altercation, with his wife informing him that he had been caught on the camera. The incident jarred Jim deeply, who took it as a sign to make sweeping changes in his life, which included him communicating with his father.
Where is Jim Starr Now?
After his work with ‘American Gladiators,’ Jim decided to remain in the fitness industry in a very different capacity. He got in contact with the owner of Apex Fitness and ended up working in the corporate sector of the field. In fact, over the years, he has climbed up the ranks and worked with several industry giants. As of writing, he is based in Golden, Colorado, and is the Director of Product Development for The Grind.
Additionally, Jim is the President and Founder of Sports Nutrition Consultant Group, which is based in Orange County, California, and Bend, Oregon. The reality TV star is also the Connector for Employee Preventive Health and Wellness for HealthCues and works for the organization remotely. In fact, he left his position as the Fitness/Wellness Executive of Opsis Health quite recently, in June 2023. Though Jim prefers to keep the details of his personal life private, we are positive that he is living his best and seems to still be on good terms with most of his fellow ‘American Gladiators’ cast members, many of whom he had missed deeply when they left the show.