Oscar and Tony award winning star of both Broadway and the silver screen, Joel Grey, has come out of the closet. The 82 year old acknowledged that he is a homosexual in an Interview with people magazine.
Best known for his Academy Award winning role from the 1972 film version of the Broadway musical Cabaret where he played the Master of Ceremonies, Grey was born Joel David Katz to a Jewish family in Cleveland, Ohio.
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At this point no one should be surprised anymore when someone famous comes out of the closet. Thirty years ago Americans were shocked to learn that Hollywood star and sex symbol Rock Hudson was gay after it was revealed that he was diagnosed with AIDS. It was hard for people to accept the fact that a man known for romancing countless women on screen could be gay.
Back then there was still also a social stigma attached with being gay. But now countless celebrities, from musicians to actors, including Ellen DeGeneres, Melissa Ethridge, Nathan Lane, Richard Chamberlain, Neil Patrick Harris, Jodie Foster, Anderson Cooper, and many more have come out.
“I don’t like labels, ” Grey told people, “but if you have to put a label on it, I’m a gay man.” This in spite of the fact that he was once married for 24 years and fathered two children, including the actress Jennifer Grey. “All the people close to me have known for years who I am. [Yet] it took time to embrace that other part of who I always was.” Grey added.
His daughter Jennifer told People, “I feel very happy for my dad that he has come to a point in his life where he feels safe and comfortable enough to declare himself in a public way as a gay man. Mostly because the more people are free to own their true nature and can hopefully come closer to love and accept themselves as they really are, no matter what age, no matter how long it takes, to finally be free of the lies or half truths, it is freedom.”
Joel Grey has made almost 70 different television and movie appearances in a career that has spanned parts of seven decades. He has also appeared in more than a dozen stage productions over a 60 year period including the original Broadway production of cabaret for which he won a Tony.