John M. Becker

'Cabaret' Star Joel Grey, 82, Comes Out

Filed By John M. Becker | January 28, 2015 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Broadway, Cabaret, coming out, Joel Grey, welcome out

joel-grey-new.jpgBroadway and film legend Joel Grey, best known for his Academy and Tony Award-winning portrayal of the Master of Ceremonies in the musical Cabaret, came out as gay in an interview published today by People magazine. "I don't like labels, he said, "but if you have to put a label on it, I'm a gay man."

Grey, 82, told People that he's already been out to friends and family for a long time now, but that this was the first time he was publicly acknowledging his sexuality. And he said it's taken him a long time to get to this point:

It was different for a man of his generation. Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of noted actor-comedian Mickey Katz, Grey remembers "hearing the grownups talk in the next room, my mother included, talking derisively about 'fairies' and men being dragged off to jail and even worse for being who they were."

At about the same time, he says, "I came to realize, along with being attracted to girls, I had similar feelings for boys." Grey didn't reveal his truth for many more years to come.

He was married to actress Jo Wilder for 24 years, a period he calls "the happiest of my life." Together they have two children: actress Jennifer Grey and son James, a chef.

Jennifer says she's happy that her dad "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."

"[T]he 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," she added.

Congratulations to Mr. Grey on officially joining the out and proud LGBT family. Willkommen, Joel!

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