Jean Marais became one of the most celebrated stars of French movies, theater, and television partly because of the early sponsorship of writer and film director Jean Cocteau.
British-born actor Roddy McDowall made a graceful transition from a juvenile star to a highly versatile character actor on both stage and screen.
Arguably the finest Shakespearean actor of his generation, Ian McKellen was the first British subject to be knighted after publicly revealing his homosexuality, an event that proved more controversial within the gay community than in the mainstream.
Swiss actor, cabaret performer, and stage director Karl Meier was, under the pseudonym "Rolf," editor of Der Kreis, the leading European homophile publication, from 1943 until its demise in 1967.
Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Oliver Messel was Britain's most celebrated theatrical designer, the creator of lavish costumes and sets for ballet and stage productions in the country's most prestigious venues.
Although actor Sal Mineo was twice nominated for an Academy Award, and enjoyed success as a stage director and recording artist, he is remembered chiefly for his performance in Rebel without a Cause.
One of Hollywood's greatest directors, Vincente Minnelli kept his sexual orientation quite private, but his gay sensibility is visible in many of his films.
While he had already achieved recognition as an actor, the multiple talents of performer, writer, and filmmaker John Cameron Mitchell came to wide public notice in 2001 with the release of his prize-winning film, Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
Although she was not publicly out as a homosexual, actress Agnes Moorehead became a lesbian icon by virtue of her choice of roles during a long and distinguished career.
The musical has been a significant aspect of American gay male culture, manifesting itself both in diva worship and, more recently, in the presentation of openly gay characters and shows written by gay writers primarily for gay audiences.
A popular leading man of the 1950s and 1960s, actor George Nader did not publicly acknowledge his sexual orientation (and his long relationship with his partner Mark Miller) until after the death of Rock Hudson in 1986.
Award-winning actress Cynthia Nixon recently acknowledged publicly that she is bisexual and in a loving relationship with a woman.
Show business renaissance man extraordinaire, Ivor Novello not only composed the scores of musical comedies, but also acted in films while dominating the London stage as a playwright and romantic leading man for three decades.
Comedian, actress, television talk show host, and openly gay mom, Rosie O'Donnell has achieved remarkable success in her relatively short career.
French architects and designers Charles Percier and Pierre Fontaine were among the founders and principal exponents of the neoclassic Empire style; they are known for the elegance and grace of their work and for their devotion to each other.
Performance art has been embraced by queer artists as a means of challenging the very idea of traditional in art and culture.
Self-proclaimed male actress Charles Pierce took an aggressive stance against homophobia, believing that quick wit, a serious attitude, and consummate acting skill could vanquish oppression.
Award-winning actor David Hyde Pierce, best known for his comic performance on the long-running hit comedy television series Frasier, belatedly acknowledged his homosexuality in 2007.
Director José Quintero made a significant contribution to theater by reviving interest in the works of Eugene O'Neill.
Widely admired for her talent and beauty, eighteenth-century French actress Françoise Raucourt lived openly with a series of female lovers.
One of the most significant and influential American movie directors of the twentieth century, Nicholas Ray created characters and situations that continue to resonate with queer viewers.
Funnyman Charles Nelson Reilly gained fame during the 1970s as a regular guest on game shows and celebrity talk shows, but he was also an accomplished character actor, director, and teacher.
Bisexual British film and stage director Tony Richardson was instrumental in challenging British censorship codes, especially regarding the representation of homosexuals.
Out American playwright, novelist, and screenwriter Paul Rudnick brings a gently subversive wit to all of his projects.
One of the major female impersonators of the 1970s and 1980s, Craig Russell was also an accomplished actor.