Comic actor and writer Graham Chapman, a member of Britain's madcap Monty Python troupe, was in the vanguard of actors to come out publicly as gay.
Actress and writer Charlotte Charke was known for portraying male characters on the eighteenth-century English stage and for cross-dressing in private life.
Award-winning French director, screenwriter, and actor Patrice Chéreau has earned international renown for his visionary, often controversial, productions of opera, theater, and film
Androgynously handsome Hong Kong actor and pop singer Leslie Cheung played sexually ambiguous characters, as well as romantic leads in both gay- and heterosexually-themed films.
Korean-American bisexual actress turned stand-up comedian Margaret Cho has become one of the most prominent Asian Americans in show business and in glbtq culture.
Montgomery Clift was not only an extraordinary actor, but also an isolated and tortured, closeted gay man, who used drugs and alcohol to escape his pain.
One of the world's most famous transsexual celebrities, Brazilian model, actress, and television performer Roberta Close has challenged the laws of her country that prevent her from defining her own gender.
Quick-witted, roly-poly, sad-eyed clown James Coco proved one of the most versatile and successful American stage, film, and television actors from the late-1960s through the mid-1980s.
Actress Katharine Cornell and director Guthrie McClintic sustained one of the most celebrated partnerships in the American theater for forty years; although married and devoted to each other, both partners pursued same-sex relationships.
Accomplished playwright, actor, composer, and lyricist, Sir Noël Coward was also a singer and cabaret performer; he dominated the British stage between the world wars, then reoriented his career in the direction of America.
"Not merely a self-confessed homosexual, but a self-evident one," actor, writer, performance artist, and wit Quentin Crisp left as his most significant legacy an example of courage.
Versatile actor Alan Cumming has performed a wide variety of roles on stage, screen, and television, earning numerous awards for his acting and also for his support of glbtq causes.
One of the most famous actresses of the nineteenth century, Charlotte Cushman was a commanding presence both on and off stage; she used her fortune and fame to champion the work of other women artists, among them her lover Emma Stebbins.
Indian playwright, screenwriter, dancer, director, and actor Mahesh Dattani is an important figure in South Asian gay culture by virtue of his recurrent depiction of queer characters.
Although American gay film icon Brad Davis has been described as "the first heterosexual actor to die of AIDS," he was widely known as bisexual within the entertainment community.
Although he spent only two years in Hollywood before his untimely death, James Dean became an enduring icon of American film, one whose brooding non-conformity helped challenge rigid notions of masculinity.
Funnyman Frank DeCaro has found success both in serious journalism as a fashion writer and editor and in comedy as a writer, performer, and radio talk show host.
No matter how great her contribution to the world of comedy, Ellen DeGeneres will probably be best remembered as the first lesbian to star as a lesbian on her own network television show.
A proudly out lesbian from the very beginning of her career, the versatile Lea DeLaria has earned accolades for her talents as an actor, a singer, and a stand-up comic.
Portia de Rossi moved almost effortlessly from a teen modeling career to acting roles in film and television; her widely publicized relationship with Ellen DeGeneres has made her one of the best known lesbians in American pop culture.
Actress and cabaret performer Marlene Dietrich scandalized society almost as much by wearing trousers in public as by her numerous love affairs with both men and women.
A versatile character actor, nightclub singer, and international cult star who generally performed his stage show and movie roles in drag, Divine became famous through his appearances in John Waters' films.
Popular nineteenth-century French actress Marie Dorval enjoyed an intense romantic friendship with the writer George Sand that fueled much speculation among Parisian gossips of the time, as well as among later biographers and historians.
Actor-director Robert Drivas brought a provocative sexuality and an emotional intensity to his stage and screen performances at a time when the male body was being liberated as the object of the audience's gaze.
A fiercely comic playwright, as well as actor and screenwriter, Christopher Durang often incorporates gay themes and characters in his plays.