Somewhat to his chagrin, British stage and film actor Nigel Hawthorne was acclaimed as the first openly gay actor to be nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actor.
Actor Sean Hayes gained renown and awards for his role as a gay character on the hit comedy series Will & Grace, but did not come out publicly as a gay man until 2010.
African-American actor, director, and folk-singer Gordon Heath appeared in theater, film, television, and radio productions, but is best known as a Parisian cabaret performer.
Actor, dancer, and choreographer, Sir Robert Helpmann was present at the creation of premier ballet companies in both Great Britain and Australia.
A product of Hollywood's star system, Rock Hudson became an international symbol of heterosexuality, wearing a mask until it was savagely ripped off when he was diagnosed with AIDS.
Barry Humphries, a character actor, singer, writer, poet, and painter, is known principally for the stage personas he has developed over a long career.
Blues singer, lyricist, and actress Alberta Hunter, one of the top recording artists in the 1920s and 1930s, experienced a dramatic comeback in her old age.
Actor Tab Hunter's blond good looks made him a movie idol in the 1950s, but his romantic heterosexual roles concealed his identity as a gay man.
Acclaimed comic actor John Inman gained international fame for his endearing portrayal of the fey salesman Mr. Humphries on the television series Are You Being Served?.
Versatile character actor Michael Jeter played a wide variety of roles on stage, in movies, and on television, and also helped raise money for AIDS research.
An aggressive, punk-influenced guitarist and singer associated with the "riot grrrl" phenomenon, Joan Jett remains vital as a musician, producer, and actor and has attracted a sizeable lesbian following.
Versatile American actress Cherry Jones became the first out lesbian to win a Tony Award when she was chosen as Best Actress in 1995.
Actress, singer, and writer Christine Jorgenson was not the first male-to-female transsexual to undergo sex reassignment surgery, but the publicity surrounding her case enabled her to educate the public about the differences between homosexuality, transvestism, and transsexualtiy.
Mime artist, renegade, and magnetic stage performer, Lindsay Kemp has long had a cult status in alternative theater.
Gay actor and singer Larry Kert introduced some of the most memorable songs in American musical theater.
Co-author of the book of the celebrated musical A Chorus Line, James Kirkwood also wrote five popular novels and two nonfiction books.
Once best known as a youthful actor, Sheila James Kuehl is now a respected California state legislator and a vigorous advocate for glbtq rights.
Accomplished character actress Nany Kulp, who specialized in playing prim, straight-laced spinsters, publicly acknowledged her lesbianism only towards the end of her life.
As a founder of the "queercore" movement, filmmaker and reluctant pornographer Bruce LaBruce reaffirms and celebrates the outsider status of homosexuals.
Highly-acclaimed actor Nathan Lane is not only openly gay himself, but has portrayed gay characters in several plays and films.
Although apparently heterosexual, musical theater composer Jonathan Larson wrote sympathetically about a diverse community of artists, many of whom are glbtq.
Anglo-American stage and screen actor and director Charles Laughton scored many triumphs in a distinguished career, but nevertheless suffered for much of his life from self-loathing and internalized homophobia.
Actress, director, producer, teacher, and memoirist, as well as translator, Eva Le Gallienne was one of the most successful figures in the American theater for several decades; she had many lovers, but was never comfortable with her lesbianism.
Comedian, writer, actor, and producer Carol Leifer never anticipated that after the age of forty she would find personal fulfillment by recognizing her lesbianism, becoming a mother, and standing up for glbtq rights.
Liberace was for many the epitome of flamboyant camp, yet he was also a gay man who steadfastly refused to acknowledge publicly his sexual identity.