‘Cabaret’ Legend Joel Grey Comes out as Gay at Age 82

January 28, 2015

Legendary actor Joel Grey of ‘Cabaret’ has come out as a gay man at age 82 in a new interview with People magazine. In it, the Broadway icon speaks of his years in the closet and why he has chosen now to speak out. The landmark interview marks his first-ever public discussion of his sexuality.

Joel Grey

For those who may have wondered or speculated, they need speculate no more. Joel Grey peaks candidly with People magazine and his comments have gone instantly viral. It’s not every day that a living legend comes out as gay. Joel Grey’s portrayal of the as the Master of Ceremonies in ‘Cabaret’ — on the Broadway stage and in the iconic Bob Fosse-directed 1972 movie — is forever enshrined in pop culture history. He won the Tony Award and the Oscar, respectively.

Joel Grey said of himself in the interview, “I don’t like labels…but if you have to put a label on it, I’m a gay man.” He went on say, “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.”

As the celebrity publication notes, he was married to a woman, actress Jo Wilder, for 24 years and the couple has two children; a daughter, the actress Jennifer Grey as well as a son, James Grey, who is a chef.

As for his years of married life, he is quoted as saying it was “the happiest of my life.”

Grey also speaks of his upbringing in Cleveland, Ohio, and reflects upon how the societal and cultural perceptions of gay men were quite different. He told People of “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.”

As for his own sexual identity he went on to note, “I came to realize, along with being attracted to girls, I had similar feelings for boys.”

Now many, many decades later, in a completely different context, his candor and openness is celebrated in the same society and culture that for far too long has forced people to hide their sexuality. It’s a point not lost on his daughter, Jennifer Grey, who told People she feels “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.”

You can see more excerpts from the interview along with pictures of Joel Grey throughout the years here. Relive highlights of his iconic ‘Cabaret’ performance below.

Pictures: PR Photos

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