As the issue of the 'outing' of public figures resurfaced through the recent comments of Tom Hardy ,we were tempted to reflect those actors who, though gay in everyday life, ply their trade mainly and successfully in herterosexual roles. Yes, we love and respect them all. We'll nominate our Top Five very shortly.
In case you missed it, the Mad Max and Legend actor bristled when a reporter from the LGBT site Daily Xtra suggested his sexuality was “ambiguous” because of comments he reportedly made to Attitude magazine in 2008.
When the journalist asked if celebrities found it hard to talk to the media about their sexuality, an incredulous Hardy said he didn't, and then cut him off. He blamed this blunt reaction on the reporter invading his privacy by asking such a probing and "inelegant" question from a public platform, telling the Daily Beast: “I’m under no obligation to share anything to do with my family, my children, my sexuality - that’s nobody’s business but my own. And I don’t see how that can have anything to do with what I do as an actor, and it’s my own business."
Matt Damon is on record with similar views. But, in our more enlightened times, many actors are now happily "out." And many have made it to the top of the profession in playing convincingly straight roles. Here come our fave five.
1. Gandalf – The Lord of the Rings
When it comes powerful wizards on the silver screen, they don't get bigger than Gandalf. As a leader of the Fellowship of the Ring, he he has to use all his mighty powers to protect his group on their treacherous journey.
Sir Ian McKellen
Ian McKellen had had a number of enduring gay relationships. He has been an active spokesman for gay rights for over a decade, a great use of special powers beyond those of the magician. See more of Ian here.
2. Sheldon Cooper – The Big Bang Theory
Even though Sheldon has been described as “asexual” and “aromantic” in his mega-geek role in Big Bang Theory, he has still been in a relationship with Amy Farrah Fowler, who he found on a dating website.
Jim Parsons with Todd Spiewak, his partner of ten years.
Jim Parsons, however, is openly gay and has been with his partner, art director Todd Spiewak, for the past 11 years. His portrayal of a straight Sheldon Cooper has been honoured with four Primetime Emmy awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Meet Jim and Todd here.
3. Barney Stinson – How I Met Your Mother
Barney Stinson is the womanizing, suit-loving best friend to hopeless romantic Ted Mosby. Having, in the series, slept with 'over 200 women', he has a playbook that perfects the art of getting his targets into bed.
Neil and family.
Neil Patrick Harris first announced that he was gay in 2006, adding that he had been with his husband David Burtka since 2004. Together, the two have a set of twins – one boy and one girl – born in 2010 via surrogate mother. Read more here.
4. Spock – Star Trek
Super-logical Spock is one of the three central characters in the original Star Trek series and its films. After retiring from Starfleet, Spock serves as a Federation ambassador, contributing toward the easing of the strained relationship between the Federation and the Klingon Empire.
Zachary Quinto came out as gay in 2011, prompted by the suicide of a gay teenager. He was in a relationship with Glee actor Jonathan Groff, but they have recently brought that to an end. See more on Zach here.
5. Neal Caffrey – White Collar
Neal Caffrey is an ex-white collar conman released from jail to assist the FBI in catching the nation’s most high-profile white-collar criminals. Both a sly mastermind and a diehard romantic, he’s had multiple relationships in the show with women, even breaking out of prison to go visiting.
Matt Bomer and family.
Matt Bomer has three sons with his husband, publicist Simon Halls, whom he married in 2011. Having never hidden the fact that he is gay, Bomer first publically acknowledged this by thanking his partner and his family during an award acceptance speech in 2012. Meet the family here.
Lustralboy says: "Public figures have always had to cope with probing of their private lives. The sooner that no stigma remains associated with gay sexuality, the sooner that probing will become irrelevant and its results a mere footnote in history.
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