Tony Winner Joel Grey Comes Out: “If You Have To Put A Label On It, I’m A Gay Man”

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Photo: Joel Grey/People magazine

Veteran stage actor Joel Grey, who won a Tony and an Oscar for his portrayal of the Emcee in film version and original Broadway production of Cabaret, came out as gay in an interview with People magazine.

“I don’t like labels but if you have to put a label on it, I’m a gay man,” said Grey, 82. “All the people close to me have known for years who I am,” Grey tells the magazine. “[Yet] it took time to embrace that other part of who I always was.”

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Grey was married to actress Jo Wilder for 24 years and is the father of actress Jennifer Grey and another child, son James.

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“I feel 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,” said Jennifer, star of Dirty Dancing. “Mostly because the more people are free to own their true nature and can hopefully come closer to love and accept themselves as they really are, no matter what age, no matter how long it takes, to finally be free of the lies or half truths, it is freedom.”

Related: Sam Smith Says He Had “Reservations” About Coming Out Publicly

Despite his age, Grey has remained a vital part of the entertainment community, appearing on Broadway in 2011 in Anything Goes, and on the small screen in shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Alias and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He also co-directed the recent Broadway revival of the Normal Heart and had a small part in Ryan Murphy’s television adaption of the play for HBO.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery