›› The Hollywood Closet ‹‹
Some say that to OUT yourself as an actor in Hollywood, is to signal the end of a career working within the major studio system and the fame and multi-million dollar fortune therein. Others would strongly agree to different. Contrasting views that cannot help but make you wonder just what the true state of sexual diversity is, within an industry that prides itself in being a freethinking, liberal minded profession.
Only is that the truth? What is clear is that if you take away the Out and Proud British contingent, subtract the openly gay actors working the indie circuit, remove the posthumous now known to be gay stars of yesteryear and the actual number of openly gay A-list American actors working in Hollywood, comes in at one big ZERO.
Not that this is the case, of course. For Hollywood is full of actors who are gay, only their names, like the men themselves, remain in the closet by way of personal choice, or from pressure put upon them from above. All of which is a somewhat ironic situation, when you consider that Los Angeles has one of the finest lesbian and gay support networks in the world. But then, this is Hollywood and not L.A., a place where being in the closet is good for business and certainly for those who wish to court the fame and fortune that go hand-in-hand with the role of a leading man. And seemingly, a straight leading man at that too. Only does it have to be that way?
What is clear is that Hollywood remains deeply conservative. Indeed as former studio head Daniel Melnick once remarked: "most people in those roles are conservative, most people who run big businesses in America are conservative, most newspaper chains are run by people who are conservative." And Hollywood is no exception to the rule, preferring its star players to abide by the protocols of the trade.
So perhaps it is only right to turn to those who have had first hand experience of staying in, coming out or simply observing The Hollywood Closet and their personal experiences and often poignant remarks.
"I stand here tonight as a proud gay man and I hope we can all stand together as equals one day."

›› Openly gay English singer / songwriter Sam Smith's 2016 Oscarģ acceptance speech for Best Original Song for "Writing's On The Wall" for the James Bond film Spectre. ‹‹

Dustin Lance Black; Writer and Producer.
Openly gay winner of the 2009 Oscarģ for Best Original Screenplay for Milk.


"Half the people in Hollywood are dying to be discovered - the other half are afraid they will be!"

›› American Actor - Lionel Barrymore ‹‹

Sir John Gielgud, OM, CH.
Renowned actor of stage and screen.


"I came out as a gay actor...going into it, I was practically terrified that I would never work again.
And thatís what a lot of people in the industry, friends, peers, cautioned me against with the best intentions.
Since coming out, there's definitely some casting directors who wonít see me for anything but
very flamboyant hairdressers - which I can do, but I can play other things too.

But I was of the mindset that didnít have to be the way the world works any more; the way the industry works.
I think that we have reached that Ďcusp of changeí and we are stepping over it."

›› American Actor and Writer - Charlie David ‹‹

Clive Barker.
Acclaimed horror author, director and visual artist.


"I know there are plenty of gay Hollywood actors out there.
I'm just tired of waiting until they die and their biographies come out to find out who the hell they are."

›› from the play THE STAND-IN by Keith Curran ‹‹

Sal Mineo.
'50s Icon and the true 'Rebel With a Cause.'


[If Rock Hudson] "were at his peak today and openly gay, would things be better?
Probably not. He might find a niche as a chat-show host on TV, but the movies would have little to do with him."

›› English Film Critic - Barry Norman  ‹‹

Sir Ian McKellen, CH, CBE.
Renowned actor of stage and screen.


[If I had been straight, I] "would have made a lot more money - probably 20 times more money."

›› English Actor and Writer - Rupert Everett ‹‹

Guillermo Díaz.
Leading indie actor.


"My sexuality, I donít think it should play a big part - but it does. Especially with bigger names.
You see people come OUT and then all of a sudden their career stalls a little bit. Perhaps it has gotten me to a place where
weíre not going to bring her in for that role because sheís gay. And you donít know that, because youíre not behind those doors.
So there could be parts I didnít get. But there have been parts that I have gotten, or at least been considered for,
because I am an OUT actor. So I think it kind of goes both ways.

I hope more people can eventually do it.
I hope it becomes less and less of an issue, 'cause it doesnít need to be."

›› American Actress - Michelle Wolff ‹‹

Denholm Elliott, CBE.
Acclaimed English actor; aka the 'Ultimate Scene Stealer.'


"I'm not a romantic leading man any more, so I don't need to nurture that [straight] public image."

›› King of the Mini-Series - Richard Chamberlain ‹‹

Rupert Everett.
Out and Proud English actor and writer.


"The execs don't care what colour you are. They care about how much money you make.
Hollywood is not really black or white. It's green."

›› American Actor - Will Smith ‹‹

Sir Michael Redgrave, CBE.
Renowned actor of stage and screen.


"After I came out and I was on the cover of The Advocate, I started getting calls to play gay roles.
ONLY gay roles. I heard that someone had a problem with my sexuality. And thatís why they were having trouble
whether they wanted to pick me or not. And when I heard that I said: 'you know what, if that person has a problem
with my sexuality, I donít care who it is, I donít want to work with them.'"

›› American Actor - Gabriel Romero ‹‹

Rock Hudson.
Leading Hollywood actor.


"I always assume in Hollywood that most women are bisexual."

›› Celebrity Trainer - Jackie Warner ‹‹

John Barrowman.
Out and Proud singer and actor; aka the one and only 'Captain Jack Harkness.'


"I love old movies and old movies were really about a studio system. It's fascinating
because times have not changed. Studios are studios."

›› American Film Director - Mark Christopher ‹‹

Sir Nigel Hawthorne, CBE.
Renowned actor of stage and screen.


"Hollywood gets excited only about someone who's beautiful and just shy of thirty.
Because then they'll have a good twelve years of millions of dollars to make off this person."

›› American Actor - Cherry Jones ‹‹

Montgomery Clift.
American film and stage actor.


"Alexis Arquette will play so many gay roles, that people will start thinking he's straight."

›› American Comic Writer - Bruce Vilanch ‹‹

George Cukor.
Legendary Hollywood director.


"And while some actors are still advised to disguise their sexuality in public,
it's not that long since Jews in Hollywood felt obliged to change their names and left-wingers had to lie about their politics."

›› Renowned Actor - Sir Ian McKellen ‹‹

Sir Antony Sher, KBE.
Acclaimed actor, writer, theatre director and painter.


[The] "casting people, industry people, they find out you're gay;
they don't want to touch you. You're a hurdle to be overcome, you're not marketable."

›› Out and Proud Singer and Actor - John Barrowman ‹‹

Charlie David.
Leading indie actor and writer.


"Hollywood wants its faggots behind the camera - not in front."

›› from the film Hollywood, je t'aime by Jason Bushman ‹‹

James Whale.
Legendary Hollywood director; aka the 'Father of Frankenstein.'


"Lesbian and gays too, of all stripes, make up the fabric of life in America.
But America wouldn't know it from the movies."

›› American Scholar - Lillian Faderman ‹‹

Simon Callow, CBE.
Acclaimed English actor, writer and theatre director.


"I was always afraid that at some talk show they'd take a question from the audience
and some guy would stand up and say, 'I slept with you.'"

›› American Actor and Model - Dirk Shafer ‹‹
›› www.gaycelluloid.com - for gay cinema, gay films, gay reviews ‹‹