Oscar-winning American entertainer Joel Grey, best known for his star turn in the 1972 big-screen version of the musical “Cabaret”, came out as gay.
The 82-year-old actor, singer and dancer, who had two children with ex-wife Jo Wilder before their 24-year marriage ended in 1982, told People magazine that friends and family had known about his sexuality for years.
“I’m a gay man,” Grey was quoted as saying, telling the magazine he had realized at an early age he had “feelings for boys” — while also being attracted to girls.
He had kept his sexuality a secret, wary of confiding in anyone after hearing adults in his childhood home talking “derisively about ‘fairies’ and men being dragged off to jail… for being homosexual, for being who they were.”
Grey said he believed it would have been impossible to have been openly gay in the entertainment industry he first started working in.
“You couldn’t have a life, a career then… it was too dangerous in my world,” he said.
Grey, whose daughter Jennifer starred in 1980s classic “Dirty Dancing”, won a Tony Award for playing the role of the Emcee in “Cabaret”. He picked up an Oscar for the same role in the movie version which starred Liza Minnelli.
Recent stage appearances have included parts in musicals “Chicago” and “Wicked”.