NEW YORK (Reuters) - Actor Joel Grey, an Oscar winner for his role in “Cabaret” opposite Liza Minnelli and who was married to actress Jo Wilder for 24 years, on Wednesday publicly revealed that he is gay.
The 82-year-old actor, who is the father of actress Jennifer Grey and also has a son, told People magazine that his family and friends have known about his sexuality.
“I don’t like labels,” Grey is quoted as saying in the issue of the magazine to be published on Friday “but if you have to put a label on it, I’m a gay man.”
Grey discussed his childhood in Cleveland, Ohio, and hearing grownups speak about gay men being jailed for their sexuality. Grey said that at around the same time, he realized he was attracted to girls and boys.
Grey was the first to play the role of the Master of Ceremonies in the Broadway musical “Cabaret” in 1966 and won the Tony Award for the performance. He won an Academy Award for the 1972 film version.
Jennifer Grey, best known for her role in 1987’s “Dirty Dancing” with Patrick Swayze, told People magazine that she was pleased her father felt comfortable and secure enough to publicly declare himself a gay man.
“Mostly because 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,” she said.
Reporting by Patricia Reaney; Editing by Eric Kelsey and Grant McCool