Actor Joel Grey Comes Out as Gay at Age 82

Joel Grey
Buzzing on the Web as of this writing is the news that Joel Grey — the Oscar winning star of stage and screen, best known for his performance as the Emcee in Cabaret — has come out as gay, at the age of 82.

While what’s made this story noteworthy in the eyes of the Web is the age at which Mr. Grey has decided to come out, in a recent interview with People Magazine, the Broadway legend shared that his sexuality has long been no secret among his friends and family.

While stressing that he doesn’t care for labels Grey volunteered, “but if you have to put a label on it, I’m a gay man.” He added, however, “it took time to embrace that other part of who I always was.”

Grey was in a 24-year marriage with actress Jo Wilder. Though they divorced in 1982, Grey describes the time of their marriage as “the happiest of my life.” Together they have two children; son James, a chef, and actress Jennifer Grey, of Dirty Dancing and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off fame.

Jennifer told People, “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.”

Joel also recounted for People the different time in which he came of age, providing background for why he kept his sexuality out of the media for so long. He recalls growing up in Cleveland, Ohio and “hearing the grownups talk in the next room, my mother included, talking derisively about ‘fairies’ and men being dragged off to jail and even worse for being who they were.”

You can learn more about the Greys — or revisit some of your favorite moments from their careers — by clicking their highlighted names above and visiting their PeekYou profiles, form where you’ll be led to social pages, videos, photos, interviews, articles, and much more.