Cabaret star Joel Grey speaks about coming out in later life

Cabaret star Joel Grey has spoken about his decision to come out as gay in his eighties. Grey who played the Master of Ceremonies in the iconic film shared that he was gay in an 2015 interview.

Now aged 86, Grey has spoken in depth about this journey to accepting that he is gay in a new interview with the Daily Beast.

The performer shared that he had a same-sex romance when he was a teenager but he always wanted to be married and have children. Grey said when he thought about his sexuality when he was younger he said to himself, “That’s not the life I want. And I always wanted children. And I always loved women. But there was a duality.”

While he had a happy marriage that produced two children, his daughter Jennifer starred in the film Dirty Dancing, Grey said when he was asked to define his sexuality a few years ago he was happy to identify as being gay.

Grey said he told his children years earlier about his sexuality when they were still teenagers recounting that he shared the information while he was appearing the Broadway production of AIDS drama A Normal Heart. 

The actor said he finally decided to go public with his sexuality because it seemed like the right thing to do.

“It seemed right. It seemed like the proper thing for a citizen to do. Homophobia here and worldwide made me run from doing it once, and then there just seemed to be no point in running. It was a non-issue. I guess I needed to be counted, in that if you don’t say something you’re maybe seen as negative. It seemed at that moment in time that politically it was the right thing to do.”

Grey is currently appearing in an acclaimed off-Broadway production of Fiddler in the Roof in Yiddish.

OIP Staff