The sitcom star and the voice of animated characters, 66, reveals that he is gay.
May 6, 2009 – –
In the twilight of his career, actor “M * A * S * H” David Ogden Stiers has finally come out, saying he is no longer afraid of being gay.
In a recent interview, the 66-year-old Emmy-nominated actor told the Oklahoma City blog gossip-boy.com: “I am [gay]. Very proud of it. ”
Ogden Stiers joined the cast of “M * A * S * H” in 1977 as arrogant but charming aristocrat Charles Emerson Winchester III. In addition to acting in the sitcom, he voiced the characters of numerous Disney films, including Cogsworth in “Beauty and the Beast” and the archdeacon in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”.
The actor claimed to have kept his homosexuality hidden for years because he feared going out would harm his career.
But since he hasn’t been subjected to any anti-gay discrimination in the film industry, Ogden Stiers has been rethinking what made him stay exactly in the closet for so long.
“I haven’t seen anything like this that has happened in a long, long time,” he said about anti-gay discrimination, adding that his personal concerns may have clouded his views. “I should say in this regard that many of my fears have been self-invented in modern times. I have worked internally on whether they were the problem or if I continued to use them as an excuse.”
He said he thought keeping quiet about his sexuality would keep his income safe.
“I enjoy working, and although many have this idealistic belief that the entertainment industry and studios like Walt Disney are gay friendly,” they haven’t always been, he said. “For the most part they are, but that doesn’t mean to them that business doesn’t come first. It’s a matter of economics … A lot of my income came from giving voice to Disney and family programming.”
Ogden Stiers also added that the flamboyant nature of some of his animated roles contributed to his decision to hide his sexuality.
“Cogsworth, the character I played in” Beauty and the Beast “, may be a little flashy on the screen because it’s basically a cartoon,” he said. “But they didn’t want Cogsworth to become Disney’s gay character because he was wandering about whether a gay man was playing him.”
Disney is the parent company of ABC News. Asked to respond to Ogden Stiers’ comments, a Disney Studio spokesman said, “Casting decisions are made solely on the basis of who is the best actor or actress for a particular role.”
What is the momentum of Odgen Stiers to be released now? He hopes to settle down with someone and make his love story public.
“I would like to spend the twilight of my life being just who I am,” he said. “I could say that noble reasons emerge to advance the rights of homosexuals, but I must admit that it is for much more selfish reasons. Now is the time when I want to find someone and I don’t want to force any potential partner to live a life of extreme discretion with myself “.
Ogden Stiers is the latest actor to come out late in life
Ogden Stiers is the latest in a long line of actors to come out late in their careers, although not all of them have been so explicit.
“Frasier” star David Hyde Pierce, 50, was pushed out of the closet in 2007 after an Associated Press article mentioned his partner, Brian Hargrove, and the AfterElton.com blog followed Pierce to confirm that he was actually gay. Previously the actor had refused to mention his personal life.
“Lord of the Rings” and “X-Men” star Sir Ian McKellen, 69, revealed that he was gay on British radio in 1988 and later said he wanted to go out earlier. He advised others in Hollywood to do the same.
“When I got out, I was almost forty years old, and I was fed up with worrying about what others thought and confident enough in my career to suspect it wouldn’t make any difference. It was absolutely wrong,” he told WENN in 2005. ” I became a better actor and my film career took off in a way I couldn’t have expected. You can’t lie about something so central without hurting yourself. ”
“Doogie Howser, M.D.” and “How I Met Your Mother” star Neil Patrick Harris, 35, also made a big leap when he came out of the closet.
“I am happy to dispel any wrong rumors or ideas and I am proud enough to say that I am a very happy gay man who lives my life to the fullest and feels most fortunate to work with wonderful people in the industry I love,” he told People revised in 2006.