Putting on a persona different from one’s own is something actors are masters at. But when you have to play a straight character when you’re actually gay, it is doubly challenging. It happens all the time though and Hollywood has a fair number of celebs who are openly gay but manage to give brilliantly convincing performances as straight characters. Perhaps that is one of the reasons many people are unaware of their sexual orientation for a long time. So read on to find out the various gay celebrities who’ve played straight on-screen and done one hell of a job at it!
The wife of uber-popular talk-show host Ellen Degeneres, Portia is known for having played straight in Arrested Development, Scandal, Ally McBeal and other TV shows. She was married to filmmaker Mel Metcalfe for 5 years till 2001 but began dating Ellen in 2004.
Well-known for playing Dr. George O’Malley in hit TV series Grey’s Anatomy, T.R. Knight has been acting since the early age of 5 years. He has starred in numerous television and movie productions and his personal life has been equally satisfying since his marriage to Patrick Leahy in 2013.
An exceptionally accomplished actress who has also dabbled in film direction and production, Jodie Foster is still remembered for her performance as Annabelle Bransford in Maverick. She came out very publicly in her 2013 Golden Globes speech, and is now married to Alexandra Hedison.
He’s not just another Hollywood actor – he’s Dr. Oliver Thredson, he’s Spock, he’s Sylar. He declared his homosexuality in 2011 after gay teen Jamey Rodemeyer committed suicide. He is currently involved with Miles McMillan, a famous model and artist.
Most widely appreciated for his role as Michael Scofield in Prison Break, Wentworth Miller denied rumours of being gay for many years. He finally came out in 2013 and talked about his struggle with his sexuality at the Human Rights Campaign Dinner in 2013.
Our beloved Miranda Hobbes from Sex and the City, Cynthia has won several prestigious awards for her work in the industry. She was married to Danny Mozes and had two children with him. But she eventually tied the knot with Christine Marinoni in 2012, having realized she was gay.
The multi-talented Alan Cumming is not just famous for his appearances on TV, in movies and the theatre world, but also for his work as an author and activist. He has won many laurels in the past and has had a steady relationship with current partner Grant Shaffer.
The late American actor Rock Hudson was extremely popular in the 50s and 60s. Mostly notably, he wowed audiences with his performance as Brad Allen in Pillow Talk. He sparked much discussion about gay actors in Hollywood, even though he kept his private life away from the limelight.
The aged Richard Chamberlain has many screen and theatre hits to his name. He was also a popular singer in his teenage and openly dated Wesley Eure and Martin Rabbett during the 70s and 80s, which in those prudish times, was quite a remarkable act.
The universally loved Sheldon Cooper from The Bang Theory, Jim Parsons has appeared in other productions including An Act of Gold, iCarly, The Muppets and more. He has been dating Todd Spiewak for 10 years but he usually keeps his private life low-key.
Best known for playing the legendary role of bad-boy Barney Stinson on hit TV series How I Met Your Mother, Neil Patrick Harris came out of the closet in 2006. Today, he enjoys a huge fan following and continues to titillate the ladies by playing straight characters on TV and in movies.
The attractive werewolf from Being Human, Russell Tovey has undertaken several other television and film projects in the past. He admitted to struggling with his sexuality and once he came out at age 16, he didn’t have any gay role models to look up to. Today, he is a role model himself.
This English-born actor who has always been very private about his personal life has nonetheless admitted to being gay in the media. John Mahoney’s claim to fame is playing Martin Crane on Frasier, though his resume has much other awesome work to speak of as well.
A prolific actor, singer and comedian, Jane Lynch is openly gay and married to Lara Embry. She first became popular on starring in the improve mockumentary Best in Show, and then went on to be part of major hits like Role Models, Two and a Half Men, iCarly and so on.
Making a name in the industry with her teenage stint as Darlene Conner on Roseanne, Sara Gilbert has also starred in The Talk, The Big Bang Theory, and several other Hollywood productions. She had dated several male celebs before realising she was gay and is now married to Linda Perry.
A singer and actor of much fame, Ricky Martin starred in soap operas such as General Hospital and Mexican production Alcanzar una estrella. Though was dating Rebecca de Alba for a long while, he eventually came out and has been actively championing the cause of gay rights since 2008.
TV artist, actor and theatre personnel Sarah Paulson, is most famous for her character of Harriet Hayes on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. She dated men before realising she is gay and then dated Cherry Jones from 2004 to 2009.
An actor with a huge body of work to her name, Maria Bello is remembered for her roles in Permanent Midnight, Coyote Ugly, A History of Violence, ER and many more. She has dated male celebs in the past, though her recent relationships have been with Clare Munn and Holland Taylor.
Canadian actor Ellen Page skyrocketed to fame with her powerful performance as Juno in the highly awarded movie. She has starred in many successful ventures including X-Men and Inception ever since. She publicly declared her gay proclivities in 2014 in the “Time to Thrive” campaign.
Loved for his role of the psychiatrist on the sitcom Frasier, David Hyde Pierce made a public declaration of his homosexuality in 2007. He has a large body of work behind him, with almost all of his roles being straight characters. He is currently married to Brian Hangrove.