Broadway Star Joel Grey Comes Out: "If You Have to Put a Label on It, I'm a Gay Man"

Joel Grey - H 2015
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The Oscar and Tony winner opens up about his sexuality.

Broadway star Joel Grey is finally opening up about his sexuality.

"I don't like labels, but if you have to put a label on it, I'm a gay man," the actor, 82, tells People magazine.

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He says his friends and family know, but the Cabaret star, who was married to actress Jo Wilder for 24 years and raised two children, including actress Jennifer Grey, hasn't spoken publicly about his sexuality.

"All the people close to me have known for years who I am," Grey adds. "[Yet] it took time to embrace that other part of who I always was." Grey won an Oscar and a Tony for his role as the master of ceremonies in the stage and film versions of Cabaret, making him one of only eight people who've won both awards for the same role. His other Broadway credits include Wicked, Anything Goes and Chicago. On TV, he had recurring roles on Oz, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Alias.

The son of comedian and musician Mickey Katz tells People that when he was growing up in Cleveland, he heard people, his mother included, "talking derisively about 'fairies.' "

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His daughter says she's happy her dad can speak publicly about who he is.

"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," says Jennifer Grey. "Mostly because the 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."