Who was the first openly gay actor in Hollywood? How Hollywood’s first out gay star chose love over career. In 1930, the wisecracking matinee idol William “Billy” Haines was America’s top box office star — and openly gay. The Show People star regularly hit the town, including Hollywood premieres and parties, with his live-in partner, Jimmie Shields.
Who was the first openly gay artist? By the early 1970s, many rock stars had flirted with androgyny and sexual fluidity. But in 1973, a singer and actor named Bruce Wayne Campbell became what is believed to be the first openly gay rock musician signed to a major label when he debuted as the outrageously flashy Jobriath.
Who was the first gay character in a movie? The Best Man (1964), where a character, played by Shelley Berman, is accused of being homosexual, was the first American film to use the word “homosexual”. Brock Peters played one of the first expressly homosexual characters in an American film in The Pawnbroker in 1964.
Can a straight actor play a gay character? While straight and cisgender actors are given many opportunities to play roles outside their own gender and sexuality, many gay and trans actors say they are given far less leeway. This is another reason, in addition to the authenticity factor, that some argue queer roles should be reserved for queer actors.