26 Gay Actors Who Were Badass in Straight Roles


Once or twice we come across films or TV shows that we get so engrossed with that we sometimes forget to separate the actor from the character. We believe the actor is the same person that we have come to love or hate.

We are so into these shows that we get surprised to learn personal tidbits about these actors that are inconsistent with the role they portray. Even more so, our jaws drop when we realize that some characters perceived as straight in films and movies are actually portrayed by gay actors.

Here’s a list to find out if you can tell these actors are actually gay.

1. Neil Patrick Harris – Barney Stinson (How I Met Your Mother)

Photo by Jason LaVeris - © 2012 Jason LaVeris - Image courtesy gettyimages.com

Photo by Jason LaVeris – © 2012 Jason LaVeris – Image courtesy gettyimages.com

This actor tops the list as he interestingly portrayed as the notorious womanizer Barney Stinson in the sitcom How I Met Your Mother. The character is well known for having coined now-popular terms such as the “Bro Code” and “Legen (wait for it).. Dary.” Never has any other self-confessed serial player been more loved than Barney. In real life however, Harris is happily married to fellow actor David Burtka. The two are parents to twins.

2. Ellen Page – Juno (Juno)

Photo by George Pimentel - © 2015 George Pimentel - Image courtesy gettyimages.com

Photo by George Pimentel – © 2015 George Pimentel – Image courtesy gettyimages.com

Ellen played as the quick-witted pregnant high school teen Juno in the film of the same name. Although she already came out to her friends and family a long time ago, Ellen had only revealed that she was gay in a speech in February 2014. In an interview with The Guardian, she candidly said, “Being out within my life became far more important than being in any movie.”

3. Michelle Rodriguez – Letty Toretto (Fast and Furious film series)

Photo by Steve Granitz - © 2015 Steve Granitz - Image courtesy gettyimages.com

Photo by Steve Granitz – © 2015 Steve Granitz – Image courtesy gettyimages.com

The Fast and the Furious film series is probably one of the most action-packed films of all time with its car races and gun battles. It definitely gained a lot of attention following the death of Paul Walker, one of the films’ main character actors. A few may have realized that one actress in particular, playing the role of the tough girlfriend of Dom Toretto. Michelle Rodriguez certainly played the part who later becoming Dom’s wife.

4. Jane Lynch – Sue Sylvester (Glee) 

Photo by Mathew Imaging - © WireImage.com - Image courtesy WireImage.com

Photo by Mathew Imaging – © WireImage.com – Image courtesy WireImage.com

A highly vocal LGBT advocate, Jane is not one to be shy about her sexuality. She’s acted in a few lesbian roles but gained international fame as Sue Sylvester in the TV show Glee. She has won multiple awards for the aggressive and conniving cheerleading coach role.

5. Jim Parsons – Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory) 

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez - © 2014 Getty Images - Image courtesy gettyimages.com

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez – © 2014 Getty Images – Image courtesy gettyimages.com

Who could ever Sheldon, the loveable/irritating character from the award-winning series The Big Bang Theory. Jim played the role to perfection making nerds and geeks all over the world somehow adorable. Jim’s character is about a highly intelligent yet socially inept neurophysicist that eventually falls in love with a female character. He is currently in a long-term relationship with art director Todd Spiewak.

6. Ricky Martin – Miguel Morez (General Hospital)

Photo by Steve Granitz - © WireImage.com - Image courtesy WireImage.com

Photo by Steve Granitz – © WireImage.com – Image courtesy WireImage.com

Early on, Ricky Martin played a small role as the singer/bartender Miguel Morez in the American daytime soap opera, General Hospital. He revealed that he was gay to his fans in 2010. He admitted to coming out for the sake of his kids and that he doesn’t want to teach them to lie.

7. Sarah Paulson – Dr. Ellen Dolan (The Spirit)

Photo by Bennett Raglin - © WireImage.com - Image courtesy WireImage.com

Photo by Bennett Raglin – © WireImage.com – Image courtesy WireImage.com

Sarah has remained private about her personal life and does not reveal much. She got out of a relationship with Cherry Jones whom she has shared a kiss with on stage in a Tony Awards night. Sarah played a role in The Spirit as Dr. Ellen Dolan who is romantically involved with Denny Colt. Also, she portrayed as Harriet Hayes in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip for which she got nominated a Golden Globe for.

8. Wentworth Miller – Michael Scofield (Prison Break)

Photo by RAFY - © 2010 Constantin Film International GmbH & Davis Films/Impact Pictures Inc. All rights reserved.

Photo by RAFY – © 2010 Constantin Film International GmbH & Davis Films/Impact Pictures Inc. All rights reserved.

Wentworth Miller gained fame in his role as Michael Scofield in Prison Break. People had wondered about his sexuality and he finally came out through an open letter that speaks out against the harsh anti-gay policies in Russia. Since then, he has been vocal about things he is passionate about such as suicide and depression.

9. Cynthia Nixon – Miranda Hobbes (Sex and the City) 

Photo by Kevin Mazur - © WireImage.com - Image courtesy WireImage.com

Photo by Kevin Mazur – © WireImage.com – Image courtesy WireImage.com

Cynthia acted as one of the four main characters in the iconic TV show, Sex and the City. The show revolves around these four characters who explore their sexuality and nuances of living as a progressive woman in New York. Miranda Hobbes is a jaded lawyer who later married and had a child. Cynthia is now married with long time partner Christine Marinoni.

10. Alan Cumming – Joe Therrian (The Anniversary Party)

Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris - © WireImage.com - Image courtesy WireImage.com

Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris – © WireImage.com – Image courtesy WireImage.com

With over a hundred acting credits up his belt, Alan Cumming is a mainstay in the Hollywood scene. He’s portrayed several straight roles including Joe Therrian in The Anniversary Party and as Sandy Frink in Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. He first entered into a civil partnership with Grant Shaffer and then eventually tied the knot legally in 2012.

11. Jodie Foster – Anna Leonowens (Anna and the King)

Photo by Lester Cohen - © WireImage.com - Image courtesy WireImage.com

Photo by Lester Cohen – © WireImage.com – Image courtesy WireImage.com

Jodie Foster is a Hollywood icon who gained accolades all across the world with her brilliant and engrossing acting. One of her roles was of Anna who got romantically involved with the King of Siam. has publicly declared she was gay last 2013 in an acceptance speech for a Golden Globe award.

12. Zachary Quinto – Sylar (Heroes)

Photo by Joe Quinto IMDb.com

Photo by Joe Quinto IMDb.com

Zachary Quinto popularized the antagonist role in the TV drama, Heroes. He has appeared in several other shows portraying as straight. He publicly came out in 2011 and is an active advocate of gay rights.

13. Portia de Rossi – Lindsay Bluth Fünke (Arrested Development)

Photo from Better Off Ted © ABC/DANNY FELD

Photo from Better Off Ted © ABC/DANNY FELD

Portia is currently married to comedienne talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. She played the spoiled brat twin sister of Jason Bateman’s character in Arrested Development. In the sitcom, she is married to discredited psychiatrist Tobias Funke and they have a daughter, Maeby.

14. Matt Bomer – Neal Caffrey (White Collar)

Photo by mhaze@imdb.com

Photo by mhaze@imdb.com

From 2009 to 2014, Matt Bomer played as a con artist and forger who was in the FBI’s Most Wanted. He made millions of fans swoon with his piercing eyes and cocky attitude that is typical Neal Caffrey. Matt Bomer has three children with his husband Simon Halls.

15. Jonathan Groff – Jesse St. James (Glee)

Photo by Larry Busacca - © 2013 Getty Images - Image courtesy gettyimages.com

Photo by Larry Busacca – © 2013 Getty Images – Image courtesy gettyimages.com

Much like Jane Lynch in this list, Jonathan Groff is a familiar face in Glee. He played as Rachel Berry’s boyfriend who later betrayed her trust. He performs in theater and has won multiple awards. He was once in a relationship with Zachary Quinto. He is a very active advocate for the LGBT community.

16. Guillermo Diaz – Huck (Scandal)

Photo by Gary Gershoff - © WireImage.com - Image courtesy WireImage.com

Photo by Gary Gershoff – © WireImage.com – Image courtesy WireImage.com

Currently, Guillermo is a mainstay at the ABC drama Scandal. He plays as Huck a compelling former CIA agent who works as the tech guy for Olivia Pope’s firm. He reveals that being gay in a tough neighborhood and school environment has made him a better actor.

17. Kristian Nairn – Hodor (Game of Thrones)

Photo by kerrydow@imdb.com - © 2012 - HBO. All rights reserved.

Photo by kerrydow@imdb.com – © 2012 – HBO. All rights reserved.

In a Game of Thrones fan site interview, Kristian Nairn came out gay. “Well, in all honesty, when you talk about the gay community, you are talking about MY community,” he laughs. “I am aware of it yeah, and I think it’s really lovely. There’s not a day that I don’t get a few messages, but 99 percent or more are super sweet and nothing smutty at all! Again, it’s a privilege, and I really mean that.” He played as Hodor in the hit TV show and sadly has been killed off in the series.

18. George Takei – Hikaru Sulu (Star Trek)

Photo by CBS Photo Archive - © 2008 CBS WORLDWIDE INC.

Photo by CBS Photo Archive – © 2008 CBS WORLDWIDE INC.

Probably best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek, George has achieved a lot of accolades in his field. He is very vocal about his opinions especially regarding the rights of the LGBT community. In 2008, Takei married his long-time partner Brad Altman. In fact, they are the first couple in West Hollywood to apply for a same-sex marriage license.

19. Ian McKellen – Gandalf (The Lord of the Rings), Magneto (X-Men)

Photo by Steve Granitz - © WireImage.com - Image courtesy WireImage.com

Photo by Steve Granitz – © WireImage.com – Image courtesy WireImage.com

Ian McKellen is a Hollywood A-lister. He’s been in numerous films and television shows and is a recipient of an array of awards. Asked in an interview about the state of queer cinema which is not exactly mainstream, he says, “For some gay activists, it is a duty and destiny to eschew the mainstream. I can’t do that. Heterosexuality is far too interesting a phenomenon to be ignored. You can’t play “King Lear” if you are an actor who won’t play straight. I wouldn’t be adverse at all at working with gay people on a queer project.”

20. Lily Tomlin – Vivian (I Heart Huckabees)

Photo by Alexandra Wyman - © 2012 WireImage - Image courtesy gettyimages.com

Photo by Alexandra Wyman – © 2012 WireImage – Image courtesy gettyimages.com

Although Lily Tomlin has never portrayed a gay character ever, she had already come out as gay in 2001 when coming out was still a bit taboo. She played numerous straight roles that people who do not really know her background gets surprised she is actually homosexual. She and her partner since 1971, Jane Wagner, are now married.

21. Denis O’Hare – Larry Harvey (American Horror Story)

Photo by John Shearer - © 2016 John Shearer - Image courtesy gettyimages.com

Photo by John Shearer – © 2016 John Shearer – Image courtesy gettyimages.com

Denis O’Hare is a familiar face on TV and the big screen. He played sinister roles such as in American Horror Story and True Blood. In real life, he is leading a rather picturesque family life with his husband Hugo Redwood, a designer and their son whom they adopted.

22. Jonathan Bennett – Aaron Samuels (Mean Girls)

Photo by Brent Weber - © BrentWeberPhotography.com

Photo by Brent Weber – © BrentWeberPhotography.com

Who could ever forget the face that made Lindsay Lohan’s character in Mean Girls swoon? Aaron Samuels made a lot of girls swoon for that matter. His next boy charm made him the perfect leading man. But sorry ladies, Jonathan is rumored to be gay when Julianne Hough accidentally blurted it out in an interview. Speculation also arose when he got romantically linked to Matt Dallas.

23. Victor Garber – Thomas Andrews (Titanic)

Photo by Showtime - © Copyright: Showtime 2012

Photo by Showtime – © Copyright: Showtime 2012

You may recognize Victor Garber as the shipbuilder of the iconic Titanic in the film of the same name. In 2012, he declared he was gay publicly. He likes to keep mum about his personal life and had largely kept out of gossip columns. He is now married to artist and model Rainer Andreesen since 2015.

24. Raven Symone – That’s So Raven

Photo by Young Hollywood - © 2011 Young Hollywood - Image courtesy gettyimages.com

Photo by Young Hollywood – © 2011 Young Hollywood – Image courtesy gettyimages.com

Although Raven Symone does not exactly identify as gay, saying that she is a “human who loves humans,” she had been in a relationship with AzMarie Livingston, a model and actress. She is best known for her role as the psychic teen in the Disney show, That’s So Raven.

25. Matt Dallas – Kyle (Kyle XY)

 

Photo by Frazer Harrison - © 2011 Getty Images - Image courtesy gettyimages.com

Photo by Frazer Harrison – © 2011 Getty Images – Image courtesy gettyimages.com

In Kyle XY, Matt Dallas plays a teenager who woke up in a forest with no recollection of anything up until that moment. His character, Kyle, gets romantically involved with two girls in the series. A year after the show ended, he announced his engagement to Blue Hamilton and later on got married in 2015.

26. Nathan Lane – Max Bialystock (The Producers)

Photo © Copyright 2016, FX Networks. All rights reserved.

Photo © Copyright 2016, FX Networks. All rights reserved.

Nathan Lane plays both heterosexual and homosexual roles in films and TV shows. He’s played the greedy Max Bialystock in The Producers and a even voiced Timon in the Disney classic, The Lion King. He admitted to his mother that he was gay when he was 21. Nathan lives in New York with his partner, Devlin Elliot, whom he later married in 2015.

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