This is a list of celebrities who are gay but never came out. This list includes writers, Hollywood actors, and poets. It’s common nowadays for celebrities to publicly come out as gay in the media; however, that isn’t always the case. There are many celebrities who remained silent about being gay their entire lives.
Believe it or not- Cary Grant was the most famous gay celebrity who never came out of the closet. Even though he was married five times to five different women, it was believed that he was gay. For over a decade, he lived with actor Randolph Scott on and off- and was also rumored to have hired male prostitutes.
Liberace had a flamboyant stage presence, but never actually came out as gay. He actually went as far as to sue a publication for libel when they printed that he was gay. His friend, Betty White, has stated that Liberace was homosexual. A few other secretly closeted stars include Anthony Perkins, Robert Reed, and Rock Hudson. Do any of these stars surprise you?
Even though, Cary Grant was actually married five times to five different women- it was believed that he was gay. For over a decade, Grant lived with actor Randolph Scott on and off- and was also rumored to have hired male prostitutes.
Age: Dec. at 82 (1904-1986)
Birthplace: Horfield, United Kingdom
Freddie Mercury actually never spoke about his sexuality publicly; however, his family and friends knew that he was gay. Mercury died due to complications from AIDS on November 24, 1991.
Age: Dec. at 45 (1946-1991)
Birthplace: Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania
Rock Hudson never actually came out as gay; however, many of his friends in Hollywood knew about his lifestyle. Hudson died from complications with AIDS on October 2, 1985.
Age: Dec. at 60 (1925-1985)
Birthplace: Winnetka, Illinois, United States of America
Robert Reed hid his sexuality from the public; however, those that were closest to him knew he was gay. At the time of his death, he was actually HIV positive- but he died of colon cancer. Regarding Reed’s sexuality, his “Brady Bunch” co-star, Barry Williams, said, “Robert didn’t want to go there. I don’t think he talked about it with anyone. I just don’t think it was a discussion – period.”
Age: Dec. at 60 (1932-1992)
Birthplace: Highland Park, Illinois, USA
Anthony Perkins was a very private person, so he never spoke openly about being gay. He also feared being alienated in Hollywood. Perkins died on September 12, 1992, due to complications with AIDS.
Age: Dec. at 60 (1932-1992)
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
Liberace never officially came out as gay, despite his flamboyant stage presence. He actually went as far as to sue a publication for libel when they printed that he was gay. His friend, Betty White, has stated that Liberace was in fact gay.
Age: Dec. at 68 (1919-1987)
Birthplace: West Allis, Wisconsin, United States of America
Montgomery Clift never came out as being gay or bisexual, but he did have a relationship with Jerome Robbins.
Age: Dec. at 46 (1920-1966)
Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, United States of America
William Haines never actually came out, but he also didn’t exactly hide the fact that he was gay. For almost 50 years, Haines was in a relationship with Jimmie Shields.
“My happiness with Jimmy is more important than my career in your lousy motion pictures, Mr. Mayer,” Haines is documented to have said.
In William J. Mann’s Wisecracker: The Life and Times of William Haines,Hollywood’s First Openly Gay Star, Mann writes that, in 1926- Haines met Shields. “I think Billy picked him up on the street,” said Arch Case, who became a friend in the 1950s. Mann discussed how Shields’ and Haines relationship was actually the first openly gay relationship in Hollywood.
Age: Dec. at 73 (1900-1973)
Birthplace: USA, Virginia
Roddy McDowall had many biographers note that he was gay, but he never spoke publicly about his sexuality.
Age: Dec. at 70 (1928-1998)
Birthplace: Herne Hill, London, United Kingdom
Paul Lynde never commented on his sexuality; however, most people knew that he was gay. In the 1970s, Lynde was arrested outside a gay bar for being drunk in public.
Age: Dec. at 56 (1926-1982)
Birthplace: Mount Vernon, Ohio, United States of America
Joel Crothers tried to hide his sexuality from the public, but he was gay. He actually tried to keep it under wraps by becoming engaged to his friend, actress Veleka Gray. Crothers died on November 6, 1985, due to AIDS- related lymphoma.
Age: Dec. at 44 (1941-1985)
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
It’s been said by many that Laurence Oliver was gay; however he was married to three different women, and he never spoke publicly about his sexuality.
Age: Dec. at 82 (1907-1989)
Birthplace: Dorking, United Kingdom
Raymond Burr tried to cover up the fact that he was gay; so he went as far as actually making up stories about a fake marriage to a woman who died, and who also had a child who died.
Age: Dec. at 76 (1917-1993)
Birthplace: New Westminster, Canada
Actor Randolph Scott did not speak publicly about his sexuality, but it was believed that he was gay. It was also believed that he was in a relationship with Cary Grant for many years.
Age: Dec. at 89 (1898-1987)
Birthplace: Virginia, United States of America
Dirk Bogarde never spoke publicly about his sexuality, but he was known to be gay. Bogarde was in a long-term relationship with Anthony Forwood.
Age: Dec. at 78 (1921-1999)
Birthplace: West Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
George was well-known in the movie industry. It was an open secret that he was gay, but he tried to be quiet about his sexuality- since at the time society was against it.
Marilyn Monroe is one of the world’s most famous sex symbol. It’s been said that Monroe would accept love wherever she could find it, from men and even women. With Monroe’s fear of giving birth to an abnormal child, she also suffered from horrible bouts of endometriosis, a gynecological condition causing intense pelvic pain, severe cramps and painful periods. It made normal sexual intercourse extremely uncomfortable. Celeste Holm, who appeared with Monroe in “All About Eve.” Discussed, “Marilyn was never able to enjoy sex with men. She was afraid of it, and turned to older women as sexual role models.”
Most Hollywood historians admit that Barbara Stanwyck’s marriages were studio-backed “lavender marriages” just to keep her sexuality under wraps. There’s also a lot of evidence pointing that she was gay or bi.
Clark Gable, is so famous that he’s been labeled as The King of Hollywood. Even though, he was married five times and had two kids- it was believed that he was involved with men, too. There has been a lot speculation over the decades that before he starred in “Gone with the Wind” and “It Happened One Night”, he traded his sexuality for career advancement
It was believed that Katharine Hepburn’s 25- year relationship with Spencer Tracy was more of a friendship. Larry Kramer stated that, “Hepburn and Tracy were both gay. They were publicly paired together by the studio. Everyone in Hollywood knows this is true, but of course I haven’t seen it printed anywhere.”
It was rumored that Spencer Tracy was involved in a long-term relationship with actor John Derek. Scotty Bowers described the relationship with Tracy and Katharine Hepburn a “pseudo-romance”, which was studio-engineered.
Joan Crawford was a well-known film actor. Crawford was married 4 times and adopted 5 children. But she also had her romances with women like Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe, and others.
Richard Pryor was a stand-up comedian and actor. He was also married seven times. His widow, Jennifer Pryor, stated that her husband had an intimate affair with “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “The Godfather” actor Marlon Brando in the ’70s.
Marlon Brando is considered one of the greatest silver screen actors of all time. He was married four times, and sources say that he fathered 17 children… Wow! There are many reports that suggest that he was bisexual. Darwin Porter’s biography, Brando Unzipped, states: “James Dean was one of Brando’s most lasting yet troubled gay relationships. They had a relationship for a number of years but it was always turbulent. At one point they had a big stand-up fight at a party in Santa Monica, California, witnessed by dozens of people. His affair with Montgomery Clift was a long and enduring relationship.”
James Dean was a very well-known actor. Dean kept his sexuality quiet. Biographer Robert Martinetti published The James Dean Story in 1975, where he discussed that Dean was involved with Rogers Brackett. Brackett disclosed to Martinetti, stating, “I loved him and Jimmy loved me. If it was a father-son relationship, it was also somewhat incestuous.”
Walter Pidgeon was an A-lister in Hollywood. He was married twice, and his marriage with his second wife lasted nearly five decades- until his death. But sources say he was bisexual. Scotty Bowers has reported a few of their experiences together.
Cole Porter was a famous composer and songwriter. He was married but there are reports that point to him being bisexual. It’s been said that he also had sexual experiences with Scotty Bowers.
Tyrone Power was a well-known actor, most known for his role in The Mask of Zorro. In Full Service, Scotty Bowers writes, “Women swooned over him and he bedded quite a few of them, but he much preferred men.”
Vincent Price & Coral Browne
Vincent Price was best known as a film actor, most notably for House of Wax and The Fly. His wife, Coral Browne was an actress most known for Auntie Mame and The Killing of Sister George. There were reports that Browne was also gay. Scotty Bowers also had sexual experiences with Price.
Peter Bull was an actor most known for Oliver Twist. He oddly had a teddy bear fetish. Scotty Bowers stated that his teddy bear collection was huge and, “Whenever we had sex together, we would first have to clear his large double bed of soft, cuddly bears and carefully stash them on shelves and along the skirting board on the floor.” He would go on to write the book on this subject called Bear with Me.
Marlene Dietrich was an actress best known for her roles in The Blue Angel, Shanghai Express, and Desire. She formed a partnership with Mercedes de Acosta and other women while married to Rudolph Sieber.
Ramon Novarro was known as a Mexican film, stage, and television actor who is best known for Ben-Hur and Across to Singapore. He was decently open about his sexuality. He also had an involvement with Scotty Bowers, and other men that bowers would introduce him to.
Marie Dressler & Claire Du Brey
Marie Dressler was a well-known actor, and she won an Academy Award for Min and Bill. Her secretary, Claire Du Brey was her partner.
The first person ever to win the Academy Award for Best Actress was Janet Gaynor. She married three times, and all of her husbands were reportedly gay. Romantically, she was linked to at least two actresses, Margaret Lindsay and Mary Martin, according to William J. Mann in Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood.
The highest-paid actress from 1930 to 1936 and the No. 1 star at the Warner Brothers studio was Kay Francis. She had been married four times and she turned up in gossip columns often linked to gay men, who were mostly just friends. It was believed that she was either bisexual or gay.
Noel Coward was known as a composer, actor, and singer. He was known for his flamboyance and wits. According to Scotty Bowers, his longest relationship was with actor Graham Payn.
In the 1930s, Billie Holiday was Bisexual.
Charles Laughton was an actor best known for The Hunchback of Notre Dame. In 1929, he married Elsa Lanchester. They never had kids, and the reason was believed to be because Laughton blamed his sexuality.
Audre Lorde was a self described “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet” She famously said “Your silence will not protect you.“
Eleanor Roosevelt was the HBIC in the White House. Back in the day, it was rumored that she had a close relationship with a female reporter.
Emily Dickinson was rumored to be bisexual based on a few letters she wrote to her sister-in-law that was found posthumously.
The New York Times reported that Greta Garbo “called homosexual affairs ‘exciting secrets.”
According to the University of Illinois, Springfield- Langston Hughes, is believed to have hidden “gay codes” in his poems,
Leonardo da Vinci
Have you ever heard of some paintings called The Last Supper or The Mona Lisa?
Lorraine Hansberry is known for A Raisin in the Sun and she was also the inspiration for Nina Simone’s “To Be Young, Gifted and Black.”
Oscar Wilde was a novelist, playwright, and a poet. At the time, in 1895 homosexuality was a criminal act in England. On April 26, 1895, Oscar Wilde was tried for homosexuality, and he spent three years in prison.
Sally Ride was the first woman to fly in space. She was uncomfortable talking about her sexuality, but she had a partnership with Tam O’Shaughnessy for 27 years.
Tennessee Williams was known for some of the most iconic American Plays. When he was in his 60s, Williams had a pretty lengthy relationship with a Vietnam veteran and aspiring writer in his 20s, Robert Carroll.
Virginia Woolf gifted the world A Room of One’s Own, and it’s honestly no surprise that gay women today still fawn over Woolf.
Walt Whitman’s poems became a part of the queer community of literature because of the love between men expressed in the poems.
There is a myth that Zeus and Ganymede were a thing back in the day, but actually the Greek gods weren’t actually ashamed of their sexualities.
Bayard Rustin was a famous activist who helped Martin Luther King organize marches during the Civil Rights Movement.
Athena was a gay goddess who wasn’t actually afraid to have relationships with women, back in the day.
Chavela Vargas came out of the closet when she was 81 years old. She discussed with El Pais, a newspaper in Columbia in 2000: “Nobody taught me to be like this. I was born this way. Since I opened my eyes to the world, I have never slept with a man. Never. Just imagine what purity. I have nothing to be ashamed of.”