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Straight Actors Who Have Played Gay Characters

Updated September 12, 2019 131.6k views70 items

List of gay characters played by straight actors, loosely ranked by fame and popularity. One of the great things about being an actor is you get to play characters that are different from yourself. Many straight actors who have played gay characters have won awards for their performances. Several TV shows feature straight actors playing gay roles.

Who is the most famous straight actor who has played a gay character? Tom Hanks tops our list. Hanks played Andrew Beckett, a lawyer who was fired for having HIV, in "Philadelphia." He won his first Academy Award for the performance. He has been married to his wife Rita Wilson since 1988. Other actors who have won Oscars for playing gay characters include Hilary Swank, Christopher Plummer, and Charlize Theron.

Some people may be surprised to learn that Eric Stonestreet, the actor best known for playing Cameron Tucker on "Modern Family," is actually straight. He is not married, but he refers to himself as "openly straight." Michael C. Hall played David Fisher, a gay funeral director, on the HBO show "Six Feet Under." Hall was married to his "Dexter" co-star Jennifer Carpenter from 2008–2011.

Do you think that it is difficult for a straight actor to participate in gay love scenes? The actors below have done it quite well. 

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  • Tom Hanks won an Oscar for his role as Andrew Beckett, a lawyer who was fired for having HIV, in Philadelphia (1993). Hanks has been married to his wife Rita Wilson since 1988.

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    • Matt Damon was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role as Scott Thorson, Liberace's lover and assistant, in the 2013 HBO film Behind the Candelabra.  Damon has been married to his wife Luciana Bozán Barroso since 2005.

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      • Jim Carrey played the gay con man Steven Russell in I Love You Phillip Morris (2009). Carrey has been romantically linked to famous women like Jenny McCarthy, Renee Zellwegger, and Lauren Holly.

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        • Michael Douglas won both the Golden Globe and Emmy Awards for his role as the flamboyant pianist Liberace in the 2013 HBO film Behind the Candelabra. Douglas has been married to Catherine Zeta-Jones since 2000.

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