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Straight Characters Played By Gay Actors

Updated June 14, 2019 1.6m views29 items

List of straight characters played by gay actors, loosely ranked by fame and popularity. One of the great things about being an actor is you can play characters that are different from yourself. In fact, some of the best acting on television requires actors adopting a radically different perspective. Several gay actors are famous for playing well-known straight characters in film and on television. One gay actor is best known for playing a lady-loving lawyer on a sitcom.

Who is the most famous gay actor who has played straight characters? Neil Patrick Harris tops our list. The "Doogie Howser, M.D." star has twins with his partner, David Burtka. Ironically, he plays one of the biggest fictional womanizers in TV history as Barney Stinson on "How I Met Your Mother." Likewise, Portia de Rossi played promiscuous Lindsay Bluth Funke on "Arrested Development," while in real life, the actress has been married to Ellen DeGeneres since 2008.

Mike Brady, one of the most famous TV dads, was played by gay actor Robert Reed. On "Family Ties," matriarch Elyse Keaton was played by Meredith Baxter, who came out as a lesbian in 2009. Other straight characters played by LGBT actors include Sheldon Cooper from "The Big Bang Theory" and Miranda Hobbes from "Sex and the City."

Do you think that it is difficult for gay actors to find credible roles as straight characters? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

  • Robert Reed is best known for playing Mike Brady on "The Brady Bunch."  Reed was gay, and although most people knew it, he chose not to discuss his sexuality. Sadly, Reed died of colon cancer in 1992. He was also HIV positive.
    • Appears In: The Brady Bunch, The Brady Bunch Hour, The Brady Bunch Movie, A Very Brady Sequel, A Very Brady Christmas
  • Cynthia Nixon is best known for playing Miranda Hobbes on "Sex and the City."  She married her partner, Christine Marinoni, in 2012.
    • Appears In: Sex and the City, Sex and the City 2, Sex and the City, Sex and the Matrix

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  • Actor Neil Patrick Harris is openly gay. He came out in 2006, saying, "I am happy to dispel any rumors or misconceptions and am quite proud to say that I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest and feel most fortunate to be working with wonderful people in the business I love." He plays notorious womanizer Barney Stinson on "How I Met Your Mother."
    • Appears In: How I Met Your Mother

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  • Michael Scofield - Wentworth Miller

    Openly gay actor Wentworth Miller played the straight character Michael Scofield on the show "Prison Break."  Miller came out in 2013 by posting an open letter on the GLAAD website in which he declined to attend a Russian film festival because of their anti-gay laws. 
    • Appears In: Prison Break


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