Tony Goldwyn is currently on Broadway portraying a gay man in the two-part epic play which follows the struggles of three generations of gay men in the shadow of AIDS.
This isn’t the first time Goldwyn, who went on to star in ABC’s Scandal and the film Ghost, has portrayed a man. In the late 1980s, he guest-starred on Designing Women as a young man dying of AIDS who asks the designers to plan his funeral.
He’s confronted by an ugly bigot whose words, sadly, reflect what many people thought at the time. Below an excerpt of the interview with NewNowNext is the complete episode and the second video is the most memorable scene.
You played the first gay character with AIDS on a primetime TV show in the 1987 Designing Women episode “Killing All the Right People.” What do you recall about that experience?
I played a young guy who hires the women to design his funeral. It was a really great part for a guest star, and I was just getting started as an actor, so I was excited. [Designing Women creator] Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, who wrote the episode, had lost her mother to AIDS from a blood transfusion, so it felt special and important and necessary. I knew it was groundbreaking, and I felt privileged to play the part. But I was so young, so I don’t think I was really aware of the impact that it would have for people.
I remember how it felt to see a young gay man on TV, before I even had the language for it. Did you hear from many gay men about the episode?
Yes, but not really until years later. It surprised me. I did a show on Broadway about 10 years ago, and one of the dressers, a middle-aged guy, said, “Tony, I have to thank you for that episode of Designing Women you did. You have no idea what that meant to our community.” All I did was my job, so I didn’t feel like I deserved any accolades, but I was very moved.
Did you have hesitations about taking a gay role so early in your career?
Well, there was so much homophobia in Hollywood at the time. As a straight actor playing a gay character, I had people telling me there would be a stigma attached to it, and I remember thinking how absurd and offensive that was.
My management was supportive of it, actually. But there were other people around me discussing that it was an issue, worrying that it was a risk. My dear father was worried about it. I was shocked that it was such a concern, but that was the world we lived in.
Those people didn’t get inside your head?
Not so much with Designing Women because I was so grateful to have a job. But then in 1990 I did a play in New York, The Sum of Us, and I dealt with people saying, “Are you sure you want to play another gay character?” I was 29, my movie career was taking off, Ghost was in movie theaters, so it was something I had to confront. I was militant about it, like, Screw it! If I’m going to take a hit because of this, I’ll take it. I felt that if I avoided risks for that kind of fear, what business did I have calling myself an artist?
Love this so much. Two rising stars, both 25, go public with their love.
Connor Jessup is known for his role as Ben Mason on the TNT science fiction television series Falling Skies and for his role in the ABC anthology series American Crime.
Miles Heizer is known for portraying Alex Standall in the Netflix original series 13 Reasons Why and Drew Holt in the NBC drama series Parenthood. He has also appeared in the films Rails & Ties, The Stanford Prison Experiment, Nerve and Love, Simon.
Jason is currently in the cast of the Netflix series Raising Dion which has been renewed for a second season.
He first became known through his role on Joan of Arcadia and has been working non-stop in television and films ever since. On television he’s played Ethan Haas in The Class, Sean Walker in the NBC series The Event, Dipper Pines in Gravity Falls, and Pat Rollins in Raising Dion. He also played the recurring role of Mark Cyr in the NBC television series Parenthood, for which he received an Emmy Award nomination. In 2017, he starred in the TV comedy series Kevin (Probably) Saves the World.
Jason also had a regular role in the Comedy Central series Another Period, appeared in five episodes of HBO’s Girls, and last year was in nine episodes of A Million Little Things and starred in the mini-seriesQuest.
His film roles include The Tale opposed Laura Dern, The Perfect Family, W., The Education of Charlie Banks, Raise Your Voice, Freddy vs. Jason, and Happy Endings.
Jason has done many TV guest spots, voice work, stage roles including Off-Broadway, and many shorts films. He’s a hard-working pro would would, no doubt, have made his dad, the late John Ritter, very proud.
Wally Kurth plays the father of Sonny Kiriakis (Freddie Smith) on Days of Our Lives.
He’s shared many scenes with Smith over the years and his character has been steadfastly supportive of his gay son and of his son’s relationship – and marriage – to Will Horton (Chandler Massey).
Days has inexplicably decided to write the gay super couple off the show despite their immense popularity and four Emmys between them.
Kurth took to Twitter over the weekend in public support of the two actors: “These two wonderful actors and terrific young men, consistently gave their best and it made @nbcdays the best it’s ever been. I will truly miss working with them. And I look forward to their return.”
Tom Trotter posted this video on his YouTube page today: “A day in the life with Tom Daley we hang out, do an epic ab workout, get sweaty and see where he spends his day training full time with as an olympic diver! This ab workout hurt! Plus a morning routine of mine @yukyardfitness”
Meanwhile Tom Daley posted his own video (below) with Trotter. He writes: “It’s been a while since I have done a workout on my channel. The beauty of this workout is that you can hit your core HARD in just 6 minutes. You can do this workout anywhere!”
EastSiders star Kit Williamson reveals that he grew up in a very southern community and explains that being a gay child was extremely challenging based on his surroundings. Thankfully, he had a supportive family to lean on. Kit also gives credit to Kelly Clarkson for normalizing LGBTQ people and supporting gay rights. Tune in to the show on Monday to see Kelly’s reaction to this touching moment.
American actor Bruce Bennett was an Olympic silver medalist in the shot put who lived to be 100. Born Harold Herman Brix, Bennett played football (tackle) for the University of Washington in the 1926 Rose Bowl and was a track-and-field star. He won the Silver medal for the shot put in the 1928 Olympic Games, won the NCAA title in 1927, and In 1930 he set a world indoor record. He befriended actor Douglas Fairbanks Jr. who arranged a screen test for him at Paramount. Bennett was set to play Tarzan in movies but broke his shoulder making a football movie and was replaced by Johnny Weissmuller. But he did go on to play Tarzan in The New Adventures of Tarzan which was released in 1935. A second feature, Tarzan and the Green Goddess, was released in 1938. He also portrayed Tarzan in the serial Hawk of the Wilderness. His screen career was interrupted by World War II, when he served in the United States Navy.
Bennett appeared in many films in the 1940s and early 1950s, including Sahara (1943) with Humphrey Bogart, Mildred Pierce (1945) with Joan Crawford, Nora Prentiss (1947) with Ann Sheridan, Dark Passage (1947) with Bogart and Lauren Bacall, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) with Bogart and Walter Huston, Mystery Street (1950) with Ricardo Montalban, Sudden Fear (1952) with Joan Crawford and Gloria Grahame and Strategic Air Command (1955) with James Stewart. From the mid-1950s on, Bennett mainly appeared in B-films and was a very successful businessman during the 1960s.
As fans are still processing the shock of Chandler Massey (Will) and Freddie Smith (Sonny) departure from Days of Our Lives, the two actors got together on Smith’s podcast to talk about it.
They begin with small talk and begin addressing being written out of the show at the 3:00 mark.
After the entire cast had a long hiatus of more than two months, the actors learned they were just being brought back for six episodes and once they began reading the scripts, it became clear their fates were sealed. Producers had not met with them prior to share the news.
“I truly was shocked … I was stunned,” Chandler says. “It just seemed like our story was so unfinished and it happened so abruptly. And to find out through reading the scripts was a little weird. The handling of it kind of hurt my feelings. ..These are people who we know and have worked with and had a a relationship with. … It just feels kind of shitty being dropped like that.”
That’s no way to treat a three-time Emmy winner whose beloved character’s coming out story was one of the most memorable in the show’s history. Chandler is the first actor ever to receive a Daytime Emmy Award for playing a gay character.
“I wasn’t ready for Will’s story to end,” Chandler said. “I feel like there was a lot of meat left on the bone and so many opportunities that now just won’t be realized. … No matter what, I’ll always be proud of the work that we did.”
Freddie, who also won an Emmy for his portrayal, expressed shock that neither actor got so much as a phone call and still haven’t.
“I know deep down it honestly isn’t about us and our work,” Freddie says.
He later admitted the handling of things “did create an awkwardness with the people who could have told us.”
The actors look back on some of their storylines including their first kiss. They also discuss what kind of story arc they’d like if the characters are ever written back in down the line.
I think this is one of the sweetest coming out videos ever.
Actor Rick Cosnett, best known for playing the roles of Wes Maxfield in The Vampire Diaries, Elias Harper in Quantico and Eddie Thawne in The Flash, came out via Instagram video earlier today.
“I’m gay and I just want everyone to know,” he said. “I’ve made a promise to myself to live my truth every day.”
A big congratulations to Rick who was born in Zimbabwe then moved to Australia with his family when he was 17. He’s 36 and is a cousin of Hugh Grant. He was previously featured as a Greg In Hollywood Morning Man back in 2016!
She died suddenly in November 2016 the same week she was seen at a taping of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars where she was supporting TV daughter Maureen McCormack. She was 82.
Of course I grew up watching this loveliest of ladies on The Brady Bunch then The Brady Bunch Variety Hour then The Brady Brides then A Very Brady Christmas and the last series, The Bradys.
But I’d also seen her perform her one-woman show several times and it gave you the full snapshot of an amazing career that began on Broadway and includes other television gigs from being a regular on The Today Show to dazzling us on Dancing With the Stars in her mid-70s.
It’s clear that anyone who came in contact with Florence really appreciated how down to Earth she always was. I’d interviewed her several times over the years, attended her 75th birthday concert, and moderated a panel at the West Hollywood Book Fair with Florence, Dyan Cannon, Stefanie Powers and Carrie White.
My absolute favorite moment came when I asked Florence to sing the Brady Bunch theme song and she did it!
I think everyone enjoyed immensely. But I didn’t think anyone got video of it.
But Renee Sotile and Mary Jo Godges of www.TraipsingThruFilms.com did! I didn’t know them then but they have become good friends of mine and I’ll be forever grateful that they captured part of it for us to enjoy again and again.
Today I’d also like to pay tribute to her huge career on the musical stage long before she was Mrs. Brady.
She starred as Maria for 15 months in the first national tour of The Sound of Music and went on to star in productions of Oklahoma! and The King and I.
She starred on Broadway in the long-running 1954 musical, Fanny (888 performances) in which she originated the title role and in 1963 starred on Broadway in The Girl Who Came to Supper.
Here is an assortment of videos of Miss Henderson singing and talking about her stage career. The bottom two videos are from recent years where she showed why she was always in such demand to perform in benefits. Enjoy!