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Happy 66th birthday to Sharon Gless played Debbie Novotny, the best PFLAG mother there ever was, for five glorious seasons on Queer as Folk so Sharon Gless will always have a special place in every gay man’s heart.

Of course, the lesbians already loved her for her Emmy winning role of Christine Cagney on TV’s Cagney & Lacey. I also loved her in The Trials of Rosie O’Neil which lasted only two seasons post-Cagney but was really terrific – especially a class reunion episode where Tyne Daly played her high school rival who refused to forgive and forget. Sharon earned Emmy nominations for both seasons she did the show.

Anyway, Sharon goes on and on.

Nominated for an Emmy last year for her scary good work on Nip/Tuck, she is now a regular on USA’s Burn Notice and plays a lesbian in the new indie film Hannah Free.

When I interviewed Sharon last year, I wondered if she still kept in touch with the Queer as Folk cast, a stellar ensemble that included Hal Sparks as her son, Robert Gant as his husband, Gale Harold as his BFF and Peter Paige as a close friend to both Debby and her son.

“You know, I’ve been on many series. This is my 10th. And you always swear you’ll never part, you’ll all be friends and you’ll stay together forever and you never do – except for Tyne Daly and myself. The boys and I have stayed close, close, close friends all these years. We never parted. We all lived in another country (the series was shot in Canada) and the work they had to do was very intimate stuff so we supported each other.”

As for gay rights, Sharon is just as passionate about them off-screen as Debby was on-screen.

“I’m absolutely there,” she said. “The gay community has been absolutely wonderful to me, they’ve kept me going all my career.”

FILE UNDER: Birthdays


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