13 Actors Playing Against (Sexual) Type

Sean Hayes certainly isn't the first gay actor to play straight
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2010 11:36 AM CDT
13 Actors Playing Against (Sexual) Type
Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes appear at the curtain call for the opening night performance of the Broadway musical "Promises, Promises" in New York, Sunday, April 25, 2010.   (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)

Inspired by the controversy Newsweek stirred up when it ran a review slamming Sean Hayes’ portrayal of a straight man in Promises, Promises, CNN offers up a list of 13 actors who have played roles counter to their actual sexual orientation:

  • Portia de Rossi: Played it straight on Ally McBeal before anyone knew she was gay, and has continued to play straight roles since coming out—including the flirtatious Bluth sister on Arrested Development.
  • TR Knight: His Grey’s Anatomy costar Isaiah Washington famously made a homophobic slur against openly gay Knight, who played a straight doctor on the show.

  • Will Smith: Played a gay con artist in Six Degrees of Separation.
  • Eric McCormack: Will, the gay title character in Will & Grace, is straight in real life.
  • Neil Patrick Harris: The gay actor plays one of the straightest characters on TV, womanizer Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother.
  • Cynthia Nixon: Has played straight Miranda Hobbes in the Sex and the City franchise before and after coming out as a lesbian.
For the complete list, click here. (More Sean Hayes stories.)

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