Oscar-winning actor and Broadway legend Joel Grey has come out as a gay man at the age of 82.
The father of Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Grey, who starred in Cabaret alongside gay icon Liza Minnelli, reveals to People that friends and family have known about his sexuality for some time, but he is only now comfortable enough to address his lifestyle in public.
The star told the magazine, “I don’t like labels, but if you have to put a label on it, I’m a gay man.
“All the people close to me have known for years who I am. (Yet) it took time to embrace that other part of who I always was.”
Grey insists he has no regrets about his 24-year marriage to Jennifer’s mother, Jo Wilder, because he still considers it to be “the happiest (period) of my life.”
Praising her father for his public admission, Jennifer says, “I feel very happy for my dad that he has come to a point in his life where he feels safe and comfortable enough to declare himself in a public way as a gay man.
“Mostly because the more people are free to own their true nature and can hopefully come closer to love and accept themselves as they really are, no matter what age, no matter how long it takes, to finally be free of the lies or half truths, it is freedom.”
Joel Grey divorced Wilder in 1982. The couple is also parents to a son named James.
J-Connection: Joel Grey is Jewish, as is his daughter Jennifer Grey.