Remembering Gay Trailblazer Michael Greer

Actor Michael Greer was known for his stand-up comedy, especially his famous "Mona Lisa" routine, where he would play the famous subject while holding a frame around himself. Comedy gold.

But he was even more famous for playing two flamboyantly gay characters — Malcolm in The Gay Deceivers (1969) and Queenie in Fortune and Men's Eyes (1971; also in at least 400 stage performances), roles that led him to become one of the silver screen's earliest out gay actors, but that also earned him contempt from some in the gay community for their stereotypical qualities.

Greer by David Vance, circa 1973

Context is everything, and considering when the films came out, it's hard to hold it against Greer that he was camping it up.

Interview with the Director of The Gay Deceivers HERE

In fact, he was proud of The Gay Deceivers because Malcolm didn't meet an happy ending or untimely demise, as most gay characters did back then.

Today, April 20, on the occasion of what would have been his 81st birthday (he died of lung cancer in 2002), check out this rare interview with Greer from 1973, in which he speaks evasively of his sexuality, but is straightforward (so to speak) about every other topic!

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