By Jeffrey Epstein
Do you have fond memories of Cheers?
You know, I have to say I was a very different kind person in my old life, so I was very unhappy. Certainly there were moments of fun and laughter and loving in there, but it was not the best period of my life so far.
Now I�m much happier.
And the flip side of that in doing that show, I imagined that opened better doors for you in terms of the theater.
Oh, I have to say, that was a large reason why I took it, because when that came along I was doing Sweet Charity and we were about to go to Broadway with it�
With Debbie Allen?
Yes, that�s right. And I did my first episode when I was waiting in between the California and the New York runs of that show. And I just did one scene on the show, just to do something while I was waiting to go back to New York. I won a Tony Award with Sweet Charity on Broadway and I was very happy and doing what I loved. This was everything that I always wanted to do. Then Cheers asked me to come back. It was a very hard decision, and I resented it. But part of the reason I took it was because at this point in Broadway, this was 1986, when they just started bringing in people who were better known for television and film�but really television�to do the leading parts on Broadway. And all of a sudden, here I was working my way up through the ranks of the chorus and they gave me a Tony Award for supporting role in the show. Normally I would probably be considered for a lead, but I probably wouldn�t unless I had television credit. And I thought, Well, it�s not that I want to be a star, it�s just that I want to be able to do more stuff on Broadway, so if I have to go to television to do that, then fine. If they need me to be seen by everybody in the country, fine, I�ll go to Cheers and I�ll be seen by everyone.
What�s your feeling of gays in Hollywood right now?
Well, I�ll tell you one thing. I really think it�s a shame that in Hollywood you can�t be out. In New York, the actors can be out and they can play whatever they want. Harvey Fierstein is playing Tevye for God�s sakes. But in Hollywood, there are so many gay actors� For actresses it�s OK for some reason� because straight guys like to see it. But straight Hollywood can�t stand the thought of men together, so these guys�it�s just too awful, I think. It�s like, well, what�s changed since Rock Hudson really?
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