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Murray Bartlett
Daniel Jack Lyons

Murray Bartlett

Murray Bartlett

Meet one of the artists, disruptors, educators, groundbreakers, innovators, and storytellers who all helped make the world a better place for LGBTQ+ people.

Murray Bartlett been acting since the late ’80s in projects like Sex and the City, White Collar, The Good Wife, Tales of the City, Madam Secretary, and, of course, Looking. The past few years have seen a renaissance for the out actor, which has endeared him to longtime fans and new audiences alike.

“I get to tell stories that hopefully make people laugh, cry, think deeper, love harder, and expand their mind in some way,” he says of the work he’s been doing for decades now.

After playing queer characters in Physical, Welcome to Chippendales, and The White Lotus (for which he won an Emmy in 2022), Bartlett is helping to dispel the tired notion that only straight actors can get critical acclaim for playing LGBTQ+ roles on screen.

But it was his most recent queer part as Frank in HBO’s live-action adaptation of The Last of Us that cemented his place in the queer TV canon. Frank’s love story with the survivalist Bill (Nick Offerman) was a standout storyline in the popular apocalyptic show’s first season. It was hailed as one of the best performances of the year, garnering Bartlett his second of three career Emmy nominations.

It’s not lost on Bartlett how much that portrayal of queer love means to fans — even though he did face some homophobia from conservative trolls.

“Thankfully, the hate was absolutely overshadowed by an enormous outpouring of loving responses,” Bartlett says. “Hate speech stings, but it also reminded me of the need to tell stories like this. Where hate exists, we still have work to do in spreading awareness that love is love. It’s universal. I’m committed to that and I find strength in it.” @murray.bartlett


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Raffy Ermac

Raffy is a Los Angeles-based writer, editor, video creator, critic, and the digital director of Out.

Raffy is a Los Angeles-based writer, editor, video creator, critic, and the digital director of Out.