RIP Hal Holbrook Pioneering Actor In a Gay Film That Certain Summer
I often post about the discussion so many are having these days with regard to straight actors playing gay characters on TV, in films, or even in the theater. Personally, with so many openly gay actors out there who need work, I’m not fond of straight actors playing gayface. I’m also not fond of the spin that straight people put on gay culture when they appropriate us. They always get it wrong, especially straight women.
However, there weren’t always that many openly gay actors out there, and there weren’t always that many gay characters to play. And when actors like Hal Holbrook played gay parts in films like That Certain Summer back in the 1970s they really were brave pioneers. You have to remember that for some gay men this was the ONLY gay content they ever saw on TV. Ever! Thanks to people like Holbrook they got this content.
Teenager Nick Salter visits his divorced father Doug and meets Dad’s new friend Gary McLain. But Doug enjoys Gary’s company more than the company of women. Nick must then learn to deal with Doug’s homosexuality.
I was thinking about that movie because Hal Holbrook passed on recently and I didn’t see any of the gay presses celebrate him or his life. No one mentioned how he pioneered gay content. That’s a shame.
Hal Holbrook — the longtime, award-winning actor known for playing Mark Twain for more than 60 years — has died … TMZ has learned.
You can read it all, here. It’s interesting how so many people remember him for playing a character on the TV show Designing Women. But then again, everything he played was truly excellent.