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Harvey Fierstein

Harvey Fierstein

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Also Known As: Harvey Forbes Fierstein Died:
Born: June 6, 1954 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, USA Profession: playwright, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

One of America's first few openly gay major celebrities, actor and playwright Harvey Fierstein (pronounced Fire-steen) didn't need to "come out" after he became famous and was never "outed" against his will. In many ways a typical product of the post-Stonewall off-Broadway and live performance art scene of New York in the 1970s, Fierstein combined a semi-experimental, in-your-face approach with the campy nostalgia, the heart-tugging showmanship, and the conventional formats of the tearjerker, the drag revue, and the sitcom. In the process, he proved to be a key figure in promoting the idea that contemporary gay and lesbian life, with no apologies and no climactic suicides, could be a viable subject matter for contemporary drama distributed through fairly widespread venues.

One of America's first few openly gay major celebrities, actor and playwright Harvey Fierstein (pronounced Fire-steen) didn't need to "come out" after he became famous and was never "outed" against his will. In many ways a typical product of the post-Stonewall off-Broadway and live performance art scene of New York in the 1970s, Fierstein combined a semi-experimental, in-your-face approach with the campy nostalgia, the heart-tugging showmanship, and the conventional formats of the tearjerker, the drag revue, and the sitcom. In the process, he proved to be a key figure in promoting the idea that contemporary gay and lesbian life, with no apologies and no climactic suicides, could be a viable subject matter for contemporary drama distributed through fairly widespread venues.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
3.
 Duplex (2003) Kenneth
4.
 Death to Smoochy (2002) Merv Green
5.
 Common Ground (2000) Don ("Andy & Amos")
6.
 Playing Mona Lisa (2000) Bennett
7.
 Double Platinum (1999) Gary Millstein
8.
 MULAN (1998) Voice Of Yao
9.
 Safe Men (1998) Leo
10.
 White Lies (1997) Art
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Began performing a drag act in local gay bars; appeared under the stage name Virginia Hamm
1971:
Made his stage acting debut at La MaMa E.T.C. in Andy Warhol's only play, "Pork's"
1972:
First play produced at La MaMa E.T.C., "The International Stud"; later incorporated into "Torch Song Trilogy"
1976:
Made first film appearance, as himself, in Rosa von Praunheim's documentary, "Underground and Emigrants"
1982:
Broadway acting debut, "Torch Song Trilogy" (also wrote play)
1983:
Supplied the voice of the Devil for the TV-movie, "The Demon Murder Case"
1983:
Wrote first book for a Broadway musical, "La Cage aux Folles"
1984:
Narrated the Oscar-winning feature documentary, "The Times of Harvey Milk"
1984:
Made feature acting debut in "Garbo Talks"
1988:
First leading role in a film, the adaptation of his stage play "Torch Song Trilogy"; film also marked his producing debut
1988:
Adapted one of the short-plays ("On Tidy Endings") from his stage play "Safe Sex" for the HBO TV-movie, "Tidy Endings"; also played one of the leading roles
1988:
Wrote book for the Broadway musical, "Legs Diamond"
1990:
Featured as the voice of Karl, Homer's assistant, in the "Simpson and Delilah" episode of "The Simpsons" (Fox)
1992:
Earned an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Rebecca's first love on "Cheers" (NBC)
1993:
Played Robin Williams' makeup artist brother in "Mrs. Doubtfire"
1994:
Co-starred in Woody Allen's "Bullets Over Broadway"
1996:
Had featured role in the blockbuster hit, "Independence Day"
1998:
Voiced the role of Yao in Walt Disney's "Mulan"
1999:
Voiced Elmer in the HBO special based on his children's book, "The Sissy Duckling"
2000:
Undertook the role created by Divine in the workshop of the musical version of "Hairspray"; starred in the show when it opened on Broadway in 2002
2000:
Wrote the "Andy & Amos" segment of Showtime's "Common Ground," a drama special examining gay and lesbian life
2002:
Had supporting role as the corrupt head of a charitable organization in "Death to Smoochy"
2005:
Cast as Tevye the milkman in the Broadway revival of the musical, "Fiddler on the Roof"
2008:
Wrote the book to the Broadway musical, "A Catered Affair"
2011:
Cast as drag diva Albin/Zaza, a role he created 25 years ago, for the Broadway revival of "La Cage aux Folles"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Pratt Institute: Brooklyn , New York - 1973

Notes

Fierstein has received many other awards for his stage work, including the Oppenheimer, Dramatists Guild Hull/Warriner and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle awards.

He received a plaque on Brooklyn's "Walk of Fame".

He has received grants from the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Bruce Bibby. Entertainment journalist. Together 1987-92.
companion:
Joe Grabarz. Lawyer. Executive director of Connecticut Civil Liberties Union.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Irving Fierstein. Manufacturer.
mother:
Jacqueline Harriet Fierstein. Teacher.
brother:
Ronald Fierstein. Personal manager. Manages singer Shawn Colvin.

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