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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.
 Animal Crackers (2016)
2.
4.
 Duplex (2003) Kenneth
5.
 Death to Smoochy (2002) Merv Green
6.
 Playing Mona Lisa (2000) Bennett
7.
 Common Ground (2000) Don ("Andy & Amos")
8.
 Double Platinum (1999) Gary Millstein
9.
 MULAN (1998) Voice Of Yao
10.
 Safe Men (1998) Leo
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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