Scottish actor Stanley Baxter has come
out as gay at age 94.
Baxter, who is best known for his
popular British comedy shows, discussed his sexuality in his
authorized biography, The Real Stanley Baxter.
Baxter and actress Moira Robertson
married in 1951. According to this biography, Baxter told his fiancee
that he was gay before they married and sought to end their
relationship. She threatened suicide and he relented. While gay sex
was illegal in England at the time, Robertson allowed her husband to
bring men home for sex. In 1997, Robertson died of an overdose while
he was overseas.
Baxter also stated that he contemplated
suicide after he was arrested for having sex in a public restroom.
“Anybody would be insane to choose to
live such a very difficult life,” Baxter said. “There are many
gay people these days who are fairly comfortable with their
sexuality, fairly happy with who they are. I'm not. I never wanted to
be gay. I still don't.”
Baxter's biographer, Brian Beacom,
wrote in an item for the
Mail that Baxter “lived in dread of being exposed in the
press as a gay man” and he “often spoke of wanting to die.”
Beacom said that Baxter agreed to allow
him to write his biography provided it wasn't published until after
his death. Without an explanation, Beacom said that Baxter changed
his mind this year.
Baxter retreated from public life 25
years ago. He said that he “didn't want to be seen as someone who
was once Stanley Baxter.”