In a new interview, stage and screen
star Victor Garber talks about working on Broadway during the early
years of the AIDS pandemic.
Garber, 72, is best known on television
for his roles on Alias, The Flash, and Legends of
Tomorrow. On Broadway, he originated roles in Sweeney Todd:
The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Noises Off, Lend Me a
Tenor, Arcadia, and Art. He also appeared in the
films Sleepless in Seattle,
Godspell, The First Wives Club, Legally Blonde,
and Happiest Season.
Garber began publicly talking about his
sexuality in 2013 and married his husband, Rainer Andreesen, in 2015.
During a recent appearance on the
LGBTQ&A podcast, Garber said that while he avoided talking
about his personal life, everyone knew he was gay.
“I never really officially came out,”
he told host Jeffrey Masters. “I had an interview and I talked
about Rainer and me. I don't think we had married yet. That was the
first time in my life I actually had something to talk about. I'm not
being coy, but I was aware of it, conscious of it, but I never denied
it, except in my early, early years, I was very circumspect and
careful. And then, I didn't care.”
“Would you advise a queer actor who's
trying to break into Hollywood today to do what you did and not
discuss their sexuality?”
“No, I would advise a gay actor
starting out to be true to himself or herself and move forward and
deal with it in the moment that you're in,” Garber
answered. “You try to create some personality or some image of
yourself, I think you're fucked.”
When asked about working on Broadway
during the AIDS crisis, Garber said that his best friend was the
first person he knew to contract the disease.
“I never thought I would be able to
get through it. It was the worst experience,” he said. “The
pandemic now is a close second but different in a way, in a big way.
I remember thinking life will never be the same and it never was. But
it took years to come out from the cloud and the horror of that
“The first person I knew really well
who got AIDS was my best friend who was my understudy on the road of
They're Playing Our Song. We ended up moving in together in New York.
He had been married and divorced for a number of years and was gay.
He contracted AIDS and he lived in my apartment and died in my
Garber makes his debut on The
Simpsons this week, voicing the role of Michael De Graaf, a
billionaire and the first onscreen love interest of Mr. Smithers.