Role models of greatness.

Here you will discover the back stories of kings, titans of industry, stellar athletes, giants of the entertainment field, scientists, politicians, artists and heroes – all of them gay or bisexual men. If their lives can serve as role models to young men who have been bullied or taught to think less of themselves for their sexual orientation, all the better. The sexual orientation of those featured here did not stand in the way of their achievements.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Phillip Spaeth

Two months ago the NBC network premiered Smash, a musical drama series that concerns itself with the creation of a new Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe. After encouraging ratings, the show was renewed for a second season after just seven episodes had aired. It’s not just GLEE anymore.

Angelica Huston is featured in an important role as the musical show’s producer, but our focus is on the man candy – several gay characters played by attractive men. One of those is the character of ensemble member Dennis, played by the handsome and openly gay 25-year-old actor Phillip Spaeth (above). He has Broadway credits that include roles in Wicked, Mary Poppins, West Side Story and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Spaeth also had a role in the movie Hairpsray (2007) and has made guest appearances on TV shows such as Gossip Girl and Royal Pains.

Spaeth (in red T-shirt above) and Smash co-star Megan Hilty (in pink) have known each other for eight years, as both were in the cast of Wicked on Broadway; Megan was Glinda, and Phillip was the flying monkey Christery. Phillip found out he had been cast in the part just before he graduated from high school in New Jersey.

Spaeth has commented that he wanted the public to know of his sexual orientation because of those young people who are dealing with bullying or struggling to come to grips with their sexual identity. He is happy that the show normalizes homosexuality into just another type of identity. Spaeth said that it would be a disservice to young gay people for him not to acknowledge his homosexuality in real life.

“You know, at the very base of it, it’s just love. You can’t really help who you fall in love with, and you can’t really censor yourself in the show, because gay life is such a huge part of Broadway. There are a lot of gay men on Broadway, and I think the show is doing a good job in showing acceptance and authenticity. The gay relationships formed on the show are very sweet and loving, and they’re very supportive, which should be the case in any relationship – gay or straight.”

Phillip acts as an unofficial behind-the-scenes photographer on the set, sharing many of the images with fans on Twitter. His years of dance lessons are evident in this Smash Press Kit photo (right).

Smash airs on NBC on Monday nights at 10 pm. You can follow Phillip on Twitter at @phillipspaeth

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