Saturday, June 06, 2009


Today is dear Harvey Fierstein, that gravely voiced and lovable character actor who has been such a champion for the gay community. He's funny and oh so very talented. Here he clowns around with actor Anthony Rapp. Harvey has quiye a story. Mr. Fierstein was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Jacqueline Harriet (née Gilbert), a school librarian, and Irving Fierstein, a handkerchief manufacturer--if you can fathom that one! He is Jewish by birth and is an atheist but I'm sure he can't be that anti-God. Harvey was openly gay at a time when very few celebrities were, and never needed to come out His careers as a stand-up comic and female impersonator are mostly behind him. Mostly except for "Hairspray" Harvey resides in Ridgefield, Connecticut
The gravel-voiced actor perhaps is known best for the play and film Torch Song Trilogy, which he wrote and starred in. The 1982 Broadway production won him two Tony Awards, for Best Play and Best Actor in a Play, two Drama Desk Awards, for Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Actor in a Play, and the Theatre World Award, and the film earned him an Independent Spirit Award nomination as Best Male Lead.
Fierstein also wrote the book for La Cage aux Folles (1983), winning another Tony Award, this time for Best Book of a Musical, and a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Book. Legs Diamond, his 1988 collaboration with Peter Allen, was a critical and commercial failure, closing after 72 previews and 64 performances. His other play writing credits include Safe Sex, Spookhouse, and Forget Him.In 2007, Fierstein wrote the book to the musical A Catered Affair in which he also starred. After tryouts at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre in Fall 2007, it began previews on Broadway in March 2008 and opened on April 17. He received a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Book of a Musical, and the show won the Drama League Award for Distinguished Production of a Musical.
Fierstein made his acting debut at La MaMa, Andy Warhol's only play, Pork. Fierstein continued to appear at La MaMa and other venues but also, having some aspirations to become a painter, enrolled at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) from Pratt in 1973.
In addition to Torch Song Trilogy, La Cage aux Folles and A Catered Affair, Fierstein's Broadway acting credits include Edna Turnblad in Hairspray (2003), for which he won a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical, and Tevye in the 2005 revival of Fiddler on the Roof. Fierstein and Tommy Tune are the only individuals to have won Tony Awards in four different categories. Dear Harvey's film roles include
Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway, Robin Williams' mask maker brother in Mrs. Doubtfire, Merv Green in Death to Smoochy Garbo Talks, Duplex, and the blockbuster hit Independence Day. He narrated the documentary The Times of Harvey Milk, for which he won a News & Documentary Emmy Award. He also voiced the role of Yao in Walt Disney's animated feature Mulan, a role he later reprised for the video game Kingdom Hearts II and the direct-to-DVD sequel Mulan II. AS for me, the heartache over losing the car is lessening and John Nugent and I continue to write together. John and I attended a realy great show at the Pasadena Jazz Institute that had a great Sinatra type singer named Douglas Rogier and a magician by the name of Dave Cox-- pretty funny magician. The Jazz institute is the mall on Colorado Blvd in Pasadena. So I did get an idea of doing some musicals concert style-- and see how much attention we get. We'll have to make a call and find out how the program works. Of course today is the 65th anniversary of D-Day-- that victory was SO IMPORTANT to winning the war. I laughed like hell at one of Jay Leno's last jokes on the air. My long time partner John Long (believe it or not we have been together TEN years next month) works at a sex club on Vermont in LA called THE SLAMMER club. Imagine my surprise when Leno said "The recession is really hurting everybody-- there's a gay sex club on Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles --that's hurting so bad it had a sign out the other evening that said "Ladies Night""-- now that's what I call a recession!

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