Cliff Gorman

Active - 1969 - 2003  |   Born - Oct 13, 1936 in Queens, New York  |   Died - Sep 5, 2002   |   Genres - Drama, Mystery, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

The world was a different place in 1968, the year that actor Cliff Gorman created a sensation with his all-stops-out portrayal of "screaming queen" Emory in the off-Broadway hit The Boys in the Band. At that time, Gorman's agents found it expedient to assure playgoers that their client was not the sashaying homosexual he played in Band and to that end commissioned newspaper and magazine pieces detailing Gorman's previous manly-man jobs as trucker, ambulance driver and probation officer; there were also photos aplenty of Gorman's wife and children. The same protecting-our-investment publicity blitz occurred when Gorman repeated his Emory characterization for the 1970 film version of Band. By the time Gorman won his Tony award for his virtuoso portrayal of Lenny Bruce in the 1972 Broadway production Lenny, however, no one really cared about his sexual orientation; it was enough to know that Gorman was one of the finest young actors working in America. Cliff Gorman's subsequent big-screen work has included Cops and Robbers (1973), All That Jazz (1979) and Angel (1984); his television credits include the role of Joseph Goebbels in The Bunker (1982) and his periodic appearances as detective Aaron Greenberg in the TV-movie adaptations of the crime novels of William Bayer (Doubletake, Murder Times Seven etc.)

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