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6 Straight Actors Have Won Oscars for Playing Gay Men

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The Whale in something of a mixed bag for representation and storytelling.Here’s a look at the six straight men who have won Best Actor for playing gay men.William HurtHollywood heartthrob William Hurt made history when he won the Best Actor Oscar in 1986 for portraying “effeminate” gay man Luis Molina, who forges a relationship with his cellmate in a Brazilian prison.The film focuses on much more than just Molina’s sexuality, but it is certainly a big part of his character, and Hurt’s performance was groundbreaking at the time.Hurt would claim the prize on his first attempt, and though he was nominated three more times throughout his career, he didn’t snag a second trophy.​​Tom HanksJust a few years later, Tom Hanks became the second person to win the Best Actor Oscar for playing a gay male character.In 1994, the star – who was still just beginning what would go on to become one of the most celebrated careers in Hollywood – took home his first Academy Award for his role in Philadelphia, which tells the story of a lawyer dying of AIDS who sues his employer for wrongful termination and wins.In his speech, Hanks thanked people from his past who clearly helped make him the actor–and the person–he was when he won.“I would not be standing here if it weren’t for two very important men in my life, so… two that I haven’t spoken with in awhile, but I had the pleasure of just the other evening,” the star began. “Mr.

Rawley Farnsworth, who was my high school drama teacher, who taught me to act well the part, there all the glory lies.“And one of my classmates under Mr.

Farnsworth, Mr. John Gilkerson. I mention their names because they are two of the finest gay Americans, two wonderful men that I had the good fortune to be associated.

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