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He gave one of the great performances of the 1970s. Nobody knew he was gay.

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Welcome to Screen Gems, our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a re-watch.What actors can boast a career as long and varied as that of Paul Winfield?

The classy method actor flourished in a career that spanned forty years, and that saw him perform in such varied fare as the films Cliffhanger, Huckleberry Finn, and The Terminator, and in TV series including Julia, The Simpsons and as the title role in the Martin Luther King, Jr.

miniseries King. He also had high profile roles in Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn and The Next Generation.Winfield always kept his private life private, in part, because he was a gay, African-American man working in a time when roles for black actors were limited, and when homophobia ran high.

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