Multitalented multidisciplinarian David Hyde Pierce (best known for playing Niles on Frasier) has found success on Broadway, on television, and on the big screen -- and although his sexuality has always been an open secret within the artistic community (much like Neil Patrick Harris), he has been reticent to speak to the topic publicly -- as is his right. In fact, our own Brent Hartinger did the first interview with Pierce after Frasier debuted and was told, "Basically, I don't talk about my personal life."
That's why it's so surprising to see reference made to his "partner" made in a recent AP story on Pierce that hit CNN.com recently, among other places. The story notes:
"He worked at Playwrights Horizons, the Public Theater, Shakespeare in the Park and a lot of regional theaters such as the Guthrie in Minneapolis, Chicago's Goodman and Long Wharf in New Haven, Conn. Pierce got to Los Angeles in the early 1990s when his partner, actor-writer-producer Brian Hargrove, wanted to write for television."
The mention is buried a dozen paragraphs in, so it's very easy to miss -- to be sure that the reference is accurate and was intended, AfterElton.com contacted Pierce's representation, who confirmed that Hargrove is indeed Pierce's life partner. It's interesting that this quiet yet enormous step was taken shortly after Pierce was essentially outed by Michael Musto in his "Glass Closet" article that accompanied Out magazine's controversial "Gay Power List" piece. Is this another situation where a gay celeb was pushed out before he was ready (see also: Lance Bass, T.R. Knight, Neil Patrick Harris)?
Whatever the cause, we want to applaud Pierce for feeling comfortable enough to have his sexuality discussed in stories about him (and on a more personal note, as a fan, I'm thrilled to have him on the team!). He's currently appearing on Broadway in his Tony-nominated role in Curtains, and I'm sure he'd love to be mobbed by his gay fans at the stage door! We're also hoping to do an interview with Pierce in the very near future.