Kearns is a significant figure in the worlds of performing arts and gay politics, beginning in the early 1970s with his appearance in the LA production of Tom Eyen’s The Dirtiest Show in Town. His role as “Grant Tracy Saxon Warner Books” in 1974’s The Happy Hustler earned Kearns the title of “the first openly gay actor in Hollywood.” His long and historic career is detailed in his 2012 autobiography The Truth is Bad Enough (available on Amazon).
Kearns has appeared in mainstream TV and film (The Waltons, Murder She Wrote, Cheers, Body Double, Beverly Hills 90210, Knots Landing, And The Band Played On) while achieving international acclaim as an award-winning solo performer (intimacies, Rock, attachments, Tell Tale Kisses, Make Love Not War, Once Upon a Time in South Africa), a stage actor (an international tour of Dream Man; LA appearances in Camille, Bill and Eddie, Rubicon, the 10th anniversary reading of The Normal Heart, and the 20th anniversary reading of Boys In The Band), and theatre director (world premieres of Eric Bentley’s Round Two, Robert Chesley’s Jerker, James Carroll Pickett’s Bathhouse Benediction, the Off Broadway solo pieces The Porcelain Penelope Freak Show and Elevator Sex, and an international tour of Dream Man).
He’s produced more than a dozen plays, and also co-wrote the screenplay of Nine Lives, based on his play, complications. Author of six theatre books published by Heinemann (T-Cells & Sympathy, Acting = Life), his most recent—The Drama of AIDS, My Lasting Connections with Two Plays that Survived the Plague—was released in the fall of ’09 in conjunction with the 20th anniversary tour of intimacies.
Openly gay and publicly HIV-positive, he is recipient of several Lifetime Achievement Awards and Humanitarian Awards. Kearns is currently Co-Artistic Director of the Katselas Theatre Company and an Artist-in-Residence at the Downtown Women’s Center in Los Angeles’s Skid Row.
“Michael is a key figure in the short history of Out Gay Hollywood, so naturally we’re thrilled and honored—it feels appropriate to have him on our show,” says show creator/actor Acord. “On a personal note, we shared a role on stage in Ronnie Larson’s A Few Gay Men, me in San Francisco, Michael in LA. So I’m really looking forward to finally working with him!”
Among his philanthropic accomplishments is the creation of Southland Theater Artists Goodwill Event (STAGE), which since 1984 has raised millions of dollars for HIV/AIDS services and charities throughout Southern California. Kearns lives in Los Angeles with his daughter Tia.
Is better than ‘Mamma Mia’.
The New York Times is reporting that PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT will play its final performance on Broadway on June 24, 2012 after 23 previews and 526 performances. The production had been averaging both 60.79% attendance and 41.59% of its gross potential in 2012, down from 70.41% attendance in 2011 and 53.18% of its potential. It’s unknown at this time if the production recouped its initial investment.
PRISCILLA opened on March 20, 2011 at The Palace Theatre (1564 Broadway) and stars Tony Award® nominee Will Swenson, Tony Award® nominee Tony Sheldon and Nick Adams as the trio of friends on a road trip who hop aboard a battered old bus searching for love and friendship in the middle of the Australian outback and end up finding more than they could ever have dreamed.
Director Stephan Elliott came out of the closet for the first time publicly yesterday at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards, ABC reports:
MASTERPIECE? HAHAHAHAAHA BLESS.