1. JimmyD says

    He was never “In.” He just never held the seemingly mandatory Coming Out Press Conference, which seems to be the the only way to officially declare your gayness.
    I met him many times back in the 90’s. He was very sweet.

  2. Truth says

    I’m by no means saying that I’m glad he’s dead but a few years ago he (Palillo) rented a summer home, for the entire summer, right next door to a good friend of mine. The homes were on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan and the decks on the back of both homes nearly touched as the homes were close together so there were a few brief conversations. Saying Palillo was a jackass would be a gross underestimation. He was a complete prick. He was in the area doing a workshop at a community theater and severely overestimated his talent and celebrity with a huge unwarranted ego.

  3. Humanzee says

    No doubt he was a great guy but it is my opinion that a public figure has to acknowledge their sexual orientation publicly in order to be “out.” The question isn’t whether his parents or friends knew, but whether the public knew. It doesn’t require a press conference per se but rather an acknowledgement that makes it part of the public record and understanding. This is a brave act for celebrities because it effects their income, obviously, so those who do make public acknowledgements deserve credit and those that don’t do not. I’m not saying we should stigmatize those that do not come out to the public, but the difference is real. The irritating and now constantly invoked defense that “I was never in” is ridiculous. To be an “out celebrity” means “out publicly.”

  4. ratbastard says

    Even when I was a little kid watching reruns of Kotter, I knew immediately ‘Horschack’ the character was gay. I knew I was gay, but didn’t act like the Horschack character and many other ‘gay’ characters in popular culture. I didn’t relate to them. It bother me for many years.

  5. Cover Up says

    Who cares if he was in or out? It sounds like his boyfriend was there for him, unlike many currently “out” personalities. Why no mention of Anderson Cooper’s boyfriend’s infidelity? Let’s keep the gay marriage monogamy myth alive — and protect “one of your own”
    Check “National Enquirer” for the real story. I think it has a wider circulation.

  6. Dback says

    Classic Palillo moment: overfilling the Kotter’s sink with too many bubbles and screaming: “AAAHHHHHHH! We’re being attacked by Lawrence Welk!!”

    He was always my favorite Sweathog–sweet and guileless. Nice knowing Palillo was gay in real life.

  7. Randy says

    Wow! Sounds like someone’s projecting a bit, don’t cha’ think?!

    Firstly, Cooper and his boyfriend are not married so your point about “the gay marriage monogamy myth” doesn’t even apply to your example.

    Secondly, I have been in a loving, monogamous relationship for nearly twenty years now. It’s sad that you have such trust issues; you might want to work on that!

  8. William says

    Epstein died of a heart attacked, too, earlier this year.

    What was craft services serving that crew? cigarettes and country fried steak 24/7?!?!??!

    If I was John Travolta’s next masseuse, I’ll be worried he’ll crash and burn with a heart attack right there on the table.

  9. chris says

    Maybe never. The man was occasionally crabby and vain, like most of us. Why do we need to hear about that right after he has died? (Or ever, frankly, especially since, as you note, he was barely even in the public eye anymore?)

  10. Homo Genius says

    “Does anybody know if he was out before his death?”

    this was literally the first time I have heard it.

  11. Truth says

    Chris –

    The whole respect for the dead thing is BS. I’m not going to say someone was not an ass just because they died. His behavior was more than just “occasionally crabby and vain, like most of us”, as you put it. I was there and witnessed Diva Palillo, you weren’t! I was just telling what I personally witnessed. And yes, Palillo was an ass!

  12. chris says

    Classy, Don. My point is not that you have to say someone isn’t an ass, just that you could say nothing at all since very little is being added by it. (By the way, sorry for not noting that you were an eyewitness to minor bad behavior but it’s difficult to keep track of you when you’re posting under two different monickers within the space of a couple hours.)

  13. says

    A bit before my time so I don’t know the character but if he was gay then he surely crossed gay paths with Travolta back then and thereafter. Perhaps we’ll hear from Pillo’s partner in a ‘tell-all’ (or someone’s auto of his life).

    and @Cover Up – Anderson Cooper has never publicly admitted that Maisani is his boyfriend even though we all assume he is because they are seen together and share the FireHouse home together. Can you share a picture of them kissing or any other comprising position with the rest of us? Is there any credible witness who is willing to step forward and spill some intimate details? Again, credible is the key.

  14. says

    What do you suggest for Anderson Cooper, Randy? Crying on Robert Pattison’s shoudler perchance?

    Besides being out, Ron Palillo appeared in “Broadway Cares” presentations to raise money in the fight against AIDS.

    Yeah he was a real jerk, wasn’t he?

  15. Mikey Dallas says

    The coments on the Yahoo article are heartbreaking. So many glad he is dead now that they know he was gay…

  16. Randy says

    I wasn’t making any suggestions for Cooper. I was merely replying to coverup pointing out that the gay marriage monogamy myth doesn’t apply to Cooper, yet. Is my monogamous relationship a touchy subject for you?

    What are you talking about in your second and third sentences? I said nothing about Ron Palillo being a jerk or being in or out?

  17. Randy says

    You didn’t explain your misplaced, misdirected Ron Palillo comments.

    And no, I could care less if a couple decides to choose not to be monogamous. But you really didn’t need to tell me your relationship is NON-monogamous. Your defensive comment was pretty transparent.

  18. GregV says

    Like so many other celebrities, I never heard any hint that he was gay when he was alive.
    A San Francisco Chronicle article has tried to re-invent Horshack as a coded gay character. There was nothing coded as gay about Horshack. A goofy character who has a crush on Epstein’s sister and eventually marries the new sweathog Mary does not read as a gay role model to any viewer who knows what gay means.

    @JimmyD: if he was with his partner for 41years, that relationship started well before he was famous. In order NOT for it to be known, he has to have been making active decisions to NOT have him mentioned.
    I notice that even, which appears to be a fan site, talks about what his brother’s doing, what his sister’s doing, etc., but says his married life is not known.

  19. says

    Ladies, LADIES. LA-DIES. Can we please all get over ourselves and allow Horshak just a little bit of his final spotlight? The one final gift of being a “has-been” celebrity is knowing that people will, at last, talk about you again when you die. So let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was a decent enough guy who assumed folks knew he was gay (did Richard Simmons need to come out publicly?), and who may have been having a rough summer in Michigan, and whose partner is, at the very least, grieving his death.


    And while you’re at it, read my new gay novel, Man*hattan: a fairy tale! Exclusively on Amazon.

  20. Randy says

    I think you meant harumph, the urban spelling. Oh David, now you sound like an angry black man with a huge chip on his shoulder. Am I right?

    You STILL didn’t explain your Ron comments. Some people just can’t admit when they are wrong. That chip must really be weighing you down.

  21. says

    Ron was open about being with his partner for 41 years, but he never “came out” in the manner of which those do now.

    Also, Ron became severely depressed in the 1980 which could account for his attitude and behavior. Unless, you’ve been, lived with or helped someone with severe depression, it may be difficult to understand that they really aren’t “themselves.” It is a terrible place to be. Some hate themselves so much that they will unintentionally push others away either by isolating which he did and by what it seems from your comment TRUTH by their behavior.

  22. andrew says

    RIP Ron, you brought some joy into many peoples lives. What more can be asked of any man?

  23. Prof Sancho Panza says

    Just out of curiosity, are we criticizing Palillo for not being out back in 1978 when he was famous? Or are we criticizing him for not being recognized by the media as gay after he was no longer famous and was no longer on the media’s (and much of the public’s) radar enough that they would care?

  24. Iwontgrowup says

    Ron And Joseph were together 41 years it was not a secret. Whether he was “out” or not is irrelevant, anyone who met him and his partner assumed they were a couple. They were out of the public eye so it didn’t matter. Now Joseph must go on alone, without the man that was part of his world for most of his life. My deepest symathy to him for this unimaginable loss.

  25. Prof Sancho Panza says

    I think being with the same person at age 63 that you were with at age 22 is damn impressive, btw.

  26. Bill says

    RATBASTARD–Really? You absolutely KNEW the Horshack character was gay? that’s funny, because if you actually watched the damn show, you’d know he married Mary Johnson in the final season.

    I always had a feeling Ron Palillo was gay, but “Arnold Horshack” was not.