Actor Ben Whishaw Confirms He’s Gay, Married to His Partner


British actor Ben Whishaw (right, Skyfall, Brideshead Revisited, Cloud Atlas) has confirmed he's gay via a statement from a publicist about his marriage to his partner, Australian composer Mark Bradshaw, which took place nearly a year ago. Up till now it was thought Whishaw was gay but never confirmed because of the actor's hesitancy to discuss it.

The Daily Mail reports:

Speculation was sparked by an interview he gave to the gay magazine Out in March 2011 while playing a homosexual character in an off-Broadway play, The Pride.

When the interviewer asked whether it was important for young gay people to have positive role models, Whishaw replied: ‘I feel in my heart that it’s important, but I don’t quite know yet the way to go about that. Maybe that’s the transitional thing I feel I’m in the middle of at the moment.’

Last night Whishaw’s spokesman confirmed the civil partnership, saying: ‘Ben has never hidden his sexuality, but like many actors he prefers not to discuss his family or life outside of his work.

‘Due to speculation, I can confirm that Ben and Mark entered into a civil partnership in August 2012. They were proud to do so and are very happy.’


  1. says


    welcome to the Out Club, my brother.

    every single performance this man has given has affected me, especially in the polarizing Cloud Atlas.

    his dulcet tones delivering that oh-so-romantic narration…..*sigh*

  2. says

    Yay! I love Ben Whishaw. His performance as John Keats in the film BRIGHT STAR is the most amazing performance ever. And he married an Aussie like I did!

  3. Buster says

    Since when did Towleroad take to ignoring/confusing the important differences between a “civil partnership” (what the press release says they have) and a “marriage” (what your headlines and text say they have)?

  4. nick says

    I didn’t know he was gay. I saw “Perfume” and thought he was so cute and good in it.

  5. Vint says

    According to Whishaw’s spokesman, this is a civil partnership, not a marriage. They’re not the same thing; the headline is misleading. (Actually, the headline is just plain wrong.)


    So happy for him, he is a person that seems to be very loved by all his affections, you can tell. Have no doubt great things will come form such a good actor.

  7. FuryOfFirestorm says

    So will his last name be “Whishaw-Bradshaw”?

    This almost makes up for the fact that Penelope Cruz didn’t become Tom’s beard instead of Katie Holmes and change her name to “Cruz-Cruise”.

  8. Greg says

    It’s with a heavy heart I finally acknowledge that Ben isn’t going to be mine. I’m kicking myself for not proposing. He looks very happy with Mark and I wish them all the best and thank them for going public.

  9. Profe Sancho Panza says

    I’ll keep on thinking of him as my future ex-husband. This news doesn’t change the previous zero-percent likelihood of that happening someday.

    All best to the *-shaws!

  10. MateoM says

    Ankerich is another alias of our resident troll. He uses the same link in his username as past aliases of Rick/Jason. Just ignore him.

  11. Joseph says

    I wonder what caused him to come out? Was the Daily Mail forcing his hand?

    Also, I need to fix the PR statement: “Like many CLOSETED actors he prefers not to discuss his family or life outside of work.”

  12. M.J says

    on being able to fully live a free and authentic life, and in a loving relationship as well.

  13. Kyle says

    OMG I’ve had the BIGGEST crush on him for the longest time. I’ll have to accept he’s in a solid relationship with an equally adorable guy. Proud of him for doing this.

  14. jaragon says

    Congratulations – I thought there was definite gay subtext to his scenes with Bond in “Skyfall”= I hope he returns as Q.

  15. Lars says

    Under the new Marriage Law, civilly-partnered couples can convert their status to marriage (for a fee, I believe). So when the bill becomes effective, they may choose to do that. But for the time, they are not married. I know, seems like a small semantic distinction and not worth harping on. But frankly, we shouldn’t confuse the two, because it undermines our mantra that separate-is-not-equal.

    That said, I’m thrilled for the happy couple, and glad that they can soon marry. Congrats.

  16. bobbyjoe says

    When mentioning Ben Whishaw, one should also always mention his late, lamented BBC tv series “The Hour.” Terrific show and maybe Whishaw’s best performance. If you get a chance, check it out.

  17. JonnyNYNY2FLFL says

    I met Ben by chance on the sidewalk outside the Lucille Lorton Theater on Christopher St. after a performance of THE PRIDE. Everyone was crowding around Hugh Dancy & Ben was all alone.
    I hadn’t seen the play, but recognized him from previous roles. We had lovely conversation. He’s totally charming.
    If you’re a fan, don’t miss THE HOUR on BBC-America when it returns.

  18. Brent says

    While I accept the point on them not being the same… We have always called civil partnerships marriages in NZ and in UK (where they have existed for some time). Both privately and publicly it’s been accepted as the same thing as no-one has felt the need to distinguish between the two. The drive to legalise actual marriage only really came from the US where the distinction was important for your fight. Most of us with civil partnerships were entirely happy with them and have never considered them lesser.

    Please be careful in your rhetoric not to belittle people who were perfectly happy with a state sanctioned union that did not involve religion. In NZ where straight people can elect a civil partnerships, I know of many straight couples who have done so out of personal belief. Are they too ‘not married’?

  19. vighorois says

    Nobody mentioned his performance as Richard II in Hollow Crown? He was so great that he even beat another Shakespearean and out actor, Derek Jacobi, for the best actor at the BAFTA TV Awards.

  20. Daniel says

    @Brent–Thanks for the heads up. Good to know.

    I’ve always like Ben in the roles he’s had, and this seems like the nicest way to get married and come out as a celebrity while still maintaining a bit of privacy. Congrats to them both :)

  21. jjose712 says

    In Spain women didn’t take their husbands name, so Penelope would never be Cruz-Cruise

    And good for Ben. He has the type of career that will not be affected at all by his coming out

  22. jjose712 says

    Sam: I really doubt it. If the reddit post was real, it was from an american actor for sure

  23. Ben says

    Well, England and Wales have legalized gay marriage (as of 2014), so the Whishaw-Bradshaw (Shawshaw Redemption?) civil partnership may become a marriage by statute in the near future. And in England, it’s not uncommon to refer colloquially to the civilly partnered as “married.”

    Now, why can’t people just for once come out and say that they’re single and looking for Mr. Right? And why can’t that Mr. Right be me?

  24. truthteller says

    If he’s gay and married, wouldn’t he be married to his husband instead of his partner as you wrote in your story?

    Heterosexuals get to married their wives or husbands, not their partners. Why the difference?

  25. DavidM says

    A rising star of genuine talent. Brilliant in the BBC “The Hour” and in his superb performance in the film “Perfume” (a hit outside the US). Won the BAFTA this year (Richard II) and of course charmingly different as Q in “Skyfall.” Always felt an affinity for him, and charmed to hear he is family. Way to go, Ben!

  26. Brian Floyd says

    I saw him in The Hour on BBC America, (which was/is excellent, btw), and was really taken with his intensity. I don’t think he has to worry about his sexuality being block to getting more roles. He’s an artist.

  27. queenrosered says

    Interestingly Ben has just been tapped to replace Sasha Cohen in the biopic of the legendary Queen front-man ,Freddie Mercury! Queen survivors and fellow band mates Brian May and Roger Taylor are heavily involved with all aspects of the movie including casting. I’m happy for Ben. This is a huge meaty role!(now wondering who will make the first joke about the adjectives “huge” and “meaty” lol.*cheers!*