The Hollywood Reporter has effectively blown the late Merv Griffin’s closet door open for good, on the day he is laid to rest following a celeb-filled invitation-only funeral at Beverly Hills’ Church of the Good Shepard:
Writes Ray Richmond for the industry bible: “Merv Griffin was gay. Why should that be so uncomfortable to read? Why is it so difficult to write? Why are we still so jittery even about raising the issue in purportedly liberal-minded Hollywood, in 2007? Griffin, who died of prostate cancer Sunday at 82, stayed in the closet throughout his life. Perhaps he figured it was preferable to remain the object of gossip rather than live openly as ‘one of them.’ But how tremendously sad it is that a man of Merv’s renown, of his gregarious nature and social dexterity, would feel compelled to endure such a stealthy double life even as the gay community’s clout, and its levels of acceptance and equality, rose steadily from the ashes of ignorance. What a powerful message Griffin might have sent had he squired his male companions around town rather than Eva Gabor, his longtime good friend and platonic public pal. Imagine the amount of good Merv could have done as a well-respected, hugely successful, beloved and uncloseted gay man in embodying a positive image.”
Well, they said it.
TV Titan Merv Griffin Dies of Prostate Cancer at 82 [tr]