Paul Lynde (1926 –1982) was an American comedian and actor. A noted character actor with a distinctively campy and snarky persona that often poked fun at his barely in-the-closet homosexuality, Lynde was well known for his roles as Uncle Arthur on Bewitched and the befuddled father Harry MacAfee in Bye Bye Birdie. He was also the regular "center square" guest on the game show Hollywood Squares from 1968 to 1981, and he voiced two Hanna-Barbera productions. On Hollywood Squares Lynde was best able to showcase his comedic talents with short, salty one-liners, delivered in his trademark sniggering delivery.

Many of these gags were thinly veiled allusions to his homosexuality. Asked whether it was against the law in Texas to call a Marine a "sissy," Lynde quipped, "I guess I’ll have to take the law into my own hands." Other jokes relied on double entendre, an alleged fondness for deviant behaviors, or dealt with touchy subject matter for 1970s television. Examples include Q: "Paul, any good boat enthusiast should know that when a man falls out of your boat and into the water, you should yell 'Man overboard!' Now what should you yell if a woman falls overboard?" Lynde: "Full speed ahead!" Lynde garnered considerable fame and wealth from the series, appearing a total of 707 times but to the homosexual community, his reputation was less than stellar. In some ways, he came to symbolize what's perceived to be a self-loathing era for gay culture.

Charles Nelson Reilly (1931 –2007) was an American actor, comedian, director and drama teacher, known for his comedic roles in stages, films, children's television and cartoons, and as a game show panelist. Reilly was perhaps best known as a fixture of game shows, primarily due to his appearances as a regular panelist on the television game show Match Game. Reilly was one of the longest-running guests, and often engaged in petty, hilarious arguments with fellow regular Brett Somers. Reilly typically offered sardonic commentary and peppered his answers with homosexually themed double entendres that pushed the boundaries of 1970s television standards. Reilly did not publicly affirm his homosexuality until his one-man show, Save It for the Stage in 2000. However, much like fellow game-show regular Paul Lynde of the same era, Reilly played up a campy on-screen persona. In many episodes of Match Game, he would lampoon himself by briefly affecting a deep voice and the nickname "Chuck," and self-consciously describing how "butch" he was. He mentioned in a 2002 interview with Entertainment Tonight that he felt no need to note this and that he never purposely hid being gay from anyone. Patrick Hughes III, a set decorator and dresser, was Reilly's domestic partner; the two met backstage while Reilly appeared on the game show Battlestars. They lived in Beverly Hills.

Merv Griffin (1925 –2007) was an American television host, musician, actor, and media mogul. From 1965 to 1986 Griffin hosted his own talk show, “The Merv Griffin Show.” He also created the still running game shows “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune.” Griffin kept many details of his personal and business life private, including his alleged bisexuality, and other claims that he died a closeted homosexual. In 1991, he was sued by Deney Terrio, the host of “Dance Fever,” another show Mr. Griffin created, alleging sexual harassment.

The same year, Brent Plott, a longtime employee who worked as a bodyguard, horse trainer and driver, filed a $200 million palimony lawsuit. Griffin consistently evaded answering questions about his sexuality with a characteristic quip. In a 2005 interview with The New York Times, he said: “I tell everybody that I’m a quarter-sexual. I will do anything with anybody for a quarter.”

Niko Santo Pietro, Vanna White's son, is in a gay relationship' with an Hare Krishna. The “Wheel of Fortune” star's son Nicholas, 21, lives with Hare Krishna monk Jaycee Akinsanya, 36, in Arizona. The TV star, worth an estimated $40 million, feared she was fighting to save her teenage son from being brainwashed by the monk who was after her money, but now it transpires that the pair is in a serious relationship.


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