Eighty-two-year-old Broadway legend Joel Grey has officially revealed that he is gay to PEOPLE this week. Grey, who is now living a happy life out of the spotlight, was married for 24 years and raised two children, but he has kept his sexuality hidden throughout his life and career. The Academy Award–winner for Cabaret told the magazine, “I don’t like labels, but if you have to put a label on it, I’m a gay man.” He continued: “All the people close to me have known for years who I am…[Yet] it took time to embrace that other part of who I always was.” Coming out, though, wasn’t an easy thing to do growing up in Cleveland, Ohio with a actor/comedian father. He recalls hearing things about gay people from his parents: “hearing the grownups talk in the next room, my mother included, talking derisively about ‘fairies’ and men being dragged off to jail and even worse for being who they were.”
The years of his marriage to Jo Wilder for 24 years were “the happiest of my life.” His daughter, Dirty Dancing–star Jennifer Grey, told people that she couldn’t be happier for her dad.