The straight actors who created treasured gay characters on screen

Eric Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker
Eric Stonestreet as Modern Family’s Cam (Photo: ABC/Robert Ashcroft)

The issue of straight actors playing gay roles has become something of a talking point in recent years.

Last week, comments made by Adam Lambert re-ignited the debate on the issue. Lambert responded to the rumor that White Lotus actor Theo James might play George Michael with the comment “Yay another straight man playing a gay icon.”

Speaking to Queerty over the weekend, Lambert clarified his comment.

He said, “I think my comment in no way suggests that I feel straight actors can’t play gay roles, because I think they do it really well … For me, the thing that I was trying to say is: It’s definitely a step in the right direction that these stories are being told, but I would just love to see an out actor play an out icon—it’d just be nice, because you don’t really see it.”

Related: Adam Lambert elaborates on THAT comment about the rumored George Michael biopic

He’s right. Gay actors must be able to come out and not worry about how it will impact their careers. Let’s see more out-gay actors cast in gay and straight roles (and everything else along the spectrum).

Whether related or not, one Twitter user added his voice to the debate when he posted a photo of “the only straight man allowed to play gay.” It showed Eric Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker on Modern Family.

Fans shocked to discover Eric Stonestreet is not gay

That tweet had over 200,000 likes and thousands of comments. For sure, Cameron Tucker was a beloved character. In fact, from the response to the tweet, it’s clear a lot of people had no idea the man behind him (Stonestreet) is not gay.

Many agreed with the praise for Stonestreet. Some even said he made a better gay man than, well, many gay men.

Pretty soon, others offered their own suggestions.

Cameron Monaghan and Noel Fisher, who play Ian Gallagher and his husband Mickey Milkovich in Shameless, are also very well-liked.

Stanley Tucci has many fans. He played gay in The Devil Wears Prada and Supernova.

The iconic performance of Lafayette, by the late Nelsan Ellis, was praised by many.

Another much-missed actor is Robin Williams.

Other iconic performances

Here are a few other suggestions.

Do you have a favorite from the above? Or others to add to the mix?