12 openly gay people that have won an Oscar

Sam Smith has caused controversy during his Oscars victory speech by claiming he was the first openly gay man to get a nod.

Being quickly corrected online, we decided to delve into the Academy’s vaults and see who else has won an award.

1. Elton John

Sir Elton worked alongside Tim Rice to produce ‘Can you feel the love Tonight?’ for the 1994 Disney classic, ‘The Lion King’.

He was nominated for ‘Circle of Life’ and ‘Hakuna Matata’, which also featured in the film.

During his acceptance speech, he dedicated the award to his grandmother, who had passed away the week before and said: “This is an incredible honour for me.”

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2. Dustin Lance Black

Tom Daley’s other half picked up the award for best original screenplay in 2009 for ‘Milk’.

The movie told the story of Harvey Milk, a gay icon who served openly in politics and was eventually assassinated.

Dustin has been the most vocal about Sam Smith’s comments and also told him to stop texting his boyfriend.

3. Alan Ball

The creator of ‘Six Feet Under’ and ‘True Blood’, also picked up the gong for best original screenplay back in 2000.

His film, the cult classic ‘American Beauty’, also picked up for other awards including Best Picture.

The writer and director has frequently featured in Out Magazine’s ‘power list’ of LGBT people.

4. George Cukor

Picking up the best director Oscar in 1964 for ‘My Fair Lady’, featuring Audrey Hepburn, he was openly gay.

Also nominated for four other awards, he directed five leading actors to Oscar wins.

In a biography of his life, he was described as heading a gay subculture in Hollywood during the 1930s.

5. Howard Ashman

As a lyricist, he picked up two awards for best original song for his work with Disney.

1989 he won for writing the lyrics to ‘Under the Sea’ from the ‘The Little Mermaid’ and then again for the title song of ‘Beauty and the Beast’.

He died in 1991 from an AIDS-related disease after writing the words for ‘Beauty and the Beast’ on his deathbed. The film was subsequently dedicated to him.

6. Melissa Etheridge

Another winner of best original song, Melissa Etheridge, won in 2006 for ‘I Need to Wake Up’.

The song which featured in the documentary, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’.

After coming out in 1993, she became a prominent LGBT rights activist.

7. Bill Condon

The ‘Gods and Monsters’ writer and director, won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay in 1998.

The film, which starred Sir Ian McKellan, also picked up a number of other awards, including a Golden Globe for best supporting actress, Lynn Redgrave.

Since his win, Bill Condon has gone on to have success with a number of other films, including: ‘Kinsey’, ‘Chicago’ and ‘Dreamgirls’.

8. Sir John Gielgud

Picking up the award for his role in Arthur in 1981, Sir John was up against Hollywood heavyweight Jack Nicolson and Ian Holme, who starred in ‘Chariots of Fire’.  

The star, who died in 2000, also picked up an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony.

He served as president of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art between 1977 and 1989.

9. Jodie Foster

Although she wasn’t out when she won her Oscars for ‘The Accused’ (1988) and ‘Silence of the Lambs’ (1991), Jodie Foster has since became one of the most well-known LGBT personalities in Hollywood.

She married her partner, Alexandra Hedison, in 2014 – after dating for a year.

10. John Schlesinger

In 1989, the best director nod went to John Schlesinger for ‘Midnight Cowboy’.

The film, which focused around two hustlers living in New York and featured Dustin Hoffman, was his first-ever film to be shot in the US.

He was also nominated for ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ in 1971.

11. Joel Grey

Joel Grey opened up about his sexuality in an interview with People magazine in 2015.

“I don’t like labels,” he said. “But if you have to put a label on it, I’m a gay man.”

He won the best supporting actor award for his part in ‘Cabaret’ in 1972.

12. Stephen Sondheim

The revered composer and lyricist won an Oscar for best original song in 1990 when he composed ‘Sooner or Later I Always Get My Man’.

This award joins a list of over two dozen other awards on stage and film.

“It was never easy being a homosexual”, he said in an interview in 1998.