Tuesday, May 29, 2007


From Forbes courtesy of Eschaton:

Charles Nelson Reilly, the Tony Award winner who later became known for his ribald appearances on the "Tonight Show" and various game shows, has died. He was 76.

Reilly died Friday in Los Angeles of complications from pneumonia, his partner, Patrick Hughes, told the New York Times.


Reilly's openly gay television persona was ahead of its time, and sometimes stood in his way. He recalled a network executive telling him "they don't let queers on television."

Click here for the rest.

Of course I have deep admiration for Reilly's being what essentially amounted to an out gay man in public life during a time when doing such a thing was fairly dangerous, to both life and career; this was a political act in itself. I also admire Reilly's acting: his late career appearance on The X-Files, as science fiction writer Jose Chung, is a tour de force in character work, well focused, spontaneous and in-the-moment, well thought out; I only hope I'm ever as good as he was. The man was on TV my whole life, going all the way back to Sid and Marty Kroft's Lidsville, but what I really know and appreciate him for was his long stint on my favorite game show, Match Game--it just couldn't have worked without him.

Click here for a YouTube clip to see what I'm talking about.

Farewell Charles Nelson Reilly.