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01/28/2015 10:35 am ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Joel Grey Comes Out: 'Cabaret' Star Says 'I'm A Gay Man' At Age 82

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Broadway legend and Oscar-winning "Cabaret" star Joel Grey opens up about his sexuality in a new interview with People magazine, telling the publication: "I'm a gay man."

Although the 82-year-old actor says he doesn't like labels, Grey says he "came to realize, along with being attracted to girls, I had similar feelings for boys" when he was growing up in Cleveland, Ohio. Still, he recalls a time when he overheard "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."

Grey says his sexuality was not a secret to friends and family, but that "it took time to embrace that other part of who I always was."

Grey was married to actress Jo Wilder for 24 years, and is father to "Dirty Dancing" star Jennifer Grey and his son James, who is a chef. He and Wilder divorced in 1982.

Jennifer Grey tells People that she is "very happy" that her father "has come to a point in his life where he feels safe and comfortable enough to declare himself in a public way as a gay man."

The actor nabbed a Tony Award in 1966 for originating the role of the Emcee in the musical "Cabaret," and picked up an Academy Award for the same role in 1973 in the film version, which starred Liza Minnelli.

He's focused on stage work in recent years, with roles in the 1997 revival of "Chicago," "Wicked" and "Anything Goes." He also directed the Tony-winning Broadway production of Larry Kramer's "The Normal Heart" in 2011.

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