12-31-1948 – 05-17-2012 Donna Summer – Born in Boston, Massachusetts. She was a prominent gay icon of the underground disco scene. In the mid-1980s, she was embroiled in controversy after she allegedly made anti-gay remarks. Years later, Summer denied that she had ever made any such comments. She wrote a letter to the AIDS campaign group ACT UP apologizing for any pain she may have caused and to forgive her. In 1989 she also told The Advocate magazine that “a couple of the people I write with are gay, and they have been ever since I met them. What people want to do with their bodies is their personal preference.”
12-31-1948 Joe Dallesandro – Born in Pensacola, Florida. He is an American actor and Warhol superstar. Dallesandro is considered to be the most famous male sex symbol of American underground films of the 20th century, as well as a sex symbol of gay subculture. He starred in the 1968 Andy Warhol film Flesh. In 1970 Rolling Stone stated that his second film Trash, the “Best Film of the Year.” Dallesandro also had roles in mainstream films and also worked in television. He was awarded the Teddy Award in 2009, an honor recognizing filmmakers and artists who have contributed to the acceptance of LGBT people. Dallesandro is openly bisexual. In Lou Reed’s song, Walk on the Wild Side, about the characters Reed knew form Warhol’s studio, The Factory, the verse about Dallesandro used his nickname, Little Joe.
12-31-1897 – 02-27-1964 Orry-Kelly (b. Orry George Kelly) – Born in Kiama, New South Wales, Australia. He was an Australian-American gay costume designer. He won three Academy Awards for Best Costume Design. Orry-Kelly worked on many films now considered classics, including 42nd Street, The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, Arsenic and Old Lace, Harvey, Oklahoma!, Auntie Mame, and Some Like It Hot. His memoir, Women I’ve Undressed, was discovered in the care of a relative and coincided with Gillian Armstrong’s 2015 documentary on Kelly, Women He’s Undressed. The memoir was published in 2015. Kelly states in his memoir that he was involved with Cary Grant when Grant was Archie Leach. The two lived together while both were pursuing their careers. Upon Kelly’s death, Grant was one of the pallbearers.
12-31-1961 Joanna Johnson – Born in Phoenix, Arizona. She is an American actress, writer, and producer. Johnson is best known for her roles as Caroline Spencer Forrester and her twin sister, Karen Spencer on the CBS daytime soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful. She is also an executive producer and writer on the ABC family drama series The Fosters. During a May 2012 interview with TV Guide, she came out as a lesbian and is married to L.A. club promoter Michelle Agnew. They married in 2008, during the four months same-sex marriage in California was recognized. They have 2 adopted children.
12-31-1979 Danny Watts – Born in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England. He was a British professional racing driver. After retiring, he came out publicly in 2017 as gay. He stated that he felt he needed to remain closeted in order to pursue his career in racing.
12-31-1991 Noelle Stevenson – Born in Columbia, South Carolina. She is an American cartoonist and animation producer. Her fantasy comic Nimona and the comics series Lumberjanes both won an Elsner Award. Stevenson married cartoonist Molly Ostertag in September 2019. On October 11, 2020, National Coming Out Day, Stevenson wrote and illustrated her coming out story for Oprah Magazine. She described her journey of self-acceptance and her “battle against the gender essentialism of her Evangelical upbringing.”