Gays love an icon. Typically female. Usually with the word diva attached. Frequently someone who has played a cult-classic role. If lucky, a good gay film can magazine to sign on one of these ladies to take on a meaty role. In the case of Birthday Cake, premiering this week on Here! TV, they managed to sign on three of those ladies. Helen Shaver, Lee Merriwether and Jane Badler round out the cast of the mockmentary film highlighting the three days leading up to the first birthday party of the child of gay parents. From baster jokes to the apparent death of a clown, think of Birthday Cake as an episode of Modern Family on speed and featuring the support of this trio of talented women. And if their names don't immediately jump out at you, read on - their status as icons is much deserved.
Helen Shaver - Shaver has long been a favorite of the gay community, thanks in large part to hear breakout role in one of the most highly-regarded lesbian romance films of all time, Desert Hearts. In that movie, she played a 1950's university professor who falls in love with another woman. Work in The Color of Money and The Land Before Time followed, and Shaver - who in 2004 was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame - has made quite a name for herself in gay-themes TV projects (Common Ground, The L Word) and films.
Lee Meriwether - The winner of the 1955 Miss America pageant, Meriwether is also one of the most famous women ever to win the title thanks to her Emmy-nominated work on Barnaby Jones and to her turn as Catwoman in the 1966 Batman film. In more recent years, she's best known for her work on the soap opera All My Children and for guest arcs on Desperate Housewives and Hawaii Five-O.
Jane Badler - Though her focus in recent years has been largely on music, Badler got her start as one of the most iconic characters in TV history... that of Diana, the main villain in the series V. She reprised her role a few years ago for the TV reboot and in the nearly 3 decades bwteen, fleshed out her resume with work on iconic programs including Falcon Crest, Murder She Wrote and Mission Impossible.
Birthday Cake airs all month on Here TV. Watch Here TV on Xfinity.