Michaela Jae Rodriguez
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Was NPH Better Than Rock Hudson? 8 LGBT Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony Hosts

This year’s Academy Awards have wrapped, and out host Neil Patrick Harris is receving mixed reviews for the three-and-a-half hour show. Some loved it, some hated it, some just felt it was too long and drawn out. As we watched Harris sing, dance, and make jabs at Hollywood, we though about how many other LGBT hosts have presided over high-profile awards shows such as the Oscars, Grammys, Tonys, and Emmys. Maybe emceeing is just in our blood? Take a walk down memory lane:

Rock Hudson: 45th Academy Awards, 1973
Rock cohosted that year with Carol Burnett, Michael Caine, and Charlton Heston (with a very gay opening number featuring Angela Lansbury). The big movie that year was Cabaret, ironically. It's hard to come by video of Rock at this ceremony, but check out his presentation of an Oscar 13 years earlier.

Richard Chamberlain: 35th Tony Awards, 1981
Chamberlain cohosted with Ellen Burstyn, and the big winners of the evening were Amadeus and 42nd Street. Meanwhile, Ian McKellen took home the award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play, for Amadeus. The theme of the night was “Women’s Achievements in the Theater," in case you were wondering.

Sean Hayes: 64th Tony Awards, 2010
The big winners in 2010 were Red, the musical Memphis, and a revival of La Cage aux Folles. The highlight of the show came when Kristin Chenoweth took the stage and ended up in a memorable make-out session with Hayes, her costar in a revival of Promises, Promises. The kiss came in response to a Newsweek article questioning whether the newly out Hayes would be believable in a straight role. 

Jane Lynch: 63rd Emmy Awards, 2011
Lynch was praised as host in a year that saw Modern Family and Glee, shows with prominent LGBT storylines, nominated 18 times. The Big Bang Theory’s star Jim Parsons, who would come out as gay a few months later, took home the Emmy for Lead Actor in a Comedy, and out actors Lynch, Chris Colfer, Alan Cumming, and Evan Rachel Wood received nominations for supporting performances in Glee, The Good Wife, and Mildred Pierce, respectively.


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