Attention, daddy chasers: 66-year-old ‘M*A*S*H’ star admits the decision wasn’t for gay rights but to find a life partner

The actor who played Major Charles Emerson Winchester III on "M*A*S*H" has revealed that he’s gay.

Throughout his career, David Ogden Stiers was warned that he risked losing work if he came out. He told the Gossip Boy blog, "From the late 1980s until about seven or eight years ago, you would find certain individuals coming up to you, me, and advocating the position that since we were doing family fare that it would be best were the actors to maintain a certain palatability to parents.

"These parties likely had heard rumors or harbored suspicions about me and wanted to make sure no embarrassing incidents were forthcoming."

But Ogden Stiers insists his reasons for coming out now, at the age of 66, have nothing to do with his profession:

"I could claim noble reasons as coming out in order to move gay rights forward, but I must admit it is for far more selfish reasons. Now is the time I wish to find someone and I do not desire to force any potential partner to live a life of extreme discretion for me."

Moms trust Ellen and Portia

Ellen DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi topped a poll that asked American moms which celebrities they’d feel most comfortable leaving their kids with.
More than 10,000 mothers voted in the AOL-run site poll: DeGeneres and de Rossi beat Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.

DeGeneres and de Rossi took 31 percent of votes with single gal Jennifer Aniston coming in second at 22 percent. Jolie and Pitt got 18 percent of votes, while chat show queen Oprah Winfrey got just nine percent.

Jolie also won few fans as a mom, coming bottom in a list of five best celebrity mothers. Jennifer Garner won that round with 37 percent of votes, followed by first lady Michelle Obama and Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon in a virtual tie.

In a close battle for worst celebrity mom, rock singer Courtney Love edged out Dina Lohan —Lindsay’s mom — and pop star Britney Spears.
The poll was conducted to mark Mother’s Day, which is Sunday, y’all.

Merv Griffin outed in tell-all

TV legend Merv Griffin receives posthumous expose treatment. And it’s all kinds of juicy.

This week, "Merv Griffin: A Life in the Closet" hit bookstores, penned by Darwin Porter, the biographer behind "Brando Unzipped" and the upcoming Paul Newman: The Man Behind the Baby Blues: His Secret Life Exposed."

Porter says he met Griffin in 1959 — when Griffin (who wrote the "Jeopardy" theme song) sang at Porter’s senior prom.

What did Porter dig up?

Griffin lost his virginity to Judy Garland. And Griffin and Montgomery Clift were roomies for almost two years.

He lived with Roddy McDowall at the Dakota, where Griffin introduced Eddie Fisher to Elizabeth Taylor.

He had a sexual tryst with Brando and there’s dirt about all-male orgies at Liberace’s place. And his school buddies say Merv was sexually molested by a priest.

Singer may take Bale and Wahlberg prisoner

So "Superman Returns" may have underperformed. And "Milk" stole his "Mayor of Castro Street" thunder, but gay director Bryan Singer remains at the top of the Hollywood heap. So it’s exciting to hear that he’s considering teaming up with Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg for the action movie "Prisoners."

Taking a page from the Liam Neeson extravaganza "Taken," one of the year’s biggest hits so far, this movie would star Wahlberg as a small-town survivalist who clashes with big-city detective Bale when Wahlberg’s young daughter is abducted.

Eventually, the deer-huntin’ country guy kidnaps and tortures the guy he thinks is responsible for the crime. The players haven’t completely committed to the project, so it may be a year or two before we get to visit "Prisoners." Until then, let the speculation run amok.

Jett healing up after bypass

Dallas Rational Radio jock Jack E. Jett was experiencing chest pains and underwent quadruple bypass surgery at Parkland Memorial this week. According to his partner, John, the surgery went well and Jett is on the slow road to recovery — still at Parkland but walking with the aid of a walker. 
Get well, dude.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 8, 2009.
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