Listen: Anderson Cooper Says Seeing this Hunky Actor Shirtless Helped him Realize he's Gay

Monday June 27, 2022

Anderson Cooper
Anderson Cooper  (Source:Instagram / @andersoncooper)

Anderson Cooper recently stopped by his BFF Andy Cohen's SiriusXM show and the CNN anchor opened up about a pivotal moment in his childhood that helped him realize he is gay.

While on "Radio Andy," Cooper revealed that when he was 11 years old, he saw the Broadway production of "Bent," about two gay men at a concentration camp, which starred Richard Gere at the time. During the performance, Gere gets shirtless.

"And I just remember being like, 'Oh my God, I'm gay. ... I'm totally gay,'" Cooper told Cohen. "I mean the opening scene... It is the gayest thing you can imagine."

Entertainment Weekly said that the play starts with "a naked man waking up after spending the night with another man, then dressing himself in an SS uniform. And with that, Anderson's eyes were opened."

Cooper went on to say that he got to meet Gere backstage as he attended the show with his mother Gloria Vanderbilt and her friend, photographer Paul Jasmin, who knew the actor from photographing him for the film "American Gigolo."

"This was Richard Gere in 1977, 'Looking for Mr. Goodbar.' He was so beautiful," Cooper added. "I couldn't speak. And I had my Playbill and I wanted to get him to autograph it, but I was too — I just couldn't stop staring at his chest."

Cooper added that he ended up interviewing Gere about 10 years ago and mentioned meeting him as a kid.

"I took out the Playbill and I told him the whole story, and I had him sign it. Yeah. He was very tickled with it," he told Cohen.

Listen to the story below.