Scott Lowell, Gale Harold, Randy Harrison, Michelle Clunie and Thea Gill, stars of the long awaited Showtime Network series "Queer as Folk" gather at a special world premiere screening of the series in New York City. Source: Nick Elgar/Getty Images

What is the Cast of 'Queer as Folk' Up to Today?

Timothy Rawles READ TIME: 9 MIN.

The groundbreaking gay drama "Queer as Folk" ran from 2000 to 2005 on Showtime. Even with today's LGBTQ+ visibility, the weekly soap probably couldn't be made without casting changes because its main stars were played by straight actors.

Even so, "Queer as Folk" managed to capture the slice of party life feel of the LGBTQ+ community back at the turn of the millennium with great aplomb. From the casual nature of random hookups to the promise of long-term romances, or even starting a family, "Queer as Folk," an American remake based on the 10-episode British series that also featured straight actors in gay roles, was filled with characters we wanted to see every week.

For the American "Queer as Folk," the leads were played by Gale Harold, Hal Sparks, Randy Harrison, Peter Paige and Scott Lowell.

Supporting female roles went to Thea Gill, Michelle Clunie and Sharon Gless. It has been 23 years since the show played its last club anthem, so we thought we would revisit the players of this landmark series to see what they are up to today.

Hal Sparks (Micheal Novotny)

The 54-year-old actor stays pretty active on social media where he gives unfettered opinions about politics and social injustices. He also has a popular YouTube channel where he goes live every day to discuss progressive political issues. After his stint as Michael, Sparks went on to do other projects mostly remaining in television. His most famous post-"Queer" role was probably that of Donald Davenport in the popular Disney Channel sitcom "Lab Rats."

Gale Harold (Brian Kinney)

Gale Harold stayed out of the public eye after "Queer as Folk" ended. The 54-year-old actor remained in television doing dramatic roles in series such as "Desperate Housewives" in 2008 and "The Secret Circle" in 2011.

In the inaugural episode of "Queer as Folk," he hooks up with a very young Randy Harrison who plays 17-year-old Justin. In real life Randy is gay while Harold is not. When asked in a 2016 interview whether it was awkward doing the famous episode-one sex scene because of their opposing orientations, Harold said, " didn't matter if I was gay or straight or if he was gay or straight, because what was happening was that human being and this human being had all their clothes on the floor, and we're surrounded by a crew with two cameras, one on a dolly and one locked, and we were simulating sex from breakfast to dinner."

Today, Harold is the co-founder of Filmmakers First Fund, an organization that helps documentarians get their films through the production process. Harold doesn't stay current on social media and remains private about his personal life.

Randy Harrison (Justin Taylor)

Randy Harrison played the 17-year-old high schooler in "Queer as Folk" who was exploring his sexuality and instantly beguiled by the strikingly handsome but hard-to-get Brian. Harrison is another cast member who doesn't rely on social media to update fans about his life. He hasn't done much television since "Queer as Folk" ended, opting for regional theater instead. His last performance was in the 2022 play "What the End Will Be" at the Laura Pels Theatre in New York City.

As for his time on "Queer as Folk," he once told The Advocate that as a young out gay actor he didn't hesitate when offered the role of Justin. "I still aspire to a theater career. The amount of celebrity that I have now seems like a fluke to me. So I never felt a need to manipulate my career from the outside--try to be someone I wasn't to get ahead."

Peter Paige (Emmett Honeycutt)

Peter Paige played Emmett, the flamboyant friend of the group who is looking for love. Since "Queer as Folk," Paige has done a lot for the small screen including writing and producing "The Fosters" and the 2020 TV movie "The Thing About Harry." This year he is the showrunner for the "Grey's Anatomy" spinoff series "Station 19."

In 2023 Paige reflected on his time playing Emmett. He told Entertainment Weekly, that while it was a great experience, he aspired to do more in the industry, specifically behind the scenes.

"Being an actor is really being of service to someone else's vision," he said. "I was on a hit TV show and as soon as that happened, I realized I wanted to be writing and directing. I wanted the agency to put my voice more purely out into the world."

by Timothy Rawles

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