A publicist for David Hyde Pierce yesterday confirmed for AfterElton.com that Pierce is gay and in a long term relationship with Brian Hargrove, a writer/producer/director in Hollywood. Speculation had long swirled around the actor who found fame playing Niles Crane for twelve years on the long running sitcom Frasier.
Pierce had frequently been asked about his private life, but always declined to discuss it. In an interview in the fall of 1993, a reporter for Emmy Magazine asked Pierce about the issue and was told, "Basically, I don't talk about my personal life." That was the stance he continued to adhere to over the years.
However, in a recent interview with the Associated Press about his newfound success on Broadway, Hyde did briefly address the topic as he explained that he had first come to Los Angeles in the early 1990's "when his partner, actor-writer-producer Brian Hargrove, wanted to write for television."
The mention of Hargrove didn't appear until sixteen paragraphs into the interview. No other details of the men's relationship was given.
Given that Pierce had long been so reluctant to discuss his private life, we wanted to confirm that Hargrove was in fact Pierce's life partner and that the two men didn't simply have a business relationship. That led to the phone conversation with the star's publicist for Curtains, in which Pierce is currently starring. The publicist did confirm that Pierce and Hargrove are a couple.
For many in the New York and Los Angeles acting communities, the news was not a surprise as Pierce had reportedly long lived an openly gay life, including hosting parties in their L.A. home. The Houston Chronicle reported in August of 2006 that the two men held a benefit piano recital for Stephen Hough in their Spanish revival manse. No mention was made of their relationship.
The situation is reminiscent of that surrounding recently out actor Neil Patrick Harris, also widely rumored to be gay by those in the industry before he chose to come out.
In fact, Pierce was so open in certain circles that the actor was recently mentioned in Out Magazine's controversial article, "The Glass Closet: Why Stars Won't Come Out and Play". Michael Musto, who authored the article, quoted Pierce as having once said, “My life is an open book, but don’t expect me to read it to you."
Pierce had, however, apparently made fleeting references to his personal life having reportedly once referred to his partner during a radio interview. But whenever doing large, mainstream press, he continued to decline to publicly out himself.
Shortly after the Out article, Pierce appeared on The View and made no mention of his relationship with Hargrove. Nor did he do so in a recent interview with Broadway.com.