Thursday, March 01, 2018

Happy Birthday to Out Actor, Author Bryan Batt

NBC News Photo

Bryan Batt was born today, March 1, in 1963. He is an actor best known for his role in the AMC series Mad Men as Salvatore Romano, an art director for the Sterling Cooper agency. Primarily a theater actor, he has had a number of starring roles in movies and television as well. His performance in the musical adaptation of Saturday Night Fever earned him one of New York City's more unusual honors, a caricature at Sardi's.

Batt was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Though Batt played a closeted character in Mad Men, he is actually out as a gay man in real life. He has played gay roles on film (Jeffrey and Kiss Me, Guido) and stage (La Cage aux Folles). In 2005, Batt told Playbill that he used to worry about the effect of coming out on his career:

"When I played the lead in Sunset Blvd., the movie of Jeffrey was coming out, and I was petrified. Back then, every agent told you that if you want to play a straight role, you don’t come out. This was before Ellen [DeGeneres] came out. But now I couldn't give a rat’s ass. It’s normal to be gay."
Bryan Batt lives with his partner, Tom Cianfichi, an event planner. Batt and Cianfichi have been together more than 21 years; they met while performing Evita in Akron, Ohio. Batt was playing Che and Cianfichi was the understudy for Magaldi. Batt and Cianfichi own a home decor and furnishings store, Hazelnut, on Magazine Street in New Orleans. 

In 2010 Batt published a memoir about his mother entitled She Ain't Heavy, She's My Mother; she died in December 2010. In 2011 Clarkson Potter published his second book, Big, Easy, Style, which focuses on interior design and home furnishings.

New Orleans Advocate photo by Steven Forster

1 comment:

Raybeard said...

Yet anther name I didn't know at all but feel I ought to - though I did see, and liked 'Jeffrey'.