Buena Suerte, Chad Allen

Out actor Chad Allen has decided to leave “the business” behind. Allen has been acting professionally for about 35 of his 40 years and now he wants to try something new.

He’s been working as a clinical psychologist of late and is pursuing his doctorate. This really shouldn’t come as any surprise: Allen has long been a passionate advocate for equality, for HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention and helping LGBT kids. By all accounts, he’s a modest sort and all in all a good egg.


Chad Allen as hard-boiled gay detective Donald Strachey opposite Sebastian Spence as his partner, Timothy Cunningham.

I have to say, I think my favorite of his many roles was his portrayal of gay private detective Donald Strachey in four made-for-TV movies that aired originally on the Here network. Based on a series of books written by Richard Stevenson, Strachey is something of a pioneer: one of the first — if not the first — out, gay lead character in detective fiction. They are quite good books and Stevenson’s pairing of Strachey with former seminarian Timmy Cunningham is the gold standard by which all other gay couples in genre fiction are judged against.

As Strachey, Allen’s easy-going demeanor was in evidence. He played the character with nonchalance and intelligence and, with Timmy, genuine love and affection mixed with that shot of exasperation that comes when you have been with someone for a very long time. H/T to director Ron Oliver, who helmed this quartet of films, as well.

One grace note, on five episodes of the daytime drama spin-off, General Hospital: Night Shift, Allen played a gay man dying of some mystery illness (I forget what) who falls for his doctor, played by Adam Grimes, who sends him away to find a new liver or some such, so that they could live happily ever after. Or something like that.

Anyhow, most of Allen’s lines were delivered from his hospital bed, but it was a heartfelt performance and, frankly, that was in 2008, and I still remember it.

Good luck and godspeed, Chad Allen. Thanks for sharing your gifts with us.

P.S. — Do you remember the great series St. Elsewhere? Remember how at the end of its run, Tommy Westphall, the autistic son of the hospital’s director of medicine, was playing with a St. Eligius Hospital snow globe? And it seemed as though the entire series may have all been in his head? That was Chad Allen.

Thanks, Petteri Paavola

Petteri Paavola, in case you are not in the know, is a young man who has played the role of Elias Vikstedt in the Finnish soap opera Salatut Elämät for the last four years.


Ronny Roslof (left) and Petteri Paavola portrayed lovers Lari and Elias — known by fans worldwide by the portmanteau Larias — on the Finnish sudser. Roslof remains on the show, his once-closeted character is now in an out relationship with an older man.

He announced recently that he was leaving the show and the character was written out, having headed to Belgium to live with his mother. It’s not known at this time if he will return.

The relationship between Elias and Lari captivated audiences around the globe, thanks to YouTube and the good offices of MissFinlandia88, the handle of the dedicated YouTuber who subtitled these clips in English — and even got the show’s blessing to do it.

What do I care? Well, a post I wrote about Salatut Elämät in January 2013 has been the most-read piece on this site for two years running. Go figure. Who knew gay Finnish soap opera characters would bring so much of the world to me?

If you don’t come back — or even if you do, — thanks, Petteri. I’ve enjoyed meeting so many of your fans!

The Infamous Most-Read Post

So Long, Larias – The Last Post

Love Songs (In The Key of Gallagher): Wrenching Coda to Another Perfect, Discordant, Improbable Season of TV’s Best Show

Let’s just put it out there: who’s happy with the button that was placed on the epic #Gallavich love story at the end of season five of Showtime’s Shameless, in the episode perfectly named “Love Songs (in the Key of Gallagher).” Can I see a show of hands? Huh, none. Okay.


Cameron Monaghan and Noel Fisher in Season 5 Episode 10, “Southside Rules,” of Shameless |Photo: Chuck Hodes/SHOWTIME

Well, let’s not keep bantering back and forth with what if’s. Lay that one at the feet of Noel Fisher. According to show exec John Wells in the Hollywood Reporter:

[I]t’s really a decision for Noel to make. He was going to do a movie and wasn’t prepared to sign on for another year, so I have to check back in with him in a few months and see. He has a very thriving film career, and we really just hired him for a few episodes when we started, but we keep expanding it, and he always comes back when he’s available. So, some of where the characters end up will be dictated by availability, but it [also] may be an interesting time for Ian to discover how important Mickey was in his life. It’s that thing that often happens when you’re younger: you have a relationship that’s really difficult and passionate and messy, and then you go away from it and you discover the rest of the world, and sometimes you come back to that first person anyway.

Look, let’s be practical. I love Noel Fisher. LOVE HIM. He has a talent that takes my breath away. He is so good as Mickey Milkovich — his electric chemistry with Cameron Monaghan notwithstanding — that he leaps off the screen. But, he’s a young man with a big future. He’s a Ninja Turtle (and I don’t mean that figuratively); he’s filming the next Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie soon and it looks like it will conflict with Shameless.

And you can moan and cry and gnash your teeth all you want, but if YOU had the chance to make a Hollywood blockbuster, you’d do it too. If Noel can come back and Mickey can be put back into the narrative in a meaningful way, I’ll be at the front of the cheering section, but if he can’t, well, there’s never, ever — EVER — been any sentimentality in Shameless. It’s what we love about it. And it never set out to make you happy.

Here’s the thing: thank Noel and Cam for creating a couple that transcended sexuality, that transcended norms, that showed the world that sometimes what makes you fall in love is finding the person you need to find to find yourself, to find your place in the world, to find out how to understand the world just a little bit. Sometimes it lasts, sometimes it doesn’t, but almost always, it is utterly and completely unforgettable.

“I like the way he smells.”
—Season 4, Episode 11


RECENT OTHER #GALLAVICH POSTS: Team Gallavich          Shamelessly Looking for Something Else

Langford on Soaps: Best Gay TV Characters

Langford on Soaps: Has “My Husband’s Lover” Jumped the Shark? – thebacklot.com, Page 6.

Scroll down the linked page about halfway to get to Anthony’s top ten list. Sometimes when I read his opinions of soaps, it’s like we’re watching two entirely different shows. A wide divergence of opinion — it’s what civilized discourse is all about, Congress. This time out, however, it’s something else entirely.

Eric Sheffer Stevens (l) joined As The World Turns in its last year on the air as Dr. Reid Oliver. His pairing with Van Hansis' Luke divided audiences between those who wanted to see the electric pairing of Stevens and Hansis and those wanting a happy ending for Luke and his former love, Noah, played by Jake Silbermann. Reid Oliver's death was central to the plot of the show's finale, though it did not satisfy many viewers.

Eric Sheffer Stevens (l) joined As The World Turns in its last year on the air as Dr. Reid Oliver. His pairing with Van Hansis’ Luke divided audiences between those who wanted to see the electric pairing of Stevens and Hansis and those wanting a happy ending for Luke and his former love, Noah, played by Jake Silbermann. Reid Oliver’s death was central to the plot of the show’s finale, though it did not satisfy many viewers.

I like his list. I think I would have replaced #s 10, 9, and 5, but other than that, I think he’s onto something.

Like Anthony, I think Reid Oliver and Brendan Brady were, in many ways, some of the most important gay representations we’ve had on television. And, I, too, have a soft spot for John Paul McQueen, Aaron Livesy and Luke Snyder!

The 50 Greatest Gay TV Characters

The 50 Greatest Gay TV Characters.

Courtesy of The Backlot. I did participate in this poll and I’m pleased to see that a few of my recommendations made it in.

I’m particularly pleased about the page linked above, featuring #s 9, 8 and 7 — the delicious fantasy soap opera trio of Sonny Kiriakis, Will Horton and Luke Snyder! Just think about it for a minute!


Freddie Smith as Sonny Kiriakis


Van Hansis as Luke Snyder


Chandler Massey as Will Horton

I also appreciated the inclusion of Justin Bartha’s David Sawyer (The New Normal) at #35, the exceptional Luke McFarlane as the equally exceptional Scotty Wandell (Brothers and Sisters) and two of my favorites from across the pond: #23 Kieron Richardson’s Ste Hay and #12 Emmett J. Scanlan’s Brendan Brady from the UK sudser Hollyoaks.

With few exceptions — #s 1 and 2 while deserving of inclusion, don’t deserve the top spots — I think this is a great list. At least there’s SOME representation out there. We can always use more, but at least it’s not the desert it was in the olden days!