Gay Actor Ben Piazza
Compared to the young Marlon Brando, Piazza began acting in 1952 during his college days at Princeton University. He was accepted as a member of New York’s famed Actors Studio and made his professional debut off-Broadway in 1956. Ben made his Broadway debut in 1958 in Winesburg, Ohio, a play penned by Sherwood Anderson.
On television, he had recurring roles in two prime-time soaps, Dallas and Dynasty; as well, he played a supportive doctor in the coming-out TV movie Consenting Adult.
His big-screen credits included The Bad News Bears (1976), The Blues Brothers (1980), and Mask (1985), and his final feature film was the blacklist drama Guilty by Suspicion (1991), portraying Hollywood mogul Darryl F. Zanuck.
Ben Piazza died of AIDS-related cancer at the age of 57 in Sherman Oaks, California, and is buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery.
In this film clip Piazza plays Mr. Simms, the high school principal in Mask, starring Cher and Eric Stoltz: