Gaga over Gless: Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival honors movie, TV star Sharon Gless

Sharon Gless, the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actress, will be honored at this year's 12th annual Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.

Steve Rothaus writes:
Lesbians have loved Sharon Gless since her breakthrough role as detective Christine Cagney on the hit '80s cop drama, Cagney & Lacey.

And gay men love Gless like a mother since her portrayal 20 years later as the supportive mom on Queer as Folk.

Gless' new film, Hannah Free, has its South Florida premiere Saturday night at the film festival, which opens Friday and runs through May 2.

The movie -- followed by a reception with Gless -- marks the first time the actress actually plays a lesbian.

"Yes, sadly,'' says Gless, 66, a longtime gay ally who last week was a grand marshal at the annual Miami Beach Gay Pride parade.

"Years ago, I wanted to play a lesbian. Just a woman who's a lesbian living in a straight world.''

Sorry, women, Chris Cagney was not gay.

"Cagney drew the lesbian audience,'' Gless says. "She was single. She never could make a relationship work. Mainly because she was alcoholic. She was a complex, tortured person.''

"To this day, a lot of people think I'm gay. It's fine with me,'' she says. "I finally got down a pat answer. 'No, I'm not gay. I'm just festive!' '' READ MORE

ABOUT THE MIAMI GAY & LESBIAN FILM FESTIVAL
Presented by HBO, annual event showcases films from around the world with historical and contemporary perspectives on the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience. Includes awards ceremonies, panels, parties, live comedy show and appearances by members of the film community; Friday through May 2; $12 unless otherwise noted. Packages available at website for MGLFF members. 305-534-9924 or www.mglff.com or see full description of films at www.MiamiHerald.com in Calendar by searching the category of Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

VENUES
Florida International University-Biscayne Bay Campus,
3000 NE 151st St., North Miami. 305-919-5500; in the Mary Ann Wolfe Theater; FIU.
Gusman Center, 174 E. Flagler St., Miami. 305-374-2444. GUSMAN.
Regal South Beach Cinema, 1100 Lincoln Rd., South Beach. 305-674-6766. REGAL.
Tower Theater, 1508 SW Eighth St., Little Havana. 305-237-3456. TOWER.

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