Monday, January 7, 2013

Dearie Awards 2012: Man of the Year

For years it has been an open secret that Anderson Cooper, the multiple Emmy Award-winning "silver fox" of CNN and son of fashion icon Gloria Vanderbilt, was gay. Subtle on-air comments, palling around with Kathy Griffin, and his own self-described "addiction" to reality shows like the Real Housewives only fueled the speculation. And let's not forget that giggle. So when Cooper finally, officially came out last summer, it was not that big a surprise for most people. The bigger surprise was that, once his daytime talk show Anderson Live resumed in the fall, we had a new Anderson. More relaxed and open and funny, Cooper now frequently comments about being gay and even makes jokes that he certainly would have suppressed only a year ago. Regrettably, this second season of his talk show will be its last, but there is no doubt that the man who has been called "the most prominent openly gay journalist on American television" will continue to enlighten, inform and entertain.

Honorable Mention: Matthew McConaughey
Few would have guessed, back when he was Hollywood's new "It Boy" in the mid-90's, that Matthew McConaughey would turn into one of the great character actors of our time.  In 2012 alone, he played hotshot lawyer Danny Buck Davidson in Bernie, Texas hitman-for-hire Killer Joe Cooper, scruffy fugitive Mud, closeted gay reporter Ward Jansen in The Paperboy and, most notoriously, Dallas, the sexually-ambiguous proprietor of the all-male strip club in Magic Mike.  And, with critics awards and Oscar talk for the latter, the former "Sexiest Man Alive" could also turn into something else unexpected: an Academy Award winner.

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