Given his years of using the old ‘I don’t talk about my personal life’ line, it should come as no surprise that Frasier actor David Hyde Pierce’s first official declaration that he’s gay was not by press release or calculated announcement, but via a sly name drop that named the Emmy winning star’s partner.

In an interview with CNN.com to promote his Tony-nominated turn in the Broadway musical Curtains, the journalist makes reference to Pierce’s partner Brian Hargrove, an actor-writer-producer he relocated to Los Angeles with when Hargrove wanted to give writing for television a shot.

The mention is buried a good twelve paragraphs into the story-in fact, it’s so casual, editors at AfterElton.com contacted Pierce’s representation to confirm it wasn’t just a misprint.

A spokesperson for Pierce confirmed that Hargrove is indeed Pierce’s life partner.

Pierce rose to fame as the snippy, uptight Niles, brother to Dr. Fraiser Crane on the hugely successful Cheers spin-off.

For his work on the show, Pierce was awarded an astounding four Emmy’s and nominated each of the 11 years the show was on the year.

Since the show left television in 2004, Pierce has found a second home on the stage, including a run in Spamalot and his current Tony nominated performance.

In a recent Out Magazine article questioning the need for obviously gay actors to live their lives in a glass closet, Pierce was essentially outed by Village Voice columnist Michael Musto.

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