Former Mad Men star Bryan Batt has said that some gay actors have to choose between honesty and success.

The actor, who has been with his partner Tom Cianfichi for 21 years, said that the public does not always accept out gay stars.

He told the Huffington Post: “If you are openly gay, the masses can be asses and sometimes can’t get past the fact that that’s how someone lives their private life.

“Some actors have to make a choice. If they have the opportunity to become these huge megastars, making millions and millions of dollars and have to live a lie, that’s a choice they have to make. Not that I would ever be a big star, but I just had to live my life the way I saw fit.”

Batt played closetted character Salvatore Romano in Mad Men and added that the children of men of that era routinely tell him: “My dad was Sal”.

He also scuppered rumours that he and Cianfichi were planning to marry in Vermont, saying: “I’m not gonna haul my cookies to another state to enjoy a right that should be enjoyed in all states.

“My minister told me after Prop 8 that [marriage equality] was going to happen, but unfortunately a generation has to go before it does. There are still people alive who opposed the civil rights movement. We’re on the right path.”