Actor Billy Porter added a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Thursday to his honors, which include an Emmy, Grammy and two Tony awards.
“What a very, very special moment,” Porter told the crowd at the ceremony, which was held at 6201 Hollywood Blvd., near the Pantages Theatre.
“… I heard a lot of things in my life: `You’re too Black, you’re too gay, too loud, too extra, too flamboyant. Homosexuality is an abomination. You are an abomination, you will never be blessed,”‘ he said. “Well, we know that’s a lie. That theory no longer has any credibility, bitches. `Try to be quieter, try fitting in, butch it up, dim your light, stop making everybody feel so uncomfortable around you.’ I tried doing all those things … but thank God I couldn’t. … My dreams were too big to be contained. My dreams have always been big, huge even.”
Porter was joined at the ceremony by his sister Mary Martha Ford and his manager Bill Butler. The star is in the category of live performance/live theatre.
The star is the 2,741st since the completion of the Walk of Fame in 1961 with the first 1,558 stars.
Porter was born Sept. 21, 1969, in Pittsburgh. As a young boy growing up in the city he was seen as different and didn’t fit in. At 5 years old, he was sent to therapy to “fix” his effeminacy. He was endlessly bullied at school, sexually abused by his stepfather and criticized at his church.
Porter’s first theatrical experience came when he was in sixth grade at Reizenstein Middle School in Pittsburgh, joining its Reizenstein Musical Theatre after-school program, making his acting debut by playing Gus Fielding in its production of the Rodgers and Hart coming-of-age musical comedy “Babes in Arms.”
Porter’s first paying job as a performer came in the summer of 1985 performing at the Kennywood Park amusement park in the Pittsburgh suburb of West Mifflin.
Porter was the 1992 “Star Search” male vocalist grand champion, winning $100,000.
After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University, Porter was an understudy in the 1992-93 Broadway musical, “Five Guys Named Moe.” Porter portrayed Teen Angel in the 1994-98 Broadway revival of “Grease.”
Porter won the Tony for best performance by an actor in a leading role in a musical in 2013 for his role as the cabaret performer and drag queen Lola in “Kinky Boots.”
Porter received a second Tony in June as a producer of “A Strange Loop,” which won for best musical.
Porter’s other Broadway credits include “Miss Saigon” and “Smokey Joe’s Cafe.”
Porter’s Grammy came for the cast album of “Kinky Boots.”
Porter won the Primetime Emmy Award for outstanding lead actor in a drama series in 2019, for his portrayal of Pray Tell, an aspiring fashion designer and master of ceremonies in the first season of “Pose.” Porter was the first openly gay Black man to be nominated and win in any lead acting category.
Porter was also nominated for the role in each of the final two seasons of the FX drama spotlighting the legends, icons and ferocious house mothers of New York’s underground ball culture.