"Lord of the Rings" and "X-Men" star Sir Ian McKellen, 69, revealed he was gay on British radio in 1988 and later said he wished he had come out sooner. He advised others in Hollywood to do the same.
"By the time I came out, I was in my late 40s, and I was fed up with worrying about what other people thought, and confident enough in my career to suspect that it wasn't going to make any difference at all. I was absolutely wrong," he told WENN in 2005. "I became a better actor, and my film career took off in a way that I couldn't have expected. You can't lie about something so central to yourself without harming yourself."
"Doogie Howser, M.D." and "How I Met Your Mother" star Neil Patrick Harris, 35, also made a big splash when he came out of the closet.
"I am happy to dispel any rumors or misconceptions and am quite proud to say that I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest and feel most fortunate to be working with wonderful people in the business I love," he told People magazine in 2006.