Star Wars actor Billy Dee Williams attended ‘secret gay opera parties’ in the 1970s

Star Wars legend Billy Dee Williams has spoken about the rumours that circulated about his sexuality when he was at the height of his career.

In a candid interview with Page Six, Williams – who plays the iconic character Lando Calrissian – said: “I’ve been called a closet queen, but I don’t pay much attention to any of that.”

Williams added that he was comfortable hanging out with members of the LGBTQ+ community and attended secret gay parties at the Metropolitan Opera while working his way up in the industry in the Seventies.

“It all seemed very normal to me. I was around it all of my life, so I never really gave it much thought,” he said.

The star, who first played smuggler-turned-settlement-leader Lando Calrissian in the second film in George Lucas’ epic sci-fi series, The Empire Strikes Back (1980), has previously said that, while he identifies as a straight man, he has no problem getting in touch with his feminine side.

He referred to psychiatrist Carl Jung’s theory of “anima animus” within consciousness, saying: “Anima means the female counterpart of the male self, and the animus is the male counterpart of the female.

“I’m not gay by any stretch of the imagination, not that I have anything against gay people. But personally? Not gay,” he added.

Williams was actually quite well-known as a ladies man and often unfaithful. The actor recently released his memoir, What Have We Here?: Portraits of a Life, in which he opened up about his infidelity.

He told People magazine that he was a hopeless romantic and often fell in love. “I’m intrigued with strong women, obviously that gets me in trouble,” he said.

The star has been married three times and characterised himself as “a philanderer” and has been candid about how his cheating led to marriage failures.

Williams, 86, went on to star in Return of the Jedi (1981) before reappearing in The Rise of Skywalker (2019), as well as appearing as Harvey Dent – opposite Michael Keaton – in 1989’s Batman and voicing the same character almost 30 years later in The Lego Batman Movie.

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