1940-02-07

GARY BOND was an English actor and singer born on this date (d: 1995). He is known for originating the role Joseph in Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, his performances in several high-profile West End plays and musicals, and his portrayal of protagonist John Grant in the 1971 cult Australian film Wake in Fright.

Within the theatrical profession, Bond was openly gay and from 1969 to 1976 was the partner of actor Jeremy Brett. In Garry O’Connor’s 2019 biography of Iam McKellen he mentions that the two were in a relationship early in both of their careers, but came to an end in 1972 when Bond was about to open in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

In the same biography a former lover of Bond said that “he was part of one of the first relatively out [gay] couples with Jeremy Brett, but theirs was an on-ff liaison which lasted for years…Bond was irresistable, with an easy warmth of manner, wonderful humor and sometimes a wicked sense of fun. He was divine, lovely and wonderful in bed.” Agent David Graham mentions in his book Casting About: a Memoir that, “Had it been within my power to choose Gary Bond would have become my life’s companion. When ‘Chips With Everything was brought to New York (1963), he was among the original British cast came with it. Ashely-Steiner had been asked by his agent to represent him, and I was the lucky bloke assigned to look after him. Young, blonde and handsome he struck me as the most beautiful man I had ever seen. One Saturday afternoon between performances Gary came to my apartment for a drink and a snack. We ended up in bed together and I was completely smitten. It was only afterwards I learned he was in a relationship with Jeremy at the time.”

From 1979 he lived with American artist and illustrator E.J. Taylor, following their initial meeting in Fire Island, New York, later moving to Barnses and then Ealing , London.

Bond died of AIDS related causes in October 1995 in Ealing Hospital, London at the age of 55 (exactly one month after Jeremy Brett’s death). Upon his death he had been with his partner, E.J. Taylor, for sixteen years.