ACTOR Thom Bierdz’ return to reprise his starring role on the daytime soap opera The Young & the Restless sounds like something out of—well, it sounds like something that could only happen on a daytime soap opera.
Bierdz first landed the role of Phillip Chancellor III at the age of 24, playing the character from 1986 to ’89. His character was written off the show as an untimely death. What’s priceless is the comeback: in order to have Bierdz return (which he did for three seasons beginning in 2009), the audience would learn that Chancellor faked his own death, as he couldn’t deal with telling his family that he was in fact gay. Thus the once-closeted Bierdz was able to reprise his role, coming out in Hollywood at the same time his fictional character was on the highly-rated daytime soap. It was a zany twist, and it was also a first in daytime soap history.
The anecdotes about Bierdz’ adventures in daytime are just some of the stories he unleashes in his everything-including-the-kitchen-sink memoir, Young, Gay & Restless: My Scandalous On-Screen & Off-Screen Sexual Liberations. The 398-page, self-published tome includes numerous tales of sexual hookups (some hot, others just unfortunate), family trauma (his mentally-ill brother murdered their mother), personal anguish (he was sexually assaulted) and career turmoil (he did work as an actor for decades in the notoriously unforgiving town of Hollywood).
Matthew Hays is a frequent G&LR contributor.