Ryan Phillippe Gets Candid on Pioneering One Life to Live Role!

Ryan Phillippe, who played Billy Douglas on One Life to Live.

Superstar Ryan Phillippe portrayed the first teen on daytime to come out of the closet as gay.

Looking Back

Phillippe commented on how the part of Billy helped lay the groundwork for other gay characters and storylines on television. “I realize it now, certainly,” he said. “At the time I was 17. There had never been a gay teenager portrayed on television at that point. It was before Will and Grace, and before Ellen came out, it’s before any of that stuff.” See the full vi

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The role provoked positive reactions from fans. “I remember the fan mail that we would get, my mother and I would get, from gay teenagers or from parents of gay teenagers who found a way in to relate or talk to their child through the show,” he said.

A Soap First

Ryan Phillippe began his career before achieving movie and television stardom playing the part of teen Billy Douglas on One Life to Live from 1992-93.

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His comments are particularly fitting as June is LGBTQ Pride Month. Phillippe, who stars in the horror flick Wish Upon, to be released on July 14, told TooFab that the soap role is something that he considers an honor to have played. See the full interview video below. But first read on!

See a gallery from Phillippe’s OLTL days!

An Appreciation for the Role

Phillippe, who’s graced the screens in hits such as I Know What You Did Last Summer, Cruel Intentions and other prominent movie and television shows, realizes that the role of Billy was a pivotal one.

“Entertainment media can do those things, it can make people think differently or see a different side of something and I do remember and appreciate that – even back then when I was only a teenager myself,” the actor said.

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He added, “But in terms of the larger view, I didn’t have a full understanding of how important it could have been. But I am proud to have done it, I’m proud that that’s something I can say was part of my career.”

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Christine is a native New Yorker and freelance writer who now lives in southwestern Connecticut. She is a longtime, avid soap fan who has always had an affinity for ABC soaps, in particular her favorite, General Hospital. (She will even tell you she sleeps, eats and breathes that soap!) She is passionate about the soap genre, and in addition she enjoys traveling, attending plays and musicals, reading biographies and various pursuits in between. She was a political science/history major, English minor and has published a book of paranormal short stories under her nom de plume, Prudence MacGregor.

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