Was Troy Donahue Gay? Sorting Fact from Fiction About His Sexual Identity

Was Troy Donahue Gay? American actor Troy Donahue rose to fame in the 1950s and 1960s thanks to his stunning looks and supporting roles in blockbuster films like “A Summer Place” and “Parrish.” While many women found him attractive when he was popular, questions have been raised about his sexuality, with some even wondering if he was gay.

In this post, we’ll investigate the claims made about Troy Donahue’s sexual orientation in an effort to set the record straight.

Who Was Troy Donahue?

American actor Troy Donahue, whose real name was Merle Johnson Jr., was born on January 27, 1936, in New York City. He started out as a model before making his acting debut in the 1957 film “Man Afraid.”

Donahue became an adolescent heartthrob in the 1950s and 1960s, and his profile swiftly climbed. He starred in a number of films, including “A Summer Place,” “Parrish,” and “Rome Adventure.”

Donahue was a frequent TV guest star, making appearances on shows including “Hawaiian Eye” and “Surfside 6.” In the 1970s, however, his career began to suffer, and he also began to have difficulties with alcoholism and money.

Despite the ups and downs of his career, Troy Donahue is remembered fondly as a cultural icon of the 1950s and 1960s.

Troy Donahue Career

After Troy moved to Hollywood, director James Sheldon, and producer William Asher saw him in a diner and set up a screen test for him. But it didn’t work out. Later, Troy was in a car crash, which was sad. Actress Fran Bennett then put him in touch with Henry Wilson. He changed his name after that.

Was Troy Donahue Gay?

In October 1956, Troy signed a deal with Universal Studios. But they had to go a long way. Even though a big company gave him a chance, he only got small parts in movies. In 1958, the movie Live Fast, Die Young gave him a slightly bigger part.

Was Troy Donahue Gay?

Several Sites Claim, Troy Donahue was not gay. Troy Donahue’s sexuality was a source of much controversy throughout his career, which he built slowly but steadily despite the attention it garnered. Many people assumed that Troy Donahue was gay. He was in his 80s when the rumors started.

Troy denied the claims that he was gay as well. He got married four times and gave off no gay vibes. He wed Suzanne Pleshette in 1964, but they split up nine months later. Troy married fellow actress Valerie Allen a few years later, but they’ve been divorced for a while now.

In November of 1969, he wed executive secretary Alma Sharpe for the third time, convinced that she was the only one who could properly care for him. However, they split up in 1972, and by 1979 he was married to real estate developer Vicki Taylor; the couple divorced in 1981.

Troy spent his final years in a committed partnership with Zheng Cao. But until he saw his ex-wife, he had no idea he had a son. The news that he had a son named Sean came as a shock. Finally, the rumor that Troy Donahue is a lesbian can be put to rest. In reality, another Hollywood actor mistook him for someone else.

Read More: Was Harry Belafonte Gay? Separating Myth from Reality

Troy Donahue Love Life (Wives & Son)

Donahue had one son, Sean, after four marriages. He wed Suzanne Pleshette, an actress he had co-starred with twice, in his previous marriage. They tied the knot on January 5, 1964, in Beverly Hills, and eventually produced a daughter named Janine, who was adopted.

Donahue wed actress Valerie Allen on October 21, 1966, in Dublin. They split up in April of 1967, and in April of 1968, she filed for divorce, accusing him of cruelty; the divorce was finalized in November of that year.

Was Troy Donahue Gay?

Donahue wed his executive secretary Alma Sharpe for the third time. They tied the knot in Roanoke, Virginia on November 15th, 1969. He explains that he needed his pal to look out for him because he was unable of caring for himself. The couple split up in 1972. The real estate investor Vicki Taylor was Donahue’s fourth and final wife. Their 1979 wedding ended in a 1981 divorce.

Donahue spent the last years of his life with mezzo-soprano Zheng Cao, with whom he shared a home in Santa Monica, California, and was engaged. In 1969, Donahue fathered a son, Sean, with a lady with whom he had only a fleeting relationship. In the early 1980s, he ran across the woman again and learned about the son for the first time. In 1984, he said he recalled:


Is Troy Donahue Still Alive?

Trojan Donahue passed away in September of 2001. He became famous as a teen heartthrob in the 1950s and 1960s. In a hospital in California, Troy passed away.

Due to a heart attack, he was deemed unfit to continue. Despite the surprising success of the emergency angioplasty, he eventually suffered another cardiac arrest.

In addition, Troy had to avoid an operation. No matter how hard he tried, he ultimately died. Fans continued to speculate years after his death about whether or not Troy Donahue secretly dated males due to their continued confusion regarding his sexuality. In any case, Troy Donahue wasn’t a homosexual.


Troy Donahue was an adolescent heartthrob in the 1950s and 1960s, but his career suffered in the 1970s. He denied the claims that he was gay and was married four times.

Troy Donahue had four marriages, including Suzanne Pleshette, Valerie Allen, Alma Sharpe, Vicki Taylor, and Zheng Cao. After his death in 2001, fans speculated he secretly dated males, but he was not a homosexual.

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