Music theater star Gideon dead at 52

May 10, 2009 at 3:05 PM

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif., May 10 (UPI) -- U.S. actor Steve Gideon, likely known best for creating the first authorized gay rendition of "Marry Me a Little," is dead at age 52, his companion says.

Gideon's longtime companion, Bernard Vyzga, confirmed the musical theater actor died of complications from colon cancer in West Hollywood, Calif., on May 1, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

Gideon earned notoriety in 1999 when he tabbed two men instead of a man and a woman as the romantic couple for his authorized version of composer Stephen Sondheim's "Marry."

"The concept of romantic love is so much a part of gay culture, I thought, why not put two men in it," Gideon said in an interview that same year. "I never thought Sondheim would allow us to do it."

Gideon also released a 1995 album, "Feels Like Home," and took part in a touring revue of the musical "The All Night Strut!" starting in 1979, the Times said.

The newspaper said in addition to Vyzga, Gideon is survived by his father, Luby Hayes; his sister, Pam Poole, and his brother, Ronald.

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