Last summer, Sharon Gless resurrected her popular Debbie Novotny character (the mother of Hal Sparks’ Michael) from Showtime’s Queer as Folk.
Gless is a big supporter of LGBT equal rights and was asked to take part in the ‘R’ Family Cruise by her friend, Rose O’Donnell. O’Donnell was a big fan of Queer as Folk during its five year run and even appeared in three episodes as Loretta Pye, a lesbian who developed a crush on Debbie.
On a reunion interview that was included on the Queer as Folk complete series DVD set, Gless said that she felt intimidated when she was asked to sit on a political panel on the cruise. The actress ultimately agreed though, but on the condition that she could do it in character, as outspoken mom Debbie. O’Donnell as all for it and the audience was very receptive.
Gless reflected, “It was such an eye-opener for me. And, I totally stayed in character, said I was from Pittsburgh… started saying “f**king every other word so everybody knew ‘It really is Debbie! Oh, my God!’ but I opened and I closed my statement with one of [Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman’s] lines. I used the lines that I could remember. And I said, ‘Honey, it’s all about love. Genitalia is just God’s way of accessorizing.”