Harvey Fierstein is an American actor, playwright, and screenwriter, known for his distinctive gravelly voice. He is best known for his theater work in Torch Song Trilogy and Hairspray and film roles in Mrs. Doubtfire, Independence Day, and as the voice of Yao in Mulan and Mulan II. Fierstein won two Tony Awards, Best Actor in a Play and Best Play, for Torch Song Trilogy.
Fierstein was born in Brooklyn, New York City, into a strict Jewish family. He graduated from the Pratt Institute with a bachelor of fine arts degree in 1973. He began his career as a drag performer in New York City, and in 1978, he wrote and performed in the one-man show Torch Song Trilogy, which was a critical and commercial success.
Fierstein went on to write several other plays, including La Cage aux Folles, which won the Tony Award for Best Play in 1984. He has also written screenplays for several films, including Mrs. Doubtfire and Independence Day.
Fierstein is an outspoken advocate for gay rights. He was one of the first openly gay actors to achieve mainstream success, and he has used his platform to promote equality and acceptance for LGBTQ people.
In 2003, Fierstein was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. He is a recipient of the Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, and the GLAAD Media Award.