Danny Pintauro, who is best known for his role in the 80s sitcom Who’s the Boss, has revealed he is HIV positive. The startling revelation was made during a segment of Oprah Winfrey’s Oprah: Where Are They Now, which aired on Saturday evening.
During the interview, the former child actor confessed he was diagnosed in 2003. However, he chose to keep the news to himself — as he simply was not ready to go public with the diagnosis.
— Kristina V. (@kristvav) September 28, 2015
A native of New Brunswick, New Jersey, Danny Pintauro made his television debut at the age of 3 with a regular role on the popular soap opera As the World Turns. In 1983, he made his big screen debut when he was cast as Tad Trenton in the Stephen King classic Cujo.
Although he also appeared in several other television programs and films, Pintauro is best known for his appearance in Who’s the Boss. From 1984 to 1993, the young actor portrayed Jonathan Bower alongside Tony Danza, who played the family’s live-in housekeeper, and Alyssa Milano, who played Tony’s daughter.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) September 27, 2015
As reported by IMDb, the critically acclaimed sitcom won numerous awards, including a Golden Globe and a Primetime Emmy Award. Danny Pintauro also won a Young Artist Award for Exceptional Performance by a Young Actor in a Television Comedy Series for his portrayal of Jonathan Bower.
Although Who’s the Boss was a great success, Danny Pintauro struggled to find work after its cancellation. With the exception of a few minor roles, the young man’s acting career essentially ended in the late 1990s.
In 1997, the National Enquirer published an article claiming the former child actor is gay. Although he admitted the reports were indeed true, Pintauro said he “was outed” by the tabloid against his wishes.
Six years later, the actor was diagnosed with HIV. During his interview with Oprah, Pintauro said he was unaware he was ill. However, the infection was discovered during a routine medical exam and blood work.
Although he was stunned to receive the diagnosis, the young actor said he knew “exactly when it happened.”
Danny Pintauro admitted using crystal meth in the months prior to the diagnosis. In his own words, the drugs lowered his “inhibitions” and gave him a false sense of security.
“I had just come out of a two-year relationship… I wanted to explore sexually… if you want to explore that adventurous side, taking the drug is going to put you there. I was experimenting. And believe it or not, I thought that I was being safe in that encounter.”
Although it was difficult to discuss the diagnosis, the former child actor hopes his story will encourage the LGBT community to pay closer attention to their health.
Danny Pintauro currently resides in Las Vegas with his husband, Wil Tabares.
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As reported by E! Online, the couple dated for two years prior to their April 2014 marriage. During an exclusive interview, Pintauro said the Dana Point, California, wedding was “a dream come true.”
Pintauro and his fiance were engaged in 2013. However, they agreed not to marry until California’s Proposition 8 was overturned.
The former child actor said he and Tabares were both grateful that the Proposition was overturned, thereby allowing them to legally marry. They were also thankful for the support of their friends and family who attended the beach wedding.
Danny Pintauro admits the HIV diagnosis was devastating. However, he remains positive about his future. As reported by USA Today, he and Tabares, who is a restaurant manager, hope to open and run their own bed and breakfast.
[Image via Amanda Edwards/Getty Images]