‘The Big Gay Musical’ Creator Fred Caruso Dies in Apparent Suicide

Fred Caruso
Courtesy of Facebook

Fred Caruso, writer and producer best known as the creator of “The Big Gay Musical,” has died in an apparent suicide. He was 41.

His friend, Rick Crom, posted to Facebook on Tuesday to confirm Caruso’s death.

“Fred M. Caruso has left us by his own choice,” Crom wrote. “As an artist Fred was a tortured soul and ultimately that pain took him from us.”

In addition to writing and co-directing “The Big Gay Musical,” a film about two gay aspiring actors, Caruso produced the Off-Broadway musical comedy, “Newsical.” He also wrote and directed the 2011 film “Go Go Crazy.”

Before his death, Caruso apparently wrote and scheduled a note to go live on “The Big Gay Musical” Facebook page. It states that he had been “dealing with ending things for a while.”

“I have nothing left in me to create. I truly don’t think I have any idea what love or happiness is,” he wrote. “I have produced great theatre, movies (two of which I wrote and directed) and I traveled all over the world. I regret nothing especially the choice that I am making now.”

In lieu of a memorial, Caruso requested donations to the Trevor Project, a non-profit suicide hotline for LGBT youth.

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  1. Geraldo Vieira says:

    For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
    Matthew 16:26

  2. It’s evident, you insensitive prick, that you did not know him. I did. For 21 years, I was friends with Fred onstage and off. He was a loyal, caring and kind person. For you to assert that he will not be missed is a curse I can only hope will manifest itself tenfold upon you.

  3. Fred Garvin says:

    You’d think with all the acceptance and the fact that no one care what people are anymore…as long as they don’t infringe on our rights…that they would be much more content and happy…unless the goal was attention all along.

    • Melody Ward says:

      The fact that he was gay doesn’t mean he killed himself because he was gay. He was dealing with depression.

  4. sasintexas says:

    I just find this very sad and feel so much empathy for his loved ones. Lots of people now commit suicide in every segment of society. So many of them could have been prevented if they had sought help as many suffer from severe depression and this is treatable. This man was gay but my family member served 2 tours in Afghanistan and could not get in for help so he to committed suicide. Someone close to him should have known he desperately needed help you can’t hide it when you decide to take your life by then to be honest it’s to late. Sad just sad….

    • Terry says:

      Trust me, people DO effectively hide the extent of their depression and you DON’T always see it coming. Don’t assume facts not in evidence.

  5. Ed M says:

    Pity. Caruso missed the point. Artists are led by their muses. Too bad he made the assessment before the muse whispered to him, again.Great art is communicated out of great pain. The wait was too much for him. Apparently, there were many things he regretted: not knowing what love or happiness is. So, we are left with a false and mixed message.
    Though we cannot celebrate THIS decision, we can still appreciate the work he left us. Hopefully, he finds a better peace across the unknown veil.

  6. justin stark says:

    Clever retort, Bill.

  7. Henry Poetker says:

    How sad. How infinitely sad. “I truly don’t think I have any idea what love or happiness is,” is a truly heartbreaking statement. There is no doubt he enjoyed a lot of creative freedom in this world, including the ultimate freedom to end his life. It is a shame that he did never considered the privilege of partaking in Baptism. In that beautiful ritual one can symbolically kill their ever so disappointing natural identity and then trust God to develop a whole new identity in relationship with his Son Jesus. Christians sympathize with the suicidal precisely because they have been there emotionally and admitted that to God and man. Spiritual rebirth then miraculously becomes possible.

  8. rob says:

    Many of us have listened to Hamlets words. The strings & arrows are fateful.

    • justin stark says:

      Those aren’t “Hamlets words”. You didn’t listen very carefully. No “strings” are referenced.

      As obscure and pointless as your attempted quote would be, Shakespeare’s actual words
      are: “Is it nobler in the mind to suffer the SLINGS and arrows of outrageous fortune or to
      take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them?” Your post is specious.

  9. MrMagooo says:

    I think many have missed the point completely. As an artist, who’s only real outlet for expression is thru creative and/or performance endeavours, he had nothing left in him to create. Artistic people may as well be dead if they can no longer express themselves. Whether he was gay or not is irrelevant. Who he chose to support is also irrelevant.
    Many get stuck with their heads up their ass, judging others with such a self-righteous attitude. I hope they never suffer and have to receive the same vitriol and attacks for decisions they make. Judge not, less ye be judged.
    There is going to be some real horrible stuff happening ahead of us, where society has been systematically deconstructed to create individual people who only concern is for themselves. I hope we see some of better traits of humans, but alas I think we won’t.

    • Maidenusa says:

      While I agree the focus is best on the loss of life rather than categorizing the life, one also must accept that people who have sexual identity disorders have a much higher incidence of suicide because they are mentally ill – not because of anything that anyone has done to them.

      You said something interesting, “where society has been systematically deconstructed to create individual people who only concern is for themselves”… This guy, although probably nice and a good human, did one of the most selfish things a human can do – killed himself. Is he not part of that product of society you’re talking about? Or are you conveniently forgetting his undeniable pathological obsession with himself?

      I mean seriously, I killed myself because I couldn’t find meaning with life, I had nothing else to give? You’re justifying this behavior and blaming society? I can tell you first hand that many people who have untreated depression have NO clue why they are depressed, they can’t focus, they can’t find joy, everyone around them is a part of the problem (even though that’s really not the case), no one can comfort them – this is a problem the man had with himself and his internal chemistry, nothing more and nothing less.

  10. Sean says:

    OK, sad, especially for his parents.

  11. Morton says:

    Shame on you, Variety. Did the man have real troubles that you chose to leave out, or was he just bored? I could understand it if he had to work in a coal mine and he had black lung… but his movies were all he had to give? Seriously? This is not news.

  12. Jeff Wyborski says:

    Lord, have mercy! May the Lord God forgive Fred Caruso any sins he may have committed and grant him eternity in Paradise.

    I don’t know anything about Mr. Caruso. On the larger scale, much of the push to assert special rights for those with LGBT disorders is about self-acceptance. All that God creates is good. Not all that man chooses to do is good. People are good because God created them. Their disorders – whether it be an eating disorder or anything else – are things to control and not things to celebrate.

  13. Silverfawn says:

    Very sad. Clinical depression is very hard to fight without help. Another tragic example of a talented, creative and sucessful person who felt overwhelmed by personal problems and lost hope. My sympathy to those he left behind.

  14. Joe Caruso does not OWE anyone ANYTHING. Whether it be a reason for suicide or the arrogant assbags on here who are tearing him down for doing what he did. None of you know what he was going through. I could list a number of things that were incredibly hurtful to him, that escalated to that moment when all reason is gone and pain, fear take over completely. He did this to stop his pain. He didn’t do this as a “statement” or a chance for “attention”. If any of you feel that he did….you are misguided, pretentious, arrogant and have no understanding of a person’s soul and spirit, nor do you attempt to try to understand. as far as i’m concerned, Caruso is at peace and in a better place. stop kidding yourselves with the “selfish act” crap and open your mind to people’s pain.

  15. Wow…..your insensitivity and bravado is repulsive…..good luck with that

  16. Albert M. says:

    It gets better.

  17. Nanny Mo says:

    It can be hard to be important in a youth culture when your hard body goes. Some would rather ride it hard and fast then face the sunset of oblivion. Either way, prayers for his parents and those who loved him. How sad that he was so self centered that even his death had to be all about him.

  18. William says:


  19. meeester says:

    A suicide suggests donating to a suicide hotline. ….good thinking could have been a whole new world for him to explore.

  20. steven says:

    I wonder how Orlando played into his decision which only happen a few days ago.

  21. Need to find a way to spin this so we can blame right wing Christians who oppose gay marriage and unisex toilets. Their rhetoric caused this, like it caused the Orlando shooting.

  22. dfsaklja says:

    Let me understand this: Guy claiming to be “gay” is so miserable that he commits suicide — but doesn’t regret it. He then asks people to give money to something that’s supposed to help gay people not commit suicide.


    • hank pastal says:

      Neil and Movie Mom:

      There is some confusion here. The idea of wholesale people whom commit suicide not going to heaven is largely a Catholic idea and Catholics ARE NOT Christians. This idea is erroneous because such notion by Catholics include people whom were saved by Jesus Christ, and that salvation is forever.

      That said, people whose sins are not forgiven by Jesus Christ, whether you die of natural or unnatural causes or commit suicide, will NOT inherit the kingdom of God.

  23. BillUSA says:


  24. Rambo says:

    Welcome to the age of nihilism…Its both a blessing and a curse…

  25. rick says:

    Wtf people? Do you really want gays dead? ISIS wants gays dead…

    Listen, if a baker don’t want to make them a wedding cake, he shouldn’t have to and bathrooms should be off limits to the opposite sex regardless of what gender they wish they were. None the less, it’s pretty cold to wish someone dead because they are gay.

    There is another group with a high suicide rate, veterans returning from combat zones. The reasons may be different but the symptoms that cause them to take their own life are the same. They are sick and need help.

    So anyway… Don’t be so freaking mean, that’s ISIS, not Americans. There are plenty of people to direct your anger at and most of them live in Washington DC or on Wall Street. They are the freaking evil incarnate of this society and it suits their purpose to have us Americans at each other’s throats. Think about it.

  26. Jim says:

    Straights, like me, also deal with constantly wanting to die, and not wanting to kill one’s self. The summer after serving in Vietnam (1970) I started sticking a loaded, cocked .38 in my mouth but not being able to pull the trigger. I have undergone therapy off and on ever since and now live a completely isolated life because why would I subject myself on another human being…………….somehow, there remains a faint glimmer that somehow this will change…….

  27. It’s amusing watching all these trolls post their hate for LGBT people and pretend that straight people don’t also kill themselves. It’s almost like they KNOW their form of bigotry is dying out. They’re dinosaurs, their political power is crumbling rapidly, and their only way to fight back is to furiously type away anonymously from dark corners. Type away, trolls. You’ll soon be gone.

    • PB70 says:

      Moral relativists always love it when they think public opinion is on their side – and are always dearly hoping for that to be so. Certainly the truth of a proposition is best determined by how many people believe it, right?

      Gloat for now if you’d like, but the proponents of deviancy will not be laughing on judgement day.

    • Moose says:

      You must not have any idea about the life expectancies of straight people versus gay people. None.

  28. PJ says:

    Has any publication, including Variety, obtained confirmation from a coroner? I don’t doubt it’s true, but it’s odd to see so many publications running this story off a Facebook suicide note without official confirmation.

  29. hank pastal says:

    Peace? Not if the Holy Bible is correct.

  30. Morton says:

    News flash: we all die, one way or another. MOST of us have incredibly hurtful things happen in our lives. If this is all that we need to know about this man, then why print it?

  31. Neil Thielke says:

    Movie Mom, Although some churches teach that “people who commit suicide don’t go to heaven”, there are some serious scriptural warnings about not going “beyond what is written” in Scripture. That’s not in there. We are not to judge a person’s destination in eternity. Furthermore, I am not so sure that your tack is where Jesus would take the discussion at the present time. According to a cursory sniff test, isn’t your comment more along the line of what the Pharisees would have said?

  32. Kt. says:

    When Homosexuality Stopped Being a Mental Disorder
    Not until 1987 did homosexuality completely fall out of the DSM.
    Posted Sep 18, 2015

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