Everything We Know About Barry Manilow’s Longtime Husband Garry Kief
Just last night, Barry Manilow hit the stage for his very own concert special, A Very Barry Christmas, and wowed crowds with his timeless voice. Manilow has been performing his hit songs for decades and has over 50 Top 40 Adult Contemporary Chart singles. While he’s been thrust into mainstream culture, he kept his personal life quite private for many years. In 1964, he married his high school sweetheart, Susan Deixler when he was just 20 years old. The marriage only lasted a year, because Manilow admitted that he loved her but he was just not ready for marriage and commitment amid his growing career.
He once called her “the perfect wife” and said at the time, he wasn’t struggling with his sexuality yet. Deixler once said, “I wish him well. I’m happy for him. I’m glad that he’s found love and happiness. What happened between us, our relationship, is ancient history and I don’t want to dig back into ancient history. It’s 50 years ago. You have to remember that I’m not a celebrity. I have children, a life…all that was a long time ago. I’m a private person but I’m happy for him. I really am.”
A little over a decade after their marriage dissolved, Manilow met Garry Kief and knew pretty quickly that he was the one. Kief became his manager and the two started a love affair that they kept quiet for many years. Manilow shared about their meeting in 1978, “I knew that this was it. I was one of the lucky ones. I was pretty lonely before that. … Garry didn’t know what I did, even though I had all these records out. He was a guy, and I was a guy, so we could just deal with each other like two normal people, not like a superstar and a person.”
After being together for so many years, they finally got married in 2014 and made their relationship public in 2017. Manilow had not revealed his sexuality because he worried it would hurt his career as he mostly had female fans. However, when he opened up, most of his fan base was very supportive and his career never slowed down. In addition to talking about his marriage to Kief, he talked about raising a daughter together. When they met, Kief already had a one-year-old daughter named Kristen.
Manilow added, “Garry and I have been together going on 40 years, and we raised a daughter. She turned out to be a great, beautiful girl … Our relationship and my being gay — I’ve always been a proud gay man. I’ve always been very proud of Garry and I.”