On Sesame Street, as Mr. Noodle, he held his own against Elmo. He won an Emmy for Evening Shade and a Tony (saving the show) for Grand Hotel. But never was the ingenious Michael Jeter—who died unexpectedly March 30 at 52—more affecting than on Entertainment Tonight. In 1997 he told the show’s Jann Carl that he had HIV. Jeter, a veteran AIDS fund-raiser, later recalled, “I was scared the moment I said it. I thought, ‘Am I going to work again?’ Frankly, it feels good not to carry the secret anymore.” He did work again—constantly. His magical misfits included a homeless PWA with a killer Ethel Merman impression in The Fisher King and a death-row inmate in The Green Mile. He appeared on the January 1998 cover of POZ and famously stripped at a GLAAD gala. Jeter “went public as a celebrity living with AIDS,” TV Cares’ David Michaels said. “That did more to open the closet…and I don’t mean in the gay sense.”