In 1993 he was fired from As the World Turns after the news surfaced in the National Enquirer that he was HIV-positive. Since then, Breen has stayed mostly out of the public eye, other than a 1997 story in the The New York Times when he was living an AIDS hospice, and despite his marriage in 2006 to country music singer Carlene Carter.
Breen is now working on telling his story in the film Wounded Eagle Flying. He introduces the project with the following:
My name is Joseph Breen, and I was born in Westchester, NY in 1958. I'm an actor and a singer, a father and a husband, a brother and a son, and a man living with AIDS.
Before my diagnosis I had much success working in television in NYC, including starring roles in three different daytime soap operas, and also singing and acting in the theater world. Then my story took a dramatic turn when I became infected with the HIV/AIDS virus. My life, my entire world, changed forever.
Thirty years on, I'm asking and reflecting on how I got from there to here, how I can make sense of the lost years. Mine is a story of survival which I'd like to share so that others can take heart and know that even wounded eagles can learn to fly again.
On this site you'll find a short video which will put you on the inside of my journey of survival -- from diagnosis to learning how to paraglide off the Alps. Yes, paraglide off the Alps! And a proposal of what the full-length documentary, when complete, will reveal not only about my journey with this illness, first hand, but also my journey back to gratitude.
My intention is to 'fly high' above my fears and illusions about illness, about life and about death, and to share my story with others.
To find out more about Wounded Eagle Flying or to donate, visit http://www.woundedeagleflying.com. You can watch trailer here (use password shalamar).