Joseph admits to being both a recovering alcoholic and a [former] sex addict, who spent much of his marriage hiding his unfaithfulness.
For 9 months in 1996 Joseph resided at New York's Rivington House on the Lower East Side. He described the facility as "a nursing home for people with AIDS." While there, Breen's health hit rock bottom, but he managed to bounce back thanks to "his faith."
In the 90s Joseph began working on his autobiography, entitled Between the Lines: Real Life by Joe Breen. He says he wrote it as part of his healing process and to tell people not to go down the same road he did.
In 1997, Joseph auditioned to be a replacement for the Broadway cast of Chicago. He didn't get the job but says being able to auditioned helped him to "swing back toward life."
In December 1992, the National Enquirer revealed Joseph's HIV status to the world. He had managed to keep it a secret for 7 years, most notably from his co-stars on Guiding Light, Loving, and As the World Turns. As a result, Breen was fired from ATWT in June 1993.
Joseph says that there were several scenes that he had to do with Michelle Forbes, as "Will" and "Sonni" on Guiding Light, that they both found humiliating. One of which included him being handcuffed to a bed while she pranced around in a miniskirt and leather boots.
Joseph is a huge fan of country music. He also enjoys writing, gardening and carpentry.
In 1984, Joseph played the part of "Jean-Michael" in the Broadway L.A. production of La Cage aux Folles.
Joseph admits that before he was cast as "Will" on Guiding Light he had never watched a soap opera nor had he ever thought he'd appear on one.
Joseph met his first wife, Eileen, while he was attending Juilliard. At the time she was working as a waitress at a restaurant where he would go after his classes.
Joseph received a football scholarship to college but instead he chose to study music at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio.
Joseph has been nominated for 4 Soap Opera Digest Awards. In both 1989 and 1990 in the category of "Outstanding Villain: Daytime" for his work on Guiding Light. In 1993 he was nominated for two different roles, both in the category of "Outstanding Lead Actor" for his roles on Loving and As The World Turns.
Joseph is 6'1" with brown hair and hazel eyes.
Joseph's parents got divorced when he was 12 years old. Later that same year he became interested in singing thanks to a chance meeting with an Opera singer named Robert Brownstone.
In 1986, Joe learned he was HIV-positive after he donated his rare O-negative blood to a blood bank.
Joseph: I believe that when you live in fear of something it kind of self-creates in your life.
Joseph: (on his Guiding Light character) The real interesting part of Will to me is although daytime audiences supposedly hate bad guys, I never got a piece of bad fan mail. I'd get things like, 'You're so bad we love you,' or 'You hate Josh Lewis, well, so do we!' Everybody identified with the character. I was surprised because I wasn't going for that.
Joseph: My friends used to say, 'Face it, you have a great voice, but you are a terrible actor.' Well, I was!
Joseph: (on his upbringing) I come from a real Irish-Catholic family - six kids. I was the class clown [of the family], the one that cracked everyone up.