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Carl Horvath is a recurring character in the Showtime drama series Queer as Folk, he is a detective and the on again off again boyfriend of Debbie Novotny. During the final seasons, the two decide to live as a common law arranged couple.

Appearance & Personality[]

Carl is a stocky, middle-aged Caucasian male detective with a matured look. From his many years in the police force, His cynical expressions shadow a once youthful, attractive justice-determined vigilant young man that he once was.

As the series progresses, he grows from a certain ignorance to actively protecting the LGBTQ community due to his undying love for Debbie. He makes a cynical remark after Jason Kemp is found dead and indirectly challenges Debbie's determined streak. Her tenacity and determination reminded him why he initially became a police officer. From her, his acceptance of the LGBTQ community grew and he found more purpose in his career as a detective. He witnesses the Hate crimes with the community. He becomes much like Debbie is on the LGBTQ community, but over officers in his precinct as more officers choose to dine at the liberty diner.


Season Two[]

Debbie discovers a dead male prostitute in the garbage bin behind the diner where she works and calls the police meeting Carl Horvath for the first time. Debbie attempts to find out his name, actually beating the police force in discovering it. Carl is impressed of her determination and tenacity.

From her brother's advice after initially declining his invitation to dinner, she begins to date Carl. After her date, she comes home to Michael upset having gone out with him because he felt he was homophobic. She reminds him that she looked out after him all of life and she deserved to go out every once and a while on a date. Later, Michael and his friends were pulled over and arrested from Michael embittered by police. Carl bails them out and Michael confronts him on his mother. He tells Michael that he likes his mother and he simply doesn't understand homosexuality.

Debbie continues to see Carl, however, still distant. After losing a bowling game to his colleagues in the police force, she finally lets her guard down and kisses him while they were at Woody's. They became more intimate later series.

Season Three[]

From Debbie being outspoken about LGBTQ rights, it has gotten Carl into trouble at the precinct; especially concerning Jim Stock well's campaign.

Brian gives them to Detective Carl Horvath which he tests the semen and saying that it is a match between those found inside Jason Kemp and the condom. Despite the proof linking the semen found in Jason and the condom, Carl deems it's still not enough. Carl later goes to attempt bring him in for questioning, but found that he has washed his car and shot himself in the head.

Season Four[]

At the end of the fourth season, Debbie's on-and-off boyfriend, Detective Carl Horvath, asks her to marry him, and she accepts. However, she later tells him she cannot marry him, not as long as Michael and Ben cannot legally marry in the US. So, they decide to live together for the remainder of the series.



  • High School Graduate (Pre Story)
  • Police Officer (formerly)
  • Detective


Debbie Novotny[]

At first, they were at odds when first meeting. He regards her as nosy and a loud mouth while she regarded him as bigoted prick. Debbie's strong personality and family orientation ultimately won his better judgment. With a bit of help from Debbie's younger brother, Vic, their relationships improves to become a strong romance.

Michael Novotny[]

At first, Michael dislikes Carl due to him seemingly having bigoted views and dating his mother. In time, he sees that Carl has honest feelings towards his mother and is simply doesn't understand LGBT culture. Michael ultimately gives Carl consent to marry his mother on the condition that he treats her well.

Chief Jim Stockwell[]

His estranged boss.

Kenneth Rikert[]

His estranged colleague.


  • He is portrayed by Peter MacNeill.
  • He was previously married before dating Debbie Novotny.
  • He has two grown children, and grandchildren.
  • Several officer dine at Liberty Diner shows that Carl has influence over the police academy due to Debbie's influence on him.