ONE Life to Live” star TUC WATKINS finally came out as gay – but the 46-year-old actor fears it’s already too late to find a mate to help him raise his two adorable babies!

Watkins made a double-whammy announcement on a talk-show appearance that aired April 29. He proclaimed that his whole life “I knew I was gay” and also revealed he recently welcomed twins, daughter Catchen and son Curtis, into his home with help from a surrogate mother.

Friends were stunned when Tuc – who found fame as wacky schemer David Vickers on “OLTL” – took so long to come out of the closet, especially since he also portrayed a gay character, Bob Hunter, for five seasons on “Desperate Housewives.”

“Tuc’s co-stars Eva Longoria and Teri Hatcher said they were behind him all the way if he wanted to make the big announcement,” confided an insider. “But he still wouldn’t do it.”

The problem was that Watkins played a straight guy on the daytime soap for nearly 20 years.

“He feared he would lose credibility in the role if fans knew he was gay in real life,” noted a friend.

Sadly, he paid a heavy price for keeping his sexuality a secret.

“Tuc had a serious relationship in the 1990s, but it ended because his partner couldn’t handle his double life,” disclosed the pal.

Still, the actor longed to have a family, and earlier this year brought home his infant twins, who are now 4 months old. Friends say Tuc is now resigned to raising them on his own.