And as we all know the actor took his character’s advice. Richard Chamberlain –
“co-founded a Los Angeles-based theatre group, Company of Angels, and began appearing in TV series in the 1950s. In 1961 he gained widespread fame as the young intern, Dr. Kildare, in the MGM television series of the same name. His singing ability also led to some hit singles in the early 1960s. One of them was the “Theme from Dr. Kildare” entitled “Three Stars Will Shine Tonight”, which hit number 10 according to the Billboard Hot 100 Charts. Dr. Kildare ended in 1966, after which Chamberlain began performing on the theatre circuit. In 1966, he was cast opposite Mary Tyler Moore in the ill-fated Broadway musical Breakfast at Tiffany’s, co-starring Priscilla Lopez, which, after an out-of-town tryout period, closed after only four previews. Decades later he returned to Broadway in revivals of My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music.
In 1968 he went to England where he played in repertory theatre and in the BBC’s Portrait of a Lady adaptation, becoming recognized as a serious actor. In 1969 he starred opposite Katharine Hepburn in the film The Madwoman of Chaillot. While in England he took vocal coaching and in 1969 performed the title role of Hamlet with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, becoming the first American to play the role since John Barrymore in 1929. He received excellent notices and reprised the role for television, for The Hallmark Hall of Fame, in 1970.
In the 1970s, Chamberlain enjoyed success as a leading man in films such as The Towering Inferno (in a villainous turn as a dishonest engineer), The Last Wave, The Three Musketeers and two sequels, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Music Lovers, The Lady’s Not For Burning, and Lady Caroline Lamb (playing Lord Byron). In The Slipper and the Rose a musical version of the Cinderella story, co-starring Gemma Craven, he displayed his vocal talents.
Chamberlain later appeared in several popular television miniseries (earning him a nickname of “King of the Miniseries”), including Centennial, William Bast’s The Man in the Iron Mask, Shogun, and The Thorn Birds playing Father Ralph de Bricassart opposite Rachel Ward. In the late 1980s he experienced a belated breakthrough as a leading man with King Solomon’s Mines opposite newcomer Sharon Stone, and also played Jason Bourne in the 1988 version of The Bourne Identity.
Since the 1990s, Chamberlain has mostly appeared in television movies, on stage and as a guest star on series including The Drew Carey Show and Will & Grace. He starred as Henry Higgins in the 1993-94 Broadway revival of My Fair Lady. In the fall of 2005, Chamberlain appeared in the title role of Ebenezer Scrooge in the Broadway National Tour of Scrooge: The Musical. In 2006, Chamberlain guest starred in an episode of the hit BBC drama series Hustle as well as season 4 of Nip/Tuck. In 2007, Chamberlain guest starred in episode 80 (Season 4, Episode 8, “Distant Past”) of Desperate Housewives as Glen Wingfield, Lynette Scavo’s stepfather. In 2008 and 2009, he appeared as King Arthur in the national tour of Monty Python’s Spamalot. In 2010, he appeared as Archie Leach in season 3, episode 3 of the series Leverage, as well as season 4, episode 9 of Chuck where he will play a character known only as The Belgian . He will appear in the indie film We Are the Hartmans, which is scheduled to be released in 2011.”
“Chamberlain resided in Hawaii with his partner, actor-writer-producer Martin Rabbett, from the mid-1970s to 2010. Rabbett and Chamberlain starred together in Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold, in which they played brothers Allan and Robeson Quatermain.”
IOW, he finally came out. The days of using Linda Evans as a beard are over.
And so are parts like the one he played in Petulia.
Not to mention The Towering Inferno
And yet in an Avocado interview. . .
“You were a wildly successful closeted actor during a period of time when coming out was unheard of, but the climate of acceptance has significantly changed in recent years. How do you feel about gay actors who still remain closeted as we near 2011?It’s complicated. There’s still a tremendous amount of homophobia in our culture. It’s regrettable, it’s stupid, it’s heartless, and it’s immoral, but there it is. For an actor to be working is a kind of miracle, because most actors aren’t, so it’s just silly for a working actor to say, “Oh, I don’t care if anybody knows I’m gay” — especially if you’re a leading man. Personally, I wouldn’t advise a gay leading man–type actor to come out.”
And where are these “leading man-type actors”? Nowhere. The Tourist, toplining the presumably slam-dunk
starpower of Johnny Depp and Anggeline Jolie tanked. Up-and-coming talents tlike Ryan Gosling and James Franco are staying away from “leading man-type” roles like the plague.
And doing just fine.
As for Teh Gheys, Neil Patrick Harris has a hit TV series in How I Met Your Mother (where he plays the worlds most flamboyant heterosexual) and is set to star in a major revival of Sondheim’s Company, while on Glee Jane Lynch and Chris Colfer are rewriting “the rules” from top to bottom.
Back to the former “Dr.” —
“When can a leading man come out — when he’s 69 and promoting a memoir?
I have no idea.”
Oh sure ya do.
“Despite all the wonderful advances that have been made, it’s still dangerous for an actor to talk about that in our extremely misguided culture. Look at what happened in California with Proposition 8. Please, don’t pretend that we’re suddenly all wonderfully, blissfully accepted.”
No one is doing that.
“It was widely reported in April that you had split from Martin Rabbett, your partner of more than 30 years, and had moved to Los Angeles from your shared home in Hawaii. How are you doing?
Well, we haven’t really split. In other words, we’re still very, very close. The essence of our relationship has remained the same; we just don’t happen to be living together.”
Insert excerpt from Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train.
” I went home for Thanksgiving and had the most wonderful time, and we’ll be spending Christmas together with friends in New York. So we’re not split, really. I just moved to L.A. because I wanted to work more. Martin, unfortunately, doesn’t like L.A. at all, but he’s thinking of moving to San Francisco.
Wow. I thought you were newly single and looking.
At 76? You’ve got to be kidding.”
Not really. Some of us like “Mature Men” dear.
But hey — let’s dance.