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Richard Chamberlain Has Been Married For Twenty Years (To a Guy)
TV Guide ^ | 5-30-03 | Mary Murphy

Posted on 05/30/2003 7:58:18 PM PDT by dogbyte12

Richard Chamberlain sure knows how to keep a secret. He's a master at it. In the public eye for over 40 years, he has been defined almost entirely by his roles. On screen he was this devastatingly handsome heartthrob, the star of Dr. Kildare and the dreamy king of such exotic miniseries as Shogun and The Thorn Birds. Yet Chamberlain remained a distant figure whose private life was always off-limits. Until now.

In an interview with TV Guide, Chamberlain admits that he's gay and that almost 20 years ago he wed another man, Martin Rabbett, who is now his manager. They met in 1975 when Chamberlain, then 41, was starring in the Tennessee Williams play The Night of the Iguana. Rabbett was a production assistant 19 years his junior. On the eve of the publication of Shattered Love: A Memoir (ReganBooks), Chamberlain, now 69, talks about his fear that knowledge of his sexual orientation would ruin his career. It is the first time a romantic leading man of his stature has ever outed himself. But in doing so, Chamberlain says he is finally at peace.

When you were on Dr. Kildare, you were a romantic hero — and hiding the fact that you were gay. Were you afraid people would find out?
Desperately afraid. I used to get chased by hot teenage girls. I got 12,000 fan letters a week. And all the fan magazines would ask me about my love life. And I felt somewhat besieged. But I was good at the game. I felt my career depended on a certain image.

Were you ever able to talk to your parents about it? Never once. Not in my whole life.

Anybody in Hollywood?
No. But it was assumed that I was gay. I remember going to see a comedian who worked on our show — maybe he didn't know I was there — and he made a joke about "Dr. Kildare, that blond faygeleh." Whoa. Was I shocked.

After Kildare went off the air, you went into a funk.
I realized I was just another out-of-work actor. So [the musical] Breakfast at Tiffany's came along. I had a great time until we were on Broadway. The audience just hated it. I had a line, "Oh, I'll never sing again." And voices came back, "Good. You can't sing, anyway." And then people would go up the aisles and leave the theater.

Luckily, you found the miniseries. Tell me about Shogun.
The network wanted me, but James Clavell [the author of the novel] didn't. He wanted Sean Connery. So I started taking voice lessons to get a lower tone and I put six T-shirts under my shirt because I wanted to look bulkier [for the first meeting with Clavell]. It was so hot I was sweating like a pig. But I got on with April, Clavell's wife, and Clavell relented and gave me the part.

In your book, you say the character you identify with a great deal is Father Ralph, the priest in The Thorn Birds.
My public image, my private life and then my spiritual concerns made me realize that we had something in common.

In fact, it was after a spiritual retreat that you met Martin.
The minute I saw him, I thought, "There is someone special." But it wasn't until Night of the Iguana played [on Broadway] that we got into a love relationship.

How many years have you been together?
Twenty-six. I can't imagine how Martin had the guts to live with me because my career was everything. There was no one I would have thrown my career over for. And he knew it.

What are you up to now?
I am doing a play this summer, The Stillborn Lover, which Martin is directing at the Berkshire Theatre Festival in Massachusetts.

Can you sum up your career?
I had looks, talent, ambition. And yet I was afraid of relying on myself — Marlon Brando could rely on himself. I didn't want to be seen as even remotely gay. Remember, I grew up in the '30s, '40s and '50s, when being effeminate was verboten. I ingested all of this. I was as homophobic as anyone else.

When did you get over it?
I've only dropped the last vestiges of that, like, three months ago. And I'm practically stepping into my grave.

TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: downourthroats; gaytrolldolls; hollyweird; homosexualagenda; homosexualsodomy; mediabias; pc; politicallycorrect; sodomite; thereisnogaymarriage
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To: A_perfect_lady
Who is Shepard Smith? I've never heard of him.
41 posted on 05/30/2003 8:57:40 PM PDT by my_pointy_head_is_sharp
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To: fish hawk
I have a friend who is a flight attendant and she told me she saw the two of them getting really lovey-dovey on a flight she was working. That was about 10-12 years ago.
42 posted on 05/30/2003 8:59:05 PM PDT by Slyfox
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To: dogbyte12; Spyder
OK.............Polish. That's my final offer.


Thanks........I will stand duly corrected.

43 posted on 05/30/2003 8:59:16 PM PDT by RightOnline
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To: dogbyte12
RC is a great actor and a perfect gentleman.

Who cares about his private life?
44 posted on 05/30/2003 9:00:12 PM PDT by Palladin (Proud to be a FReeper!)
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To: EmmaPeel
"I don't think Rock ever "outed himself". It was a well known fact in Hollywood that he was gay..."

I'll always remember what John Wayne said about Rock Hudson while they were filming "The Undefeated" :

"A waste of a face on a queer. What I could have done with looks like that."
45 posted on 05/30/2003 9:05:52 PM PDT by PLMerite ("Unarmed, one can only flee from Evil. But Evil isn't overcome by fleeing from it." Jeff Cooper)
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To: Palladin
46 posted on 05/30/2003 9:06:05 PM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: dogbyte12
I remember many years ago when Chamberlain appeared on the (Johnny Carson) Tonight Show. Chamberlain mentioned that he'd spent the summer on Fire Island. Johnny made a joke about the denizens of Fire Island, and Chamberlain changed the subject PDQ.
47 posted on 05/30/2003 9:06:47 PM PDT by pawdoggie
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To: dogbyte12
As a matter of fact I allways knew that, Richard Chamberlain was gay, just along the way he looked and behaved and, especially, when my wife made me watch the damn "Thornbirds".

I allways told her that the dude comes awfully phagelly to me, when her and I, were arguing back and forth about his marital status.

Guess what...this thread makes me the winner...and the prize is...I am getting....;{)>

48 posted on 05/30/2003 9:09:09 PM PDT by danmar ("It is extremely hard to soar like an Eagle, when you are surrounded by Turkey's")
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To: RightOnline
Correct. John Blackthorne, Dutch pilot.

My absolute favorite miniseries...saw it for the first time when I was stationed in Japan.
49 posted on 05/30/2003 9:10:00 PM PDT by SandyInSeattle (Go Ducks!!!)
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To: dogbyte12
Oh, heck! You're right, he was English. Wait a minute, where's my book?!
50 posted on 05/30/2003 9:11:06 PM PDT by SandyInSeattle (Go Ducks!!!)
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To: dogbyte12
Replace Gay with Sodomite please.

He is not Gay---he is a Sodomite.

He is delusional and has been given over to his perversions.

I never did watch any of his programs and I doubt if anyone really cares about this has been Sodomite.

51 posted on 05/30/2003 9:11:48 PM PDT by Radioactive
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To: SandyInSeattle
Okay, confirmed now (page 10). Blackthorne was the first English pilot to sail through the strait of Magellan.

Not that anybody probably care at this point. I just confused the heck out of myself.
52 posted on 05/30/2003 9:13:02 PM PDT by SandyInSeattle (Go Ducks!!!)
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To: A_perfect_lady
No, I'm saying "Holy Crap, when Richard Chamberlain was young, he looked just like Shepard Smith!"


"Wow, I never realized how much Shepard Smith looks like a young Richard Chamberlain!"


"Wow, Shepard Smith and Richard Chamberlain look a lot alike, except Chamberlain is much older!"


"Wow, you know who that picture of young Richard Chamberlain reminds me of? Shepard Smith!"

Are we perfectly clear now? Any more questions? Did I get that ol' message across well enough? All ambiguity taken care of? Need any further clarification?

So, what you are subtly telling us is that Shepard Smith is gay....

53 posted on 05/30/2003 9:13:37 PM PDT by freebilly (I think they've misunderestimated us....)
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To: RightOnline
if memory serves, that would be Dutch, not English.

We're both right... From multiple websites describing the series: "17th-century English pilot commanding a Dutch ship"

54 posted on 05/30/2003 9:17:25 PM PDT by Spyder (Just another day in Paradise)
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To: Spyder
,,,,,,The English sea captain. ,,,,,,

Actually the character in Shogun was a navigator. The main character in Clavell's Taipan was a sea cvaptain. Two of the best adventure novels ever written, IMO.

55 posted on 05/30/2003 9:19:12 PM PDT by Little John
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To: Happygal
It is also ironic that in Shogun, in the first part, when the Ghesha offered Chamberlain a boy he said, "I am not some god damn soddomite!"
56 posted on 05/30/2003 9:19:57 PM PDT by longtermmemmory
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To: dogbyte12
Two of my favorite miniseries of all time are 'The Man in the Iron Mask' and 'The Count of Monte Cristo'. I couldn't care less about this guy's private life. Those two shows were awesome.
57 posted on 05/30/2003 9:20:07 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: freebilly
is Shepard Smith gay? say its not so!!!!!!!
58 posted on 05/30/2003 9:21:05 PM PDT by longtermmemmory
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To: Lancey Howard
all his movies are off my DVD to-get list.
59 posted on 05/30/2003 9:23:27 PM PDT by longtermmemmory
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To: Exit148
Part V in the miniseries 'Thornbirds' when Meggie and Father Ralph DeBriqesaw (?) finally got together was one of my favorites tv moments. We just loved him. Oh, well. At least he didn't pull a degeneres in you face stunt!
60 posted on 05/30/2003 9:24:37 PM PDT by MadelineZapeezda
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