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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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1 posted on 05/30/2003 7:58:18 PM PDT by dogbyte12
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To: dogbyte12
Nobody cares!
2 posted on 05/30/2003 8:05:03 PM PDT by wingnuts'nbolts (Islam the religion of peace.)
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To: dogbyte12
This was about as shocking as when Ellen Degeneres and Rosie O'Donnell "came out".
3 posted on 05/30/2003 8:08:08 PM PDT by Scothia (Wear the old coat and buy the new book.)
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To: dogbyte12
The guy was true to his craft and didn't rub our noses in his personnal life. I hope he doesn't blow it now. Ooops.
4 posted on 05/30/2003 8:08:37 PM PDT by leadhead
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To: dogbyte12
He wed another man, Martin Rabbett.

He wed a wabbit?
I guess it wasn't just Alice who went down the wabbit hole.
5 posted on 05/30/2003 8:09:57 PM PDT by John Beresford Tipton
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To: dogbyte12
At this point, it's kind of like Richard Simmons coming out...years ago everyone knew.
6 posted on 05/30/2003 8:11:08 PM PDT by Land_of_Lincoln_John
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To: dogbyte12
I guess I'm too young.  I never heard of him before.  I had to look this up:

www.memorabletv.com/showsaz/ drkildare.htm

Dr Kildare 

USA / NBC/ x60m-e and x30m-e  / 1961-66

First Episode: Thursday 28 September 1961 / 8.30pm
Last Episode: Tuesday 30 August 1966 / 8.30pm
Producer: Norman Felton
 

 

 

Based on a long running and popular movie series of the 1940's Dr Kildare helped propel Richard Chamberlain to stardom. The show, a medical dram obviously, followed Dr James Kildare as he rose from a fresh faced intern to (by season three) a resident doctor at Blair General Hospital.
Dr Kildare had a mentor helping him along his way in the form of the often cantankerous Dr Leonard Gillespie. Popular with the female viewing public who found Kildare very "swoonsome" the show moved from hour long episodes to twice weekly half hour ones during the 1965-66 season giving the show more of a soapy feel as stories were often now carried over several episodes.
There was a brief syndicated revival in 1972 called Young Dr Kildare with Mark Jenkins as Kildare and Gary Merrill as Gillespie.

 
Cast
RICHARD CHAMBERLAIN as Dr James Kildare / RAYMOND MASSEY as Dr Leonard Gillespie / EDDIE RYDER as Dr Simon Agurski (1961-62) / JUD TAYLOR as Dr Thomas Gerson (1961-62) / JOAN PATRICK as Susan Deigh (1961-62) / LEE KURTY as Nurse Zoe Lawton (1965-66)

 

7 posted on 05/30/2003 8:12:15 PM PDT by Incorrigible
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To: dogbyte12
"It is the first time a romantic leading man of his stature has ever outed himself."

Ummm, paging Mr. Hudson, Rock Hudson?

8 posted on 05/30/2003 8:13:04 PM PDT by cincinnati65
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To: dogbyte12
It's been known and discussed that Chamberlain is gay for many years. One of the reasons he settled into a single permanent relationship rather than doing the scene was far of VD, including AIDS.
9 posted on 05/30/2003 8:13:37 PM PDT by RLK
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To: dogbyte12
I was one of those young girls with a crush on Dr. Kildare. I once had a boyfriend whose cousin was supposed to be Richard's girlfriend. (Clara Ray) She got me an autographed picture of him.
This outing is not something I really wanted to read, too much information, even though for years we all knew.
10 posted on 05/30/2003 8:13:54 PM PDT by ladyinred
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To: dogbyte12
It is kind of funny, poor fellow, hides it all these years and when he finally reveals it, everyone nods and says, "figures."
11 posted on 05/30/2003 8:14:09 PM PDT by A_perfect_lady (Let them eat cake.)
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To: dogbyte12
Excuse me but I'm just the run of the average Fish Hawk and I knew he was gay at least ten years ago!!!SECRET???
12 posted on 05/30/2003 8:14:24 PM PDT by fish hawk
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To: Land_of_Lincoln_John
Wow!!! Who's next ... Liberace?
13 posted on 05/30/2003 8:14:27 PM PDT by DLfromthedesert
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To: Incorrigible
Wow. Guess we know what Shepard Smith's gonna look like in 30 years.
14 posted on 05/30/2003 8:15:03 PM PDT by A_perfect_lady (Let them eat cake.)
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To: dogbyte12
Who? He was a character in Shogun? Which one?

I spent some time in one of those castles in Japan as a kid - my strongest memory of the movie is that the footage was reversed - they kept saying they were in the castle of X, when it was clearly the castle of his archenemy, Y.

Sorry, I forget the names. I just remember the confusion.

15 posted on 05/30/2003 8:16:03 PM PDT by patton (I wish we could all look at the evil of abortion with the pure, honest heart of a child.)
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To: dogbyte12
Hollyweird knows how to play the games.

They are all a bunch of sluts. Money talks and I'd like to see their response to this.
16 posted on 05/30/2003 8:19:33 PM PDT by Fred Mertz
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To: cincinnati65
I don't think Rock ever "outed himself". It was a well known fact in Hollywood that he was gay, but even after he became ill with full blown AIDS, he continued to deny that he was gay.
17 posted on 05/30/2003 8:20:40 PM PDT by EmmaPeel
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To: patton
Who? He was a character in Shogun? Which one?

The one in the frumpy housecoat...

18 posted on 05/30/2003 8:21:09 PM PDT by joesnuffy (Moderate Islam Is For Dilettantes)
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To: A_perfect_lady
are you saying Shep is gay?
19 posted on 05/30/2003 8:22:43 PM PDT by bethelgrad (for God and country)
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To: dogbyte12
Regardless, women swooned over his Dr. Kildare character. And, who can forget the beach scene in "The Thorn Birds"? He was eye candy for a generation of women.

I never wanted to believe the rumors about his orientation. Nevertheless, he is a gorgeous man.....and a terrific actor.
20 posted on 05/30/2003 8:23:09 PM PDT by Swede Girl
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To: dogbyte12
I can never watch Shogun again.
21 posted on 05/30/2003 8:28:23 PM PDT by Pukin Dog (Sans Reproache)
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To: bethelgrad
No, I'm saying "Holy Crap, when Richard Chamberlain was young, he looked just like Shepard Smith!"

Or

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

Or

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

Or

"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?

22 posted on 05/30/2003 8:29:19 PM PDT by A_perfect_lady (Let them eat cake.)
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To: EmmaPeel
My memory was that he denied up until the point that he admitted he had AIDS. I might be wrong about that, but that's the way I remember it.
23 posted on 05/30/2003 8:30:03 PM PDT by cincinnati65
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To: dogbyte12
Well DUH.....

Red

24 posted on 05/30/2003 8:32:38 PM PDT by Conservative4Ever (life is but a dream...Sha Boom)
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To: patton
Who? He was a character in Shogun? Which one?

The haole. Anginsan. The Pilot. The English sea captain.

I've figured it for years but still love his acting. I could watch Shogun over and over. He shows up on public service ads occasionally here (Hawaii). Lives over on the leeward shore, sort of the Rio Linda of Oahu, though I imagine his digs are a bit pricier than the majority of those with cars up on blocks.

25 posted on 05/30/2003 8:33:26 PM PDT by Spyder (Just another day in Paradise)
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To: dogbyte12
Anybody who didn't already know this has a seriously malfunctioning gay-dar.
26 posted on 05/30/2003 8:34:18 PM PDT by IowaHawk
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To: John Beresford Tipton
He wed another man, Martin Rabbett. He wed a wabbit? I guess it wasn't just Alice who went down the wabbit hole.

LOL!

27 posted on 05/30/2003 8:35:16 PM PDT by ladyinred
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To: Incorrigible
I guess I'm too young.  I never heard of him before.  I had to look this up:

Ho Hum! :-)

28 posted on 05/30/2003 8:36:13 PM PDT by ladyinred
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To: cincinnati65
Ummm, paging Mr. Hudson, Rock Hudson?

At first I thought the same thing. But actually, Rock never admitted he was a homosexual. He just died of Aids, and then it was revealed, although is certainly was no secret.

29 posted on 05/30/2003 8:37:33 PM PDT by ladyinred
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To: dogbyte12
well, proof that it DOES matter. This kills all his resale value as a leading man.

Yet another classic "leading man" turns out to be a sissy.

sarcasm on

Perhaps we need a "certified not a pansy" seal of approval.

sarcasm off

30 posted on 05/30/2003 8:37:34 PM PDT by longtermmemmory
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To: Spyder
Was that the guy who had to cut off the other guy's head, because he took the chicken down?
31 posted on 05/30/2003 8:38:46 PM PDT by patton (I wish we could all look at the evil of abortion with the pure, honest heart of a child.)
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To: EmmaPeel
Hudson didn't say much of anything. He was a sort of tragic figure. He would be driven up to a gay bar, then he would go in and take on everything in the house. It was just a matter of time until he got AIDS.
32 posted on 05/30/2003 8:41:03 PM PDT by RLK
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To: patton
He was the main character. The Pilot. The one who became an English Samurai.
33 posted on 05/30/2003 8:43:45 PM PDT by dogbyte12
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To: dogbyte12; Incorrigible
Kinda ironic that he played the role of a Catholic priest who had an affair with a woman in 'The Thorn Birds'.
34 posted on 05/30/2003 8:44:10 PM PDT by Happygal
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To: longtermmemmory
True acting is not a profession that draws stable people. The older time male actors such as Wayne and Gable were never really great actors. They were personalities who played versions of themselves in movies.
35 posted on 05/30/2003 8:45:28 PM PDT by RLK
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To: Swede Girl
I don't think I ever saw Dr. Kildare, but his part in The Thornbirds really got me. There is something so 'something' about unrequited love, especially when there is an electricity between the two. When Meggie and the priest FINALLY get together and then must separate, and be totally apart and untouchable --- well ---they made it very believable. And that is what acting is all about. What Chamberlain does in his own life is fine with me. He never pushed himself in anyones faces. I'm pleased that he has spoken out, and I'm sorry he had to go thru all that 'guilt' for so many years. I wish him well.
36 posted on 05/30/2003 8:48:25 PM PDT by Exit148 (Another $3+ for the Loose Change Club contribution tord the next Freepathon!)
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To: dogbyte12
Oh. Too bad.
37 posted on 05/30/2003 8:48:34 PM PDT by patton (I wish we could all look at the evil of abortion with the pure, honest heart of a child.)
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To: Spyder
"The haole. Anginsan. The Pilot. The English sea captain."

Ummmm.......if memory serves, that would be Dutch, not English.

38 posted on 05/30/2003 8:52:13 PM PDT by RightOnline
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To: RightOnline
I have read the book several times. The pilot was english, the crew was dutch, because English pilots were considered top notch, with better schools. I think every other member of the crew were dutch though.
39 posted on 05/30/2003 8:53:16 PM PDT by dogbyte12
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To: RLK
Very true. Clark Gable played Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind, and it was great.

40 posted on 05/30/2003 8:55:43 PM PDT by sine_nomine (I am pro-choice...the moment the baby has a choice.)
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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
God.
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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