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In interview with The Advocate, Richard Chamberlain doesn’t advise leading men to come out
RICHARD CHAMBERLAIN 2 X390 | ADVOCATE.COMWhen he was a hot, young leading man on television’s Dr. Kildare then later on such classic miniseries as The Thorn Birds and Shogun, actor now openly gay actor Richard Chamberlain remained firmly in the closet.

In a new interview with Brandon Voss for The Advocate, the now 76-year-old Chamberlain surprisingly advises gay actors who are leading man types to do in 2010 what he did in the 60s, 70s, and 80s: stay in the closet!

“It’s complicated,” he says. “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.”

Brandon follows up by asking: “When can a leading man come out – when he’s 69 and promoting a memoir?” (As Chamberlain did in 2004 with Shattered Faith)

“I have no idea,” the actor says. “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.”

Arrrg! With the success of such openly gay stars as Neil Patrick Harris, John Barrowman, Alan Cumming and others who can play straight or gay roles, this is exactly the kind of attitude that will never change things.

I wish Chamberlain, who will be guest-starring on ABC’s Brothers & Sisters as a love interest for Saul (Ron Rifkin), were more encouraging of actors coming and working to help change this viewpoint. Maybe B&S cast member, the openly gay Luke Macfarlane, can talk some sense into him!

To read the rest of Brandon’s interview with Chamberlain, go to!



(All comments are reviewed before being published, and I review submissions several times per day.)

2 Remarks

  1. Greg, why not see if he will talk to you personally? Once you have a greater understanding of where he is coming based on a personal experience, please report back.

  2. I don’t blame him because he’s an old man and his perception is tainted with a life of secrecy and suffering under homophobia. But although there is still plenty of the crap that once was the only accepted truth, younger generations –both gays and straight- don’t come with that much of intolerance and prejudice. The more the actors dare to come out the more it would became a non issue for getting a role. The more they keep it to themselves, the more the idea will prevail that gays can not play other roles other than gay ones. Or strange and marginalized ones.
    Luckily things like the recent repealing of DADT and the continuing fight for marriage equality make the youngsters more unapologetic about their sexuality. And the clock is still clicking on our favor.
    By the way, Richard Chamberlain, by the pic Greg posted I see he was such a cutie when young.

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