March 27, 2017

Richard Chamberlain doesn’t advise leading men to come out

hollywoodnews.com: When 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.

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About Greg Hernandez

Greg Hernandez has written about the entertainment world for more than a decade. He is a veteran of covering many Academy Awards shows (plus Emmys, Grammys and Golden Globes) as well as film festivals, movie premieres and philanthropic events. Hernandez founded the popular Out In Hollywood blog while a writer and columnist for the "Los Angeles Daily News." He’s also a former staff writer at the "Los Angeles Times" and "The Hollywood Reporter" and has been a contributing writer to "The Advocate." Greg is the founder and editor of Greginhollywood.com

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3 Comments

  • December 23, 2010 | Permalink |

    Finally an article that doesn’t end with the insipid ‘Do you think. . .?’ question.

  • December 24, 2010 | Permalink |

    I agree with Richard conditionally on where the leading man/woman is in their career. A well established actor may feel more comfortable after climbing the ladder to whatever level they feel secure. Some other rising star, still be getting a foothold may still have concerns about getting the most desirable parts. The gay public need to honor the actor’s comfort level. Today’s world is filled with enough positive gay role models, we don’t need them all “out” to make us feel normal anymore.

  • March 14, 2011 | Permalink |

    It’s just a numbers game. At the end of the day if everyone came out, especially those gays already playing lead roles, their would be so much overwhelming evidence that being gay/straight makes no difference – this issue would be significantly diffused. And Hollywood has to stop giving the excuse of they, if don’t think their straight they wont buy that their strong / desirable. That only existed because nothing else has been given a chance to disprove it.

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