RICHARD CHAMBERLAIN, American actor, born; an American actor of stage and screen who became a teen idol in the title role of the television show Dr. Kildare (1961-1966).
In the 1970s, Chamberlain enjoyed success as a leading man in films: The Music Lovers, (1970), Lady Caroline Lamb (playing Lord Byron, 1973), The Three Musketeers (1973), The Lady’s Not for Burning (1974), The Towering Inferno (in a villainous turn as a dishonest engineer, 1974), and The Count of Monte Cristo (1975). In The Slipper and the Rose (1976), a musical version of the Cinderellla story story he displayed his vocal talents. A television film, William Bast’s The Man in the Iron Mask (1977), followed. That same year, he starred in Peter Weir’s film The Last Wave.
Chamberlain later appeared in several popular television mini-series (earning him a nickname of “King of the Mini-series”), including Centennial (1978–79), Shogun (1980), and The Thorn Birds (1983) as Father Ralph de Bricassart with Rachel Ward and Barbara Stanwyk co-starring. In the 1980s, he appeared as leading man with King Solomon’s Mines (1985) opposite newcomer Sharon Stone, and also played Jason Bourne/David Webb in the television film version of The Bourne Identity (1988).
Chamberlain resides in Hawaii, with his partner since the mid-1970s, agent-producer-director Martin Rabbett. Although it was generally known that Chamberlain was Gay, having been outed by the French women’s magazine Nous Deux in December 1989, it was not until 2003, at age 69, that he came out as such in his biography, Shattered Love (ISBN 0060087439), which describes how he felt obliged to hide his sexuality in order to have an acting career and detailed affairs with dancer Rudolph Nureyev and actor Anthony Perkins.