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Richard Chamberlain

Chamberlain in 1982
Born George Richard Chamberlain
March 31, 1934 (1934-03-31) (age 75)
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1960–present
Domestic partner(s) Martin Rabbett (1970s-present)

Richard Chamberlain (born March 31, 1934) is an American actor of stage and screen who became a teen idol in the title role of the television show Dr. Kildare (1961-1966).


Early life

George Richard Chamberlain was born in Beverly Hills, California, the son of Elsa W. (née Matthews) and Charles Chamberlain, who was a salesman.[1] Chamberlain's father was well known within Alcoholics Anonymous, having traveled for years speaking at A.A. conventions. In 1952, Richard Chamberlain graduated from Beverly Hills High School and later attended Pomona College.[2]


Richard Chamberlain co-founded a Los Angeles theatre group, Company of Angels, and began appearing in TV series in the 1950s. In 1961 he gained widespread fame as the young intern, Dr. Kildare, in the MGM television series of the same name. His singing ability also led to some hit singles in the early 1960s. Dr Kildare ended in 1966, after which Chamberlain began performing on the theatre circuit. In 1966, he was cast opposite Mary Tyler Moore in the ill-fated Broadway musical Breakfast at Tiffany's which, after an out-of-town tryout period, closed after only four previews. Decades later he returned to Broadway in revivals of My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music.

In 1968 he went to England where he played in repertory theatre and in the BBC's Portrait of a Lady adaptation, becoming recognized as a serious actor. In 1969 he starred opposite Katharine Hepburn in the film The Madwoman of Chaillot. While in England he took vocal coaching and in 1969 performed the title role of Hamlet with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, becoming the first American to play the role since John Barrymore in 1929. He received excellent notices and reprised the role for television, for The Hallmark Hall of Fame, in 1970.

In the 1970s, Chamberlain enjoyed success as a leading man in films such as The Towering Inferno, The Last Wave, The Three Musketeers and two sequels, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Music Lovers, The Lady's Not For Burning, and Lady Caroline Lamb (playing Lord Byron). In The Slipper and the Rose, a musical version of the Cinderella story, co-starring Gemma Craven, he displayed his vocal talents.

Chamberlain later appeared in several popular television miniseries (earning him a nickname of "King of the Miniseries"), including Centennial, William Bast's The Man in the Iron Mask, Shogun, and The Thorn Birds playing Father Ralph de Bricassart opposite Rachel Ward. In the late 1980s he experienced a belated breakthrough as a leading man with King Solomon's Mines opposite newcomer Sharon Stone, and also played Jason Bourne in the 1988 version of The Bourne Identity.

Later years

Since the 1990s, Chamberlain has mostly appeared in television movies and as a guest star on series including The Drew Carey Show and Will & Grace. In the fall of 2005, Chamberlain appeared in the title role of Ebenezer Scrooge in the Broadway National Tour of Scrooge: The Musical. In 2006, Chamberlain guest starred in an episode of the hit BBC drama series Hustle as well as season 4 of Nip/Tuck. In 2007, Chamberlain guest starred in episode 80 (Season 4, Episode 8, "Distant Past") of Desperate Housewives as Glen Wingfield, Lynette Scavo's stepfather. In 2008 and 2009 he appeared as King Arthur in the national tour of Monty Python's Spamalot.[3]

Personal life

Chamberlain resides in Hawaii, with his partner since the mid-1970s, agent-producer-director Martin Rabbett. Rabbett and Chamberlain starred together in Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold in which they played brothers Allan and Robeson Quatermain.

Chamberlain was outed by the French women's magazine Nous Deux in December 1989 but it was not until 2003, at the age of 69, that he came out in his autobiography, Shattered Love (ISBN 0060087439).



From Richard Chamberlain Sings:

From Twilight of Honor:

From Richard Chamberlain (aka Joy in the Morning):

  • "Rome Will Never Leave You" (1964)

From The Slipper and the Rose:


External links

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