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Richard Chamberlain to Gay Actors: Don't Come Out!

12/27/2010 8:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Hollywood legend Richard Chamberlain -- a gay man who revealed his sexuality in 2003 -- has fired off some shocking advice to other gay actors: Stay in the closet!

Richard Chamberlain Gay

76-year-old Chamberlain -- who became a teen idol in the '60s playing the lead role on "Dr. Kildare" -- told The Advocate, "Personally, I wouldn't advise a gay leading man-type actor to come out."

Chamberlain explained, "There's still a tremendous amount of homophobia in our culture" -- adding, "Despite all the wonderful advances that have been made, it's still dangerous for an actor to talk about that."

Chamberlain continues, "For an actor to be working [at all] 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."

72 COMMENTS

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16.

TMZ dont like me    

Guess George Takei didn't get Dr. Kildare's memo....

1310 days ago
17.

Laurie    

I don't think anyone notices when they come out anymore, so why not? Yeah, I don't think I would watch a movie with a gay man as the romantic lead with a woman, but some wouldn't care at all.

1310 days ago
18.

Pyrrho    

I wouldn't have a problem watching an out and proud homosexual play a straight romantic lead. It's called acting.

If we held that same standard to every movie role would anything be believable enough to watch?

1310 days ago
19.

Jane    

He is just giving some practical advice, based on life experience and being a member of the gay community. It is sad, but I think he is right for the most part. A leading male actor, who is in line for a romantic, dramatic, straight, role will find that work drying up if he comes out.

I think a comedy show is more forgiving about that, but now that I know NPH is gay, I can't help but remember that when I see him play this straight character who is a womanizer.

People become emotionally invested in some movies and TV series and they identify with the characters. They don't want to have that ****tered because they know the performer's personal business. They want to live in their bubble and have their hero be the person he is playing.

I think it depends on the profession as to whether it is safe for a gay person to come out of the closet.

In my town there are gays in powerful positions in business, politics and academia. Nobody cares, it isn't even a topic of conversation. But it might be if there is a gay person on the police force or in the fire department. Why? I don't understand it, but that is the reality for most places.

It is a very personal decision and I don't think there is any right or wrong as far as what is decided. The person making that decision has to live their days, nobody else does. They have to live with the consequences, if any, from coming out and if they feel it is something they cannot handle, others should not be so judgmental and bash them for it.

1310 days ago
20.

Bec215    

It's so easy to criticize him, but YOU don't fear losing your job if you come out! If you are an office manager and are gay, your job is protected by law. If you're an actor, anything that risks alienating a certain percentage of the movie-going public (e.g., "middle America" and men under 25) will cause a production company to reject that actor. And half of America still doesn't belive in gay rights. It's sad, but true.

1310 days ago
21.

AnnieSH    

I know many people are offended and angry when someone advises to stay in the closet, but in reality all it does is put a label on the person. "Oh you know Richard Chamberlin, right? The gay actor." That is precisely why a certain journalist refuses to officially come out. He wants to be judged by his REPORTING and not by his sexuality. Same with an actress we all know.

And sadly, the only people who are thrilled are by the coming out are the people behind LGBT. Sure it would be a huge triomph for their cause and beliefs, but they are not the ones who will have lost jobs - whether that be right or wrong. Standing up for your principles is fine, but in the end, what does it matter anyway? Bob Crane of Hogan Heros was deeply into porn, and David Carridine was into BDSM. If their PRIVATE sex life was revealed, imagine the slack they would have received.

Besides, it is a PERSONAL choice to come out or not and they shouldn't have to feel obligated to reveal their sexuality or sex life just for someone else's satisfaction. There are a few actresses I know of that refuses to a "spokeperson" for LGBT and to be pressured to do so - or to be bullied to come out (Perez Hilton anyone?) - is taking away a person's right to choose for themselves.

At work, I do not talk about my sex life or sexuality because it is not relevant to my job and more importantly, it's none of anyone's business.

1310 days ago
22.

penny    

I agree with Richard Chambelain...One your OUT go can't go back!

Whose business is it if you are straight or gay? Acting is a profession just like Doctors, Lawyers and Plumbers. When your sink leaks do you ask your Plumber if he is gay? Or if you have a heart attack to do ask you Cardiologist if he is gay? No, because it doesn't mean anything at all.

So lay off the gay guys and girls. People are People whether they are gay or straight, black, beige or white. Tall or short.
What difference should it make to you???

1310 days ago
23.

Deb    

I agree with Chamberlain's comments. Whether he is a leading man or not, their personal life, especially their sexuality is none of our business. They entertain us with the roles that they play. If we are too stupid to understand that this is not REALLY who they are, then we should stick to cartoons. Richard Chamberlain, in the roles that he played, was the object of many a fantasy for myself and my peers - but I knew that he was gay. My fantasy is not reality anyway!People...get a life.

1310 days ago
24.

GB    

At one time I would disagree with Richard, but despite gay advances, the culture is homophobic. I don't care if an actor is gay or straight, but you'll notice straight actors play gay. "Brokeback Mountain" was a great film with two straight actors, but as you'll recall, gay friendly Hollywood gave the Oscar to that masterpiece "Crash" Of course Ang Lee got Best Director.

1310 days ago
25.

Lily    

Why does anyone HAVE to come out? What consenting adults do behind closed doors is their business. Why is America so obsessed with the sex lives of others? Your sex life is like your medical records. Personal and private. Or at least it should be.

Posted at 8:40 AM on Dec 27, 2010 by Jennyy

Thank you Jennyy! You are absolutely right.
Of course with this current administration, the personal and private aspect of medical records will soon be over.

1310 days ago
26.

maria from maputo    

Richard Chamberlain, tem toda a razao! E a voz da experiencia que fala. ( continua bonitao o filho de Deus...) longa vida para voce. mesmo aqui em Africa adoramos voce.saudacoes, as melhores.

1310 days ago
27.

Best Mom    

Richard Chamberlain is a 1st class actor. I could care less if he is or is not gay. The man is a genius on screen. Always believable......and always thought he was one of the most handsome and down to earth men in Hollywood.

1310 days ago
28.

cpcartagena    

How sad is it that Hollywood puts sex on a pedestal but God forbid you be gay!! I am disgusted that people like Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton and Miley Cyrus are lauded for their "talents" and made stars while people with real talent who are gay have to live in fear of being exposed. The reality is, gays are less harmful to society than the trashy whores Hollywood loves!

1310 days ago
29.

passionateblogger    

Interesting. This 76 year old who only came out at age 72 is complaining about homophobia. I think this man is a homophobic. He is like every other man who wishes he could take the acceptance of 2011 back 50 years. Jealousy is all and it is bad advice to tell other actors to go back into the closet or not come out. This man is really messed up in the head. Probably has to do with religious teachings. Anyone want to hire a grandpa who thinks he is a 25 yo stud? Still working? Where?

1310 days ago
30.

dyson rich    

While we all know that movies are mostly based on Fiction our minds want it to be real. Could you Imagine Neil Patrick Harris playing the role as Rambo or as John McClain . Its would be like watching White actor playing the lead dressed as a Black Man . You could put all the makeup on him, put a wig on him, Alter his voice etc. And still all you would have is a white guy trying to make you believe that he is something he is not. Did seeing Anne Heche kiss Harrison Ford make you think "oh how romantic" or "YA Right"

1310 days ago
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