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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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31.

mac    

It's not homophobia it's that people want to believe that the character the actor is playing is real and they do that by imagining that the actor is similar in real life. It makes it hard to imagine that the character is a womanizing mans man if you know the actor is gay. That's my take on it.

1341 days ago
32.

Cee    

I agree with Richard ... if I'd known he was gay when I watched "Shogun," the love story wouldn't have been as engrossing for me. I would have remembered he was acting & been more aware that it was just a story.

1341 days ago
33.

george fudge!    

Ryan Reynolds must be following Richard Chamberlain's advice.

1341 days ago
34.

Wow    

Apollo 13 is one of my favorite movies and I'm pretty sure that Tom Hanks isn't an astronaut in real life.

Actors act. It's what they do.

1341 days ago
35.

stumpy    

I don't think the problem
is acceptance as much as box office
a large part of a leading mans draw is
in the fantasies of woman if your known to be
gay you'll loose woman viewers to leading men who are not out.

1341 days ago
36.

en Todo Momento!!    

it is kinda funny how discriminated against gay men are, isn't it? being that they comprise some of the wealthiest, most successful people in most of the financially charged areas of all of society, be it music, art, politics. they own and control some of the most expensive properties (san francisco, for example) and have constant legal and political representation (strictly enforced legal rights!). yes, it is truly astounding how severely discriminated against they are.

1341 days ago
37.

Sad sad    

Well if they don't start coming out then how will it ever change. duh.

1341 days ago
38.

Raejean    

Chamberlain waited so long to "come out" that it was just a big snore when he finally did and everyone had already figured it out decades before, anyway.

What makes entertainers like Liberace, Johnny Mathias, Jim Nabors, Rock Hudson, Barry Manilow, etc. think they are fooling anyone?

Like Rock Hudson, I always still enjoyed seeing Chamberlain in romantic lead roles because I think he genuinely likes women and he was/is a good enough actor to pull it off and be believable. A gay actor who is misogynistic might have less success at it, or perhaps they wouldn't take the role in the first place, like some straight actors won't play gay.

1341 days ago
39.

sam russell    

so does this mean a straight actor can't play gay? look; we need more and more gay role models so people can see that we are your neighbors!

gays/lesbians support your business; they sit next to you in church, and they want what you want in life; health; love and a vacation every now and then

to stay in the closet is like stating blacks should stay in the back of the bus

no thanks to this actors suggestion

clearly a generation that needs to die off

1341 days ago
40.

sam russell    

so does this mean a straight actor can't play gay? look; we need more and more gay role models so people can see that we are your neighbors!

gays/lesbians support your business; they sit next to you in church, and they want what you want in life; health; love and a vacation every now and then

to stay in the closet is like stating blacks should stay in the back of the bus

no thanks to this actors suggestion

clearly a generation that needs to die off

1341 days ago
41.

Rayna    

He's right. If you know an actor is gay, it can take away from his leading man performances to an extent, certainly to the extent where a casting director might take pause. It has little to do with whether one is for or against homosexuality, just to the believability of the character. We can't help bringing what we know about an actor to the role.

1341 days ago
42.

THIN LIZZY    

I'm not gay, but this dude's right. If you want to keep making money, keep your mouth shut. Hollywood sells sex period. You see a gay dude with a knock-out girl gettin hot and heavy just doesn't make it believable. He comes from an era where a lot of those leading dudes were gay, so he knows what he's talking about.

1341 days ago
43.

AnnieSH    

Sam, in a perfect world everyone would think as you do, but sadly there are many who do not. So you can stand up for your beliefs waving your rainbow flag all you want, but at the end of the day it's not going to change people's mind - no matter how loud you scream or how many scream with you. Yes, it's sad and yes, it makes you angry, but stop a moment and realise that not all gays think as you do. Especially in show business.

Some LGBTs do not WANT to be the spokesperson for gay rights. They want a job, and advertising their sexuality only puts a label on them and it limits their roles. Plus they will no longer be seen as Richard Chamberlin (as an example), but rather Richard Chamberlin: the gay actor.

As far as a straight playing a gay part...women can still fantasise about him - knowing he's straight, and gay men can fantasise about him - wishing for a moment he IS gay.

And as far as gay vs black. Apples and oranges I'm afraid. You can hide the fact that you're gay, but you cannot hide the fact that you're black.

1341 days ago
44.

jack     

he is 76 and his opinions are just as dated. It is time these attitudes were changed, He should have stayed in the closet!

1341 days ago
45.

Patrick Henry    

49.

Sam, in a perfect world everyone would think as you do, but sadly there are many who do not. So you can stand up for your beliefs waving your rainbow flag all you want, but at the end of the day it's not going to change people's mind - no matter how loud you scream or how many scream with you. Yes, it's sad and yes, it makes you angry, but stop a moment and realise that not all gays think as you do. Especially in show business.

Some LGBTs do not WANT to be the spokesperson for gay rights. They want a job, and advertising their sexuality only puts a label on them and it limits their roles. Plus they will no longer be seen as Richard Chamberlin (as an example), but rather Richard Chamberlin: the gay actor.

As far as a straight playing a gay part...women can still fantasise about him - knowing he's straight, and gay men can fantasise about him - wishing for a moment he IS gay.

And as far as gay vs black. Apples and oranges I'm afraid. You can hide the fact that you're gay, but you cannot hide the fact that you're black.

Posted at 2:39 PM on Dec 27, 2010 by AnnieSH

Best post in the bunch and says it all.

1341 days ago
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