Actor Richard Chamberlain, who managed to keep his homosexuality a secret for decades, has offered a bit of controversial advice to other gay actors: “Stay in the closet!”
Chamberlain, now 76, became a TV idol in the 1960s playing the impossibly handsome Dr. Kildare on the popular series of the same name. Richard is also known for his work on The Thorn Birds and Brothers & Sisters.
He confirmed that he is gay in his 2003 autobiography, Shattered Love.
It’s a declaration he wouldn’t advise for younger actors who hope to retain their status as Hollywood leading men.
“There’s still a tremendous amount of homophobia in our culture,” Chamberlain told The Advocate this week.
“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. Personally, I wouldn’t advise a gay leading man-type actor to come out,” he added.
Chamberlain isn’t the first noted member of the gay community to become a card-totin’ supporter of The Down-Low Epidemic. Last year, downtrodden British star Rupert Everett blamed his homosexuality for torpedoing his screen career and encouraged other man-loving stars to keep their bedroom dalliances to themselves.
“Honestly, I would not advise any actor, if he was really thinking of his career, to come out…It’s not that advisable. And it’s not very easy. It just doesn’t work and you’re going to hit a brick wall at some point. And at the first sign of failure, they’ll cut you right off,” Rupert told the UK’s Daily Mail in Dec. 2009.