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Boo, Richard Chamberlain

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For decades, Richard Chamberlain felt he had to hide his homosexuality from the world, especially those in the entertainment industry.

We can imagine how hard that must have been for him, being unable to be exactly who he wanted to be, but what we can't imagine is why he is now telling this generation's gay actors to stay in the closet.

According to Richard, the "tremendous amount of homophobia in our culture" should be enough of a reason for gay actors to hide their identity. He explained further to The Advocate:

"For an actor to be working [at all] is a kind of miracle, because most actors aren't," Chamberlain told The Advocate, the monthly magazine. 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…"Despite all the wonderful advances that have been made, it's still dangerous for an actor to talk about that in our extremely misguided culture. Look at what happened in California with Proposition 8. Please, don't pretend that we're suddenly all wonderfully, blissfully accepted."

We appreciate where you are coming from, but there is really only one way to fix that - honesty.

Hiding the truth doesn't help broaden people's minds beyond stereotypes. It only gives the haters exactly what they want!

If we're looking for acceptance from the rest of the world, we first have to look to ourselves to be honest about who we are. That's the step forward the world truly needs.

[Image via WENN.]

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75 comments to “Boo, Richard Chamberlain”



  1. 1

    Perez is also one of the biggest gay haters….



  2. 2

    …why does it matter if someone is gay or not…why is it suddenly necessary to advertise who one is have sex with everywhere one goes???…it would be entirely inappropriate for me (a female) to walk into my office and announce that I am happily having sex with a male coworker; why is it appropriate to announce it if I am having sex with a female coworker…no one cares…on top of that, we (the public) pay actors to have a persona…it's why we read gossip columns like yours…a gay man is not believable in a straight part…just like Anne Heche in the Harrison Ford movie, completely unbelievable…



  3. 3

    I actually sympathize with him. There are a few actors I'm fairly certain are gay and are also very successful and the reason for why they've managed to accumulate so much success and cultivate it over time is because they love what they're doing. If you had to give up or even risk something you loved so much all because of who you are, it'd make you miserable. For some people, a career is their one true love, one true outlet to be who they are….



  4. 4

    BOO is right Perez!



  5. 5

    If you choose to keep it private so what. I do not feel it necessary to announce I am hetro sexual.

  6. zoey says – reply to this


    6

    I respect Richard's wisdom as a gay man in the industry.
    Perez..you are Wrong . Coming out is NOT the right decision for everyone

    Listen and Learn, Son



  7. 7

    Hey fatback, not everyone is like you. Let people make their own decisions. You don't see people running around declaring their heterosexuality, so shut the hell up.



  8. 8

    He's right, they should stay in the closet. Most people don't like gays, especially the ones who act like queens.



  9. 9

    He was talking about people like James Franco and (possibly) Neil Patrick Harris. Ruperett Everett's career died a horrible death when he came out. It's like career suicide.



  10. 10

    it's not for you to decide for other people how to live their life and how they deal with things, nor do you have the moral authority to make such a broad statement as this. …its probably exactly as he said, there is a time and a place and coming out in the middle of a big leading man acting career is professional suicide. you have no right to say that actors should do so, no right at all.



  11. 11

    Re: zoey – he can't listen and learn because he is so convinced this his way is right, he doesn't really listen to others unless its going to affect his bottom line, its sad really. there are so many people to learn from, but know it all's can rarely see that.



  12. 12

    Thank you Mr. Chamberlain. At least he's being honest about the real effects of being out of the closet for A list stars, not two-bit gossip bloggers who got a little attention for having a big mouth and no talent.
    .
    Horray Richard!



  13. 13

    I don't feel it necessary to announce what's happening…or not happening…in MY sex life. Bringing up topics like this is not acceptable in certain situations… especially in the office or when your parents are around. People should just keep their junk to themselves. There is such a thing as too much information.

  14. zoey says – reply to this


    14

    Perez …you need to ONCE AGAIN stop trying to play the wise person that you will never be..

    You just give the gays more problems I swear



  15. 15

    Rupert Everett said the same thing (no surprise):
    "The fact is that you could not be, and still cannot be, a 25-year-old homosexual trying to make it in the British film business or the American film business or even the Italian film business. It just doesn't work and you're going to hit a brick wall at some point. You're going to manage to make it roll for a certain amount of time, but at the first sign of failure they'll cut you right off… Honestly, I would not advise any actor necessarily, if he was really thinking of his career, to come out."



  16. 16

    I don't agree. People still go to see Travolta and they know he is gay. It didn't hurt Neil Patrick Harris. For goodness sakes, half the people on Frasier were gay and most people knew it while it was on.

    The bottom line is it should be the actor or actress's decision ONLY.



  17. 17

    There are a lot of people here who seem to think coming out of the closet = announcing who you're sleeping with. Sometimes it just means that you get to attend an awards ceremony w/the person you love as your date, that you get to hold their hand at your sister's wedding & take them out to a nice restaurant on Valentine's Day. Regardless of your position on this you should at least acknowledge that we're not talking about an advertising campaign selling sex. We're talking about the freedom to live your life without actively hiding who you are.



  18. 18

    I think you're missing the point. To become one of the well paid respected actors you need to keep your real feelings inside at all times otherwise you end up looking like gutter trash and no one wants to see you on the big sceen and therefore no one is going to hire you.

    If all you want to be is a gay stereo typed actor then that's fine but he's talking about that clean plate. A person who can step into any role without the stereo type.

    You are never going to see Jack from Will and Grace play a Bruce Willis leading man type character. that's just a fact. Women are not going to swoon to a well known gay man and daydream of him wisking the girl away (unless he's Adam Lambert).

    It's about being a blank canvas in order to be a successful actor. You don't want to divulge too much about yourself in ANY direction. Once an actor is labeled he/she is done for and their career is over.



  19. 19

    Once an actor says the one wrong thing.. they have an attitude and people no longer want to pay them money to see them on the screen.

    Would Ricky martin back in the 90's had made so much money if he was gay? His primary audience was horny females of all ages. If only gay men were buying his album it would have failed. He's not an opera star, he's eye candy. Now that he's pretty sure he's done singing (yes he has an album and no it won't be as successful as when he was girating his pelvis for his female fans) he can come out. he's rich and it doesn't matter.

    You have to think about this more logically. No there's nothing wrong with being gay, there's also nothing wrong with not telling everyone who sticks their nose in your business. Not everyone is a poster child. Some want to live their lives.

    If your job is to build websites.. no one is going to care if you're straight and certainly no one would ask. If you want women to melt at your feet watching you on the big screen then talking about how you love to suck cck isn't going to get you that.



  20. 20

    to be honest: HOW CAN YOU SELL THE MACHO MAN IMAGE TO GIRLS IF ALL THE GIRLS KNOW YOU'RE A GIRLY POWER BOTTOM???? HELLOWWWWWW! acting is all make believe and actors work an entire life in order to buil an image so they can sell it at a high price, they can not jeopardize the image. everyone else can get out of the closet, actors can't sorry. and that's not a bad bad thing!



  21. 21
  22. zoey says – reply to this


    22

    Re: light2you

    …I Hear you …

  23. dodo says – reply to this


    23

    Mario, even sitting on a camel you can't reach Chamberlain's level. Don't even try.



  24. 24

    Sorry Perez, not every actor wants to sacrifice their careers for the cause of "Gayiety". Macho action star leading men just aren't the same if we can imagine then sucking a #*&$!



  25. 25

    If you hate Perez so much why visit his blog? If i hated carrots I wouldn't visit carrots.com because it would just annoy me. If you hate perez so much why visit perezhilton.com? I swear there are so many biggots who just come here to start arguments and feel like they are so fucking smart.



  26. 26

    …razzleberry, why do you have to announce who you are having sex with (or what gender you prefer to have sex with) in order to take someone to dinner, a wedding at which you hold hands, and to an awards show…yes, it is announcing sexual preference…just frickin' do it…walk the walk…



  27. 27

    …grow up wiseguy…disagreement doesn't equal bigotry…this is America…we have a right to disagree and voice it…on another note, it seems that Perez would be the person (after his "I am a nicer guy" post) that would understand what valuing privacy and not wanting to announce which gender one wants to have sex with…who cares…



  28. 28

    Oh Please Perez, change the record. You always say the same thing but the truth is, if Chris Pine or Chris Hemsworth or Chris Evans (that



  29. 29

    Re: iloverickymartin
    Youare so linving in a fantasy world.
    Travolta is not gay. If he was, Perez wouldn't let him be.



  30. 30

    Oh Please Perez, change the record. You always say the same thing but the truth is, if Chris Pine or Chris Hemsworth or Chris Evans (that's it, my kid's name will be Christian) came out now I'd like to see if they would get the roles they're getting. No fat chance.

    Ricky Martin only came out now because the timing was right. He could NEVER do that during his Livin' La Vida Loca years.

    Stop living in La La Land, Chamberlain is absolutely right. Where's Billy Zane or Rupert Everett right now??



  31. 31

    Several times, I thought I heard Richard Chamberlain had died. I'm glad he's alive and has commented on the subject of coming out. Who would have believed him to be the sexually attractive priest opposite Rachel Ward in The Thorn Birds if we had known at the time that he was gay?



  32. 32

    coming out is not always the right for everyone! as much as i'd like to see myself as an open minded person… i'd be pretty gutted if my most favorite actors turned out to be gay. of course, i'd get over it… (eventually) and continue supporting their work, but something abut the fantasy one builds around their favorite actor would just die… i think.



  33. 33

    Re: wiseguy – Disagreeing with Perez on this topic does not equal hating him. If everyone was all sunshine and rainbows and agreed with him all the time this website wouldnt be any fun… kiss ass.



  34. 34

    lol Perez if you want to talk honesty and promote it then you better start drawing cocks on peoples faces and calling them out on their shit!! ;D



  35. 35

    Perez, your point is well taken. However, you cannot expect everyone to make the choice to sacrifice their livelihood and income to be honest. You are asking a huge sacrifice, and for what? so that a bunch of religious homophobic gay bashers can destroy their career. Is that really worth it? Honesty is great, but keeping your family fed is another thing entirely and being honest just so a bunch of nuts can destroy your career is worth it for everyone.



  36. 36

    He's just telling it like it is. Try announcing you're gay and then see how many straight roles come your way, that's why Sean Hayes CHOSE not to come out for a long time.



  37. 37

    I actually think Richard is right. It's just unrealistic to think that if a leading man came out of the closet that they would not lose some of their target audience. Losing the audience means losing money for the movies they are in which in turn means the actor losing work. I'm sure some of them think about living their life in an honest and open way vs having longevity in their career and therefore decide to stay in the closet. I don't agree with it, but it's a reality. Ultimately it's the actor's choice as to whether they want to stay in the closet or come out, nobody should force them to do either.



  38. 38

    The biggest problem with this post is saying 'unable' to be exactly who he wanted to be. That's blatantly not true, he was perfectly able to come out if he wanted to and chose not to.

    Also remember this was an era when straight actors often hid the fact they had girlfriends or wives so the fans could lust after them. Its all part of the game as an actor.



  39. 39

    When females know for sure, Ricky Martin or Glambert or other handsome homo is lusting for a dick up his ass, he loses all desirability from his fan base…women.
    Duh.
    "Dangerous to talk about", that's just plain stupid, Richard.



  40. 40

    Tom Cruise: he's talking to you, buddy.



  41. 41

    When females know for sure, Ricky Martin or Glambert or other handsome homo is lusting for a dick up his ass, he loses all desirability from his fan base…women.
    Duh.
    "Dangerous to talk about", that's just plain stupid, Richard.
    -
    Cause and effect.



  42. 42

    rupert everett also said the same thing as chamberlain here's the quote, from Wiki

    Everett recently told British newspaper The Observer that he wished he had never come out of the closet as he feels that it hurt his career and advises younger actors not to:
    “ The fact is that you could not be, and still cannot be, a 25-year-old homosexual trying to make it in the British film business or the American film business or even the Italian film business. It just doesn't work and you're going to hit a brick wall at some point. You're going to manage to make it roll for a certain amount of time, but at the first sign of failure they'll cut you right off… Honestly, I would not advise any actor necessarily, if he was really thinking of his career, to come out."



  43. 43

    I think if anyone is being "honest" here…….it's Richard Chamberlain. For once….someone isn't trying to be politically correct. He is not telling everyone to hide their sexuality……he's making the point that actors in Hollywood have a certain persona and if they want to continue working in lead "hetero" roles……it's probably best to keep their sexuality mum. He is stating what the reality is at this time……..that many people can't associate a gay actor in a hetero type lead role……..not that homosexuality is wrong. There is a big difference.



  44. 44

    i dont think its that simple to just come out as i felt betrayed by ricki martin i used to lust after him i dont care hes gay i care that he lied .. so i do think its a hard decision as some fans might turn against the person as they feel betrayed but most overall wont care



  45. 45

    So, why aren't you calling him a homophobic gayhater and drawing silly little childlike pictures on his photo? Oh right, it's called being a hypocrit. Sorry, forgot that about you.



  46. 46

    go back to your closet with your 76 year old opinions. Thank god hollywood is only a tiny part of the world - because this attitude it without a doubt homophobic.



  47. 47

    Re: razzelberry – Excellent point! Why does everyone make it about sex only? There is so much more to a relationship then sex! Is that all anyone thinks about when they see a straight couple? Geez,some people need to get a clue!



  48. 48

    he is correct. however he is also a veteran. I believe contemps like ellen, nph, and ricky martin are changing the rules for the newest generation. and lets not forget the bravery of early "gay' pioneers. they fought for themselfs' but they also fought for us.



  49. 49

    Probably because walking around blabbing your sexual preferences is low class!



  50. 50

    Gotta agree with Richard on this one. I mean, most people that buy movie tickets are Heterosexual and its almost impossible to take a gay guy seriously in a straight romantic role. They can do comedy and action but even those movies almost always have some kind of romatic side role. If youre a leading man and you're gay…keep in the closet if you want to maintain your career. Thats just the way it is..sorry.



  51. 51

    You are wrong Perez! You do not force people to come out if they do not want to!!!

    Also, Richard Chamberlain is right. If you are a leading man who always plays the part of a romantic leading man for a straight woman in movies —- it is best not to come out. Once you come out, you will hardly get leading man roles as a romantic partner for straight women in movies. THAT IS THE BLUNT TRUTH. Let's just say Ryan Reynolds comes out and says he's gay….I don't think I can feel the same way when I see him playing leading men in romantic roles and making out with Scarlett Johannssen or Halle Berry. It just doesn't work. It is not believable for a gay man to play a straight man especially in a romantic lead role! Richard Chamberlain is just being honest! Kudos Richard!



  52. 52

    fuck off perez. gay actors don't get work. period.



  53. 53

    Richard Chamberlain has been around and I think that we have a lot to learn from the older generation. He's been through it and seen it, more than Perez will ever know. When I see a movie and I know the actor's personal lifeit just ruins it for me, the less I know about an actor the better the movie I don't give a rats ass about their personal lives. I just want to be entertained.



  54. 54

    Perez, I believe you tried to be an actor and look where being such a flamer got you. Aside from the fact that you probably stunk at acting, that is. It is pretty much a given that a large percentage of male performers/actors are gay. Big deal. Why does someone have to announce their sexual preference because it pleases you? He is absolutely right. As much as I used to enjoy watching How I Met Your Mother, NPH's Barney Stinson comes across as a closet case trying too hard to make himself and others believe he is straight. There is a good reason for actors to keep their private lives private.



  55. 55

    It is an individual decision for many reasons!



  56. 56

    Less is more. If you are an up and coming actor, you want your performance to be remembered and your name to be recognized. If audiences want more from you, you become sought after. Stars should tantalize the public with a few personal details to keep them wanting to know more about them… Who wants to be known for who they are sleeping with?

  57. Fosca says – reply to this


    57

    chamberlain is a wise fox and your acting like a young peacock



  58. 58

    HA HA! Guess they told you, Perez. Stick to what you know best…celebrity gossip. Quit defending your Flaming Queendom…we don't care.



  59. 59

    Acceptance is one thing, but forcing it down someone's throat until they gag and vomit is another. Many people like myself don't give a rats ass who you F, so why do gay people have to always announce to the world on their tippy toes who they F? Do I walk around and say "Hi, I'm a heterosexual and I F men" NO? Why? Because it is no one's business but your own. You are making who you are all about who you F and that is such a small part of you.



  60. 60

    Big freaking fake! He came out later in his life when his roles dried up as well as his looks. When he was so called hot he made everyone think he was a lady's man, utter BS. Old queen wants some attention!



  61. 61

    I pay movies to see actors to act the play, not to tell me out of character about his private life. One thing is "omg something scandalous happened" that everybody knows and it gets published, but another is the sexual life of a person, which should be their own concern, not everybodies. I dont see a reason why someone should go around with a parade and drums announcing their sexuality choice, to me that sounds more primitive than the fact that is just accepted and period.

  62. barb says – reply to this


    62

    perez you hate all!!!! Let people live, let them raise their kids the way they want. Let gays come out IF they want and leave peole alone, just report gossip not hatred, remember your in the HOLY LAND>



  63. 63

    Damn Perez-is no one allowed an opinion —



  64. 64

    He's right! Let's be honest with ourselves. Even though some laws have been passed in the last decade and people are more aware of the glbt community, it doesn't mean that they accept it. Sound advice from RC I would say.



  65. 65

    Re: WatchuKnow – Or the fact that a gay was playing the role of a priest!. Cause got to remember the time the movie was made, its not like today at all.



  66. 66

    For all of those who claim they don't shout that they are heterosexual, use your brains. It is assumed that you are hetero, therefore any shouting out would be pointless and redundant. Lord, I just love these well meaning toads that say, I don't shout I'm hetero . . . Of course you don't. duh.

  67. uyeah says – reply to this


    67

    He's right. I don't want to see a guy I know is gay acting like a leading man. Perez is such a zealot about all things gay. Any and all stories with even a hint of gay subject is going to be posted here. People are entitled to keep their orientation private for what ever reason.



  68. 68

    not every gay person needs to say "yep i'm gay". not telling your sexuality is not the same as being in the closet. it is a need to know basis, and i am sick of gay people saying if you dont tell everyone you talk to you are gay, then you are not being honest. does every straight person you encounter say "yep, i'm straight?" i think not



  69. 69

    Perez it's time to get off your soap box. What Richard says is true. Listen to your elder. It's reality. In several generations it might change, but leading men cannot come out as "gay". What woman wants to watch a leading man in a film when they know he prefers men to women, it just won't work with our (women's) imaginations! It's everyone's choice what they 'self disclose". If your gay or a recovering addict, or a felon, or if your simply married, etc. Everyone's lives are different and everyone has a sense of privacy if they want it.



  70. 70

    Well Mr. Chamberlain, you certainly have the right to express your views even though they are sooo outdated. Used to be we'd ask: "What's your nationality?" We "worried" that the children of "mixed" nationalities might not be normal! Well we found out that's sure not true. We are such a mixture of "nationalities" today that we no longer ask the question. Then we focused on "What is your race?" Now people are becoming so mixed racially that we pretty much no longer care. We also focused on "what's your sexual orientation?" Well, there are so many "bi" people and people who have moved from one to the other in their lifetime that we are realizing that human beings are simply this: members of the human species and we all have sexual orientations. Mainly, we are simply people. Now we can all focus on the talents, characteristics, contributions, love, ability to solve problems including our planet's and species survival AND the pure wonder and value of our existence. Period.



  71. 71

    Perez, my comment may have been misunderstood. We humans are always trying to put people into categories. Italian, black, gay. We're none of those things. We're human. We've pretty much knocked off the nationality thing, because so many of us are too many "nationalities" to count. Please realize that the same can be said for race and so-called sexual orientation. We've got to knock off using these now obsolete labels and focus on our humanity, skills, contributions and so on. Even religious categories must go. We are all miraculously human beings, period. Please see that this is the direction for the future of a peaceful existence. It must be. If it's part of someone's identity to call themselves by some categorical name, then so be it. This is not the way of the future, however. We will all be either male or female, practitioners of a religion or not, in a relationship with someone or not and those will not be the "categories" we use to evaluate someone. A person's membership to the human species, their character, talents, contributions and love will be those things by which we "see" and evaluate people.



  72. 72

    Coming out not so recently seemed to be the right decision. I know it's a brave decision, but the climate has changed. There are forces trying to make being gay as "perverted". If you want to continue being a working actor, you may want to consider the aftermath of coming out. I'm a senior citizen, former working mom, democrat, and really have my doubts about what would be a good business decision today regarding one's sexual orientation. As absurd as it seems, it might be a good business decision to just keep your per sonal life just that, personal. I know it's morally wrong, but business is business and if you want to continue to work, you must make that decision. For my personal choice, I wish I had more gay friends. You are way more fun and I never doubt your artistic choices. We do live in interesting times, but history may not judge us very kindly.



  73. 73

    Re: iloverickymartin – but those people u mentioned are not out. there are still people in middle america who do not know or believe the people u mentioned are gay. all of america is not like los angeles, new york or san fransisco.

  74. @v@ says – reply to this


    74

    It's been Richard's experience as an actor, right or wrong, take it or leave it.
    Some professions wouldn't be affected. His career certainly was. I watched it.



  75. 75

    I agree with those arguing that coming out as a gay actor may not be the best career move because of the fan base those actors have built. If you're target audience is women then maybe announcing that you aren't attracted to women isn't the smartest thing. like a lot of people already said, that's the game you play when you're an actor, you have to be able to become whatever role you're cast in. I don't think it's all that discriminatory because it's not about being gay or straight, it's about being marketable to any audience. If, however, we were talking about the accountant down the hall who can't invite his boyfriend to the christmas party for fear of losing his job, then that would be a case of discrimination.