Richard Chamberlain

Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, Richard Chamberlain talks about his life-long interest in acting. He discusses his first television role on Gunsmoke and describes at length his experience on Dr. Kildare, one of TV's first medical dramas. He goes on to recount his roles on two of television's most memorable miniseries: playing "John Blackthorne" on Shogun, and portraying the unforgettable "Father Ralph" on The Thorn Birds. He also speaks of his stage and television work in London as well as his ventures into feature films, where he socialized with the likes of Katharine Hepburn and Federico Fellini on set. He touches on his forays into music recording and on what it's like to be an actor who also happens to be gay. And be sure to watch for his tale on how he was mistaken for a serial killer in Colorado while filming the NBC miniseries, Centennial. Stephen J. Abramson conducted the interview on February 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, CA.

"Oh, I knew acting was what I wanted to do. There was nothing else in the universe that I wanted to do."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
On the great love story in The Thorn Birds
On wanting to be an actor
On getting his first role on Gunsmok e
Richard Chamberlain on being a teen idol
Richard Chamberlain on shooting what Newsweek proclaimed "the most erotic love scene ever to impact the home screen"
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood and early influences
On acting in college
On serving in Korea
On Dr. Kildare
On studying acting in England
On being an actor who happens to be gay
On his singing career

Chapter 2

On working on films
On working on miniseries - Centennial, Shogun
On his Golden Globe and Emmy nominations 
On The Thorn Bird s

Chapter 3

On the popularity of The Thorn Birds
On Dream West, The Bourne Identity and Island Son
On The Thorn Birds: The Missing Years
On publishing his 2003 memoir, "Shattered Love"
On his proudest achievement
On his regrets and advice about acting and love
On his legacy
Shows

Alfred Hitchcock Presents aka The Alfred Hitchcock Hour

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Richard Chamberlain on Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Ben Casey

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Richard Chamberlain on similarities and differences between Dr. Kildare and Ben Casey

Centennial

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Richard Chamberlain on working on the miniseries Centennial

Desperate Housewives

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Richard Chamberlain on working on Desperate Housewives

Dr. Kildare

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Richard Chamberlain on working on Dr. Kildare

Drew Carey Show, The

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Richard Chamberlain on playing a woman on The Drew Carey Show

Entertainment Tonight

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Richard Chamberlain on the role of celebrity and being the first person interviewed for Entertainment Tonight

Gunsmoke

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Richard Chamberlain on his first role in Gunsmoke

Queen for a Day

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Richard Chamberlain on Queen for A Day

Shogun

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Richard Chamberlain on the miniseries Shogun
Richard Chamberlain on preparing to play Blackthorne
Richard Chamberlain on how Shogun changed television and his career

Thorn Birds, The

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Richard Chamberlain on the miniseries The Thorn Birds
Richard Chamberlain on casting the role of Meggie and the chemistry with his co-star
Richard Chamberlain on shooting what Newsweek proclaimed "the most erotic love scene ever to impact the home screen"
Richard Chamberlain on the great love story in The Thorn Birds
Richard Chamberlain on the popularity of The Thorn Birds

Wallenberg: A Hero's Story

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Richard Chamberlain on his work in Wallenberg: A Hero's Story

Will & Grace

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Richard Chamberlain on working on Will & Grace
Topics

Censorship / Standards & Practices

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Richard Chamberlain on dealing with taboo subjects on Shogun

Fame & Celebrity

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Richard Chamberlain on being a teen idol
Richard Chamberlain on being the first person interviewed for Entertainment Tonight, and the role of celebrity

LGBTQ

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Richard Chamberlain on the portrayal of gay people on film and television

Memorable Moments on Television

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Richard Chamberlain on how the forbidden love story of The Thorn Birds made it so popular
Professions

Actor

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Richard Chamberlain on wanting to be an actor
Richard Chamberlain on the craft of acting and his acting rituals
Genres

Medical Dramas

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Richard Chamberlain on how Dr. Kildare made medical dramas a TV staple

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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Richard Chamberlain on his work in miniseries
People

Lauren Bacall

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Richard Chamberlain on working with Lauren Bacall

James Burrows

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Richard Chamberlain on working with James Burrows

Monique James

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Richard Chamberlain on agent Monique James

Norman Lloyd

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Richard Chamberlain on Norman Lloyd

Stan Margulies

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Richard Chamberlain on working with producers Stan Marguiles and David Wolper on The Thorn Birds

Raymond Massey

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Richard Chamberlain on working with Raymond Massey
Richard Chamberlain on working with Raymond Massey

Mary Tyler Moore

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Richard Chamberlain on working with Mary Tyler Moore in "Breakfast at Tiffany's"

Paul Newman

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Richard Chamberlain on Paul Newman's acting style in The Towering Inferno

Jean Simmons

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Richard Chamberlain on working with actress Jean Simmons in The Thorn Birds

Gloria Swanson

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Richard Chamberlain on working with Gloria Swanson on Dr. Kildare

David L. Wolper

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Richard Chamberlain on working with The Thorn Birds producers Stan Marguiles and David Wolper 

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