Richard Chamberlain

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Richard Chamberlain, an American actor who gained notoriety after playing the main character in the television series “Dr. Kildare,” is referred to as the “King of the Miniseries”. He gained popularity as the 1960s “teen idol” thanks to his good-natured charm and good features. He won the Golden Globe for the role in the dramatic television series. However, the popularity of “Dr. Kildare” made him fear being stereotyped as “Prince Charming,” so after “Dr. Kildare” ended, he always sought out difficult parts to demonstrate his range as an actor. The multi-talented Chamberlain performed in numerous stage productions over the course of a career that lasted more than five decades in addition to acting in TV and movies. He appeared on Broadway in the United States and in British theater, consistently wowing the crowd. He also produced albums of his own music, some of which reached the top of the US and UK music charts. Three Stars Will Shine Tonight, his debut single, peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Top 100 Charts. He has made appearances in famous TV shows like “Desperate Housewives,” “Brothers & Sisters,” and most recently “Twin Peaks” in episodic roles over the past ten years.

Early Youth & Life

Elsa Winnifred and Charles Axiom Chamberlain welcomed a boy named George Richard Chamberlain into the world on March 31, 1934, in Beverly Hills, California. His mother was an actress and vocalist, while his father was a salesperson.

His father’s drinking caused him to grow up in a challenging environment. Richard Chamberlain, however, was a talented track athlete and a decent sportsman. He attended Pomona College after completing his high school education in 1952 at Beverly Hills High School.

He majored in drawing and art history in college, earning an arts degree in 1956. While in college, he grew passionate about drama and gained notoriety for his portrayal of Bluntschil in the successful stage drama ‘Arms and the Man’. On December 7, 1956, he was admitted to the Army and given a 16-month duty assignment in Korea.

Richard Chamberlain’s Career

Richard Chamberlain moved to Hollywood shortly after being released from the military to seek an acting career. First, he studied acting with renowned acting coach Jeff Corey. They founded the Los Angeles theatrical company “Company of Angels” together.

Chamberlain made brief cameos in a number of TV programs during the late 1950s and the beginning of the 1960s. He appeared in a “Riverboat” episode where he portrayed Lt. Dave Winslow. Additionally, he made a few cameos on programs like “Gunsmoke,” “Mr. Lucky,” “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “Rescue 8,” “Bourbon Street Beat,” “Thriller,” “Paradise Child,” and others.

His career experienced a significant turning point in 1961 when he was cast as Dr. Kildare in the medical drama on television. Chamberlain had all the makings of the charming, sympathetic, and caring medical intern who became an instant sensation with a surge in envious female fans.

He later went on to record a number of pop songs, which increased his fan base even more. Three Stars Will Shine Tonight, his rendition of the Dr. Kildare theme song, peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Top 100 Charts.
In an effort to stray from the upstanding Dr. Kildare image, Chamberlain attempted his hand at acting in motion pictures. In 1963, he received a role in the courtroom thriller movie Twilight of Honor. He portrayed David Mitchell, a defense attorney for a homicide suspect.

He appeared in the 1965 movie “Joy in the Morning,” which was based on the same-titled book. Carl Brown, a law student, was the character he portrayed. As ‘Dr. Kildare’ came to an end, and Chamberlain sought to shed his ‘American Boy persona by taking on more serious parts in summer stock productions like ‘West Side Story,’ ‘Private Lives,’ and ‘The Philadelphia Story.

In 1966, he rediscovered his passion for the theater, he appeared in the Broadway production of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The show, though, ended up being the biggest failure of his career because it was canceled after only four performances.

His livelihood changed for the better after moving to England. He received praise for his portrayal in the BBC adaptation of “Portrait of a Lady” in 1968. He then went on to portray David Danner in the drama film “Petulia” by director Richard Lester. His first attempt at British classical theater helped him establish a new persona and hone his acting abilities.

In 1969, he appeared in the film adaptation of “The Madwoman of Challiot” alongside Katherine Hepburn. Additionally, he was chosen to portray “Hamlet” in 1969, for which he even received vocal training. His efforts paid off, and audiences and reviewers alike praised him for his superb portrayal.

For the television program “Hallmark Hall of Fame,” he then played Hamlet again in 1970. In order to broaden his acting range, Chamberlain proceeded to take on more difficult roles, such as the flamboyant Lord Byron in the 1973 movie “Lady Caroline Lamb” and the classical composer Tchaikovsky in “The Music Lovers” in 1970.

He portrayed Edward VIII in “The Woman I Love,” an American divorcee who abdicates his kingdom in favor of Wallis Warfield Simpson, his lady love. The Thorn Birds, King Solomon’s Mines, and Shgun were just a few of the TV shows that Chamberlain starred in during the 1980s. He also portrayed Jason Bourne in the TV movie adaptation of “The Bourne Identity” in 1988.

In television programs like “The Drew Carey Show,” “Will & Grace,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Leverage,” and “Chuck” after 1990, Chamberlain made several notable appearances. He made a stage comeback in 2012 playing Dr. Sloper in the drama “The Heiress” at the Pasadena Playhouse.

Personal Influence & Life

Richard Chamberlain and television performer Wesley Eure were rumored to be dating in the 1970s.
After 1977, he engaged actor Martin Rabbett for a protracted period of time. In order to protect his assets, he formally adopted Rabbett.

Richard Chamberlain has always kept his sexual orientation a mystery. But he came out of the closet in 2003 when he revealed openly in his autobiography, “Shattered Love,” that he is gay.

Estimated Net Worth

American actor and vocalist Richard Chamberlain has a fortune of $25 million. When Richard Chamberlain played Dr. James Kildare on the NBC medical drama “Dr. Kildare” (1961–1966), he shot to prominence and won a Golden Globe for the performance.

Trivia

Joy in the Morning’s theme tune was sung by Richard Chamberlain.
In TV Guide’s 2005 ranking of “TV’s 25 Best Teen Idols,” he came in at number 7.

He was the first Jason Bourne from the movie “The Bourne Identity”. Chamberlain acquired the moniker “King of the Miniseries” as a result of his numerous TV appearances.