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Hollywood star Richard Chamberlain urges leading men not to come out

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  1. Yes there’s a lot of homophobia in the media and in showbiz. Unfortunately the problem is that many of the people responsible for keeping the prejudice in place are gay themselves.

  2. So let me get this straight – Richard Chamberlain who waited until his career was over is now giving advice to actors not to come out?

    Why hasn’t he acknowledged the fact that his own coming out gave his own career a new lease of life.

    Is he also trying to imply that society is too homophobic to accept a gay actor despite the fact that the likes of Neil Patrick Harris; Chris Colfer; Portia De Rossi etc have successful careers.

    And if society is too homophobic (as Chamberlain pretends) to accept gay actors then how is that going to change unless more actors come out.

    Richard Chamberlain is a fool. HIs reasoning sounds like a self defence for his own refusal to come out.

    So few actors can make a career out of acting that I suspect it is more cowardice and self interest (rather than homophobia) that keeps actors in the closet.

  3. As for Rupert Everett – well I really don’t understand his bitterness.

    He is still a working actor when 99% of actors are waiting tables.

    Rupert Everett’s appalling career choices (The Next Best Thing anyone?) are the reason he does not get the roles he thinks he deserves.

  4. hmmm….what baffles me is that most good gay roles are taken by ‘straight’ actors.

  5. An Cat Dubh 28 Dec 2010, 11:11am

    I’ve actually read something along those lines on an Israeli newspaper. They said that openly gay actors are generally given marginal roles, usually as gay characters, with people like Neil Patrick Harris and the man who played Niles on Frasier (whom no-one really remembers nowadays) are exceptions. This is because heterosexuals are terrified of the thought that their sexual identity can be imitated with a bunch of gestures and stuff, like homosexuality.
    This is why Sean Hayes was in the closet for so long; he said that as an actor, the less the audience knows about his personal life, the less it assumes, hence his acting is more convincing.

  6. Oh gesh. all the open gay actors seem to blame their “careers” stalling on their sexuality when if fact Sean, Rupert, David, Sean and Richard have careers because they are gay.

    We are our own worse enemy.

  7. “heterosexuals are terrified of the thought that their sexual identity can be imitated with a bunch of gestures and stuff, like homosexuality.’

    That’s an absurd excuse.

    It sounds like the type of thing a closet case would dream up to take the focus off his own cowardice.

    There are PLENTY out gay actors in theatre. There are ever more out gay actors on TV. In film there are plenty of out gay British actors.

    These exccuses are sounding ever more self-serving and pathetic.

  8. It’s all very well saying these people should just be open and obvious about it, but who wants to be the first one to stick their head above the parapet and risk losing their career.

    As Richard said, acting is a fickle business at the best of times, so you don’t start coming up with more reasons why you may not get the gig.

    I totally understand where he is coming from, but until homosexuality really becomes acceptable to the vast majority of people, it just ain’t gonna happen. You can whinge and moan about it all you like, but that is the true reality of the situation.

  9. This is hollywood were talking about sex drugs immoral people exploitation. The producers are the gate keepers and it probally takes a certain inadequate hateful type who wants to be on screen but is too ugly most media operates on the same terms

  10. You needn’t have worried about Coming Out, Richard; from your Dr Kildare days, you were obviously gay – no straight guy could be THAT
    beautiful, whilst your perfomance in “The Thorn Birds” only compounded this. After all, how many straight guys could “do” tortured as well as Chamberlain and as for his kissing a woman – couldn’t he have just pretended it was another man? He just about managed to do the job without wiping his mouth with the back of his hand first!

  11. Well either you come out as an actor and push through the glass ceiling or you get the epitaph of Rock Hudson, who appeared to all the world like he was in love with Doris Day for the whole of his life and only after he died did the truth come out. That’s kind of tragic really.

  12. “but who wants to be the first one to stick their head above the parapet and risk losing their career.”

    Neil Patrick Harris; Portia DeRossi; Chris Colfer; Jodie Foster; Ian McKellen; Rupert Everett; Nigel Hawthorne all had pretty successful careers despite being out.

    Actors who remain in the closet will be remembered as closet cases. Their ‘secret’ will not die with them.

  13. These things are so complicated and difficult to judge. No two people are alike.

    Richard Chamberlain was born March 31, 1935, and came out on the Larry King Show On September 1, 2003, at the age of 63 1/2.

    His journey is described in his autobiography, “Shattered Love”.

  14. the man who played Niles on Frasier (whom no-one really remembers nowadays)

    In defence of David Hyde Pierce, he has been working on Broadway non stop since the end of Frasier, winning a Tony a few years ago. But then Broadway is way less homophobic than Hollywood.

  15. Most of these people are already strongly suspected to be gay. This is not the 1950s and coming out is not the “kiss of death” it was even 20 years ago. Just come out already and be done with it!

  16. SteveC: “Neil Patrick Harris; Portia DeRossi; Chris Colfer; Jodie Foster; Ian McKellen; Rupert Everett; Nigel Hawthorne all had pretty successful careers despite being out.”

    And every single one of them was already an established actor with a successful career beforehand. Also, a number of those mentioned were forcibly outed, or at least ‘jumped before they were pushed’.

    Check out the children’s presenters of the last 30 years, and at least half are obviously gay, but in many circles, gay men and children don’t mix, so they keep it all schtumm.

  17. The sad truth is that many if not most moviegoers can cope with a non-gay actor in a gay role, but not the reverse. It’s weird, it’s unfair, it’s deplorable, but despite it supposedly being about acting, that’s how it is – ask around among your non-gay friends. (Theatre is a completely different proposition.)

    Faced with this level of perception, no major Hollywood studio is going to invest in a lead male actor who’s known to be gay – note that that’s what Chamberlain was talking about.

  18. …sounds like you’ve got your ear to the ground, Rehan.

  19. Just admit it, US Americans. You are not living in a free country. You are just hypocrites and conservatives.

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