Richard Chamberlain's Failed Relationship with Gay Partner of More Than Three Decades
He was the heartthrob of his generation for decades but was forced to keep his true-self hidden away.
Fans may not know this, but Chamberlain was dashing, suave, elegant, dazzlingly handsome, charming, and gay.
If you were to name the one leading man that consistently seduced generations of women from the 50's right through to the '80s, the one name that springs to mind is Richard Chamberlain.
His looks made him a natural as a leading man – and leading men were always presumably straight.
Chamberlain was the protagonist in some of the most successful TV series from the '60s through to the '80s: "Dr. Kildare," "The Thorn Birds," "Shogun," "The Man in the Iron Mask," "The Bourne Identity" and "Centennial" - to name only a few.
In an interview with LiveRampUp, the actor confessed that he kept his sexual orientation a secret to protect his professional image.
“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," admitted Chamberlain.
Alongside his TV career, he participated in several films and theater productions, both in the United States and in the United Kingdom.
In the mid-eighties, Chamberlain married his longtime partner and business manager, Martin Rabbett, and the couple moved to Hawaii together. Rabbett was 19 years his junior.
Both of them maintained a 33-year long relationship, which foundered after Chamberlain decided to return to Los Angeles in nine years ago.
The actor disclosed his true sexual orientation in 2003 when he published his coming-out biography titled "Shattered Love."
Despite his age, Chamberlain has not stopped working. His most recent role was as Dr. Mirari in the film "Nightmare Cinema, released in 2018.