• Interviews

“Golden Globes Around the World” Podcast: Richard Chamberlain

Long before George Clooney took our temperature in ER or Patrick Dempsey became famous as McDreamy in Grey’s Anatomy, TV and film legend Richard Chamberlain became one of TV’s biggest heartthrobs in the title role of the TV medical drama, Dr. Kildare, which ran from 1961-66.

At the height of the show’s popularity, over two million people a week were watching and when the 87-year-old actor sat down with HFPA member Michele Manelis from his Hawaiian home to record a new episode of our “Golden Globes Around the World” podcast, he was still proud of the 12,000 pieces of fan mail he’d receive each week the show aired. “That’s more than Clark Gable ever got,” Chamberlain jokes.

Playing Kildare was also the start of Chamberlain’s long relationship with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the Golden Globes, starting with his first Globe win for 1963 Best TV Star in Dr. Kildare and eventually leading to a total of six Golden Globe nominations and two more wins: the 1981 Best TV Actor in the drama series Shogun and the 1984 Best Actor in a Miniseries, as Father Ralph in the iconic mini-series, The Thorn Birds.

Chamberlain also tells Manelis that the Golden Globes already had a reputation for being Hollywood’s party of the year when he first attended almost 60 years ago! “The Hollywood Foreign Press award parties were famous for being the most fun of all as the people drank a little more, there was more fun and the foreign press was really, really nice to me my whole career,” he says in the podcast. “Winning a Globe was a new experience for me too, as I’d been nominated for Emmys a few times but never won, so I loved winning those Golden Globes! To hold that Golden Globe in your hands and be able to thank everybody, it’s just a delightful feeling.  The statues are in my living room now, glittering on a shelf for all to see.”



The actor reminisced about many highlights of his career and his Globe wins earning him the title of  ‘King of the Miniseries’. He also talks about being the first actor to play Jason Bourne (sorry Matt Damon) in the 1988 TV movie, The Bourne Identity working with acting icon Laurence Olivier in the 1973 film, Lady Caroline Lamb, and hanging out with co-stars Paul Newman and Steve McQueen while playing his favorite villain role in the 1974 disaster movie, The Towering Inferno.

In 2013, when Chamberlain sat down to write his autobiography, “Shattered Love: A Memoir,” he finally ended decades of rumors and a tortured secret identity in his private life by coming out as gay. He tells Manelis that going public was never planned.

“At the time I got the book offer, I was doing a lot of spiritual work and personal, psychological work, and I thought, ‘oh, I’ll write a book about love and the power of love in our lives,’” he explains. “I didn’t want to write about being gay, because I knew that’s all anybody would want to talk about, and so I wasn’t going to talk about it in the book. But then my partner at the time said, ‘Richard, you have got to make this personal, you have got to talk about yourself,’ so I dared to write about being gay, which I had kept as secret as possible for decades.”

Although he’s no longer working, the Hollywood Foreign Press is proud to celebrate our 60-year-long relationship with the actor in this special episode of “Golden Globes Around the World.”