Is Richard Chamberlain still acting? I really enjoyed him in “Dr. Kildare” and “The Thorn Birds.”
—Sherrill White, Cardington, Ohio
The handsome leading man, who became a ‘60s heartthrob in the lead role of “Dr. Kildare,” continues to perform in TV, movies and theater. This past summer, he took on the role of the priest in “The Exorcist,” played by Max von Sydow in the 1973 film version, at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, and, prior to that in spring, he starred in a critically acclaimed version of “The Heiress” at the Pasadena Playhouse.
In the past couple of years, the 78-year-old actor’s TV performances have included “Brothers & Sisters,” “Leverage,” “Desperate Housewives” and “Chuck,” and he will be featured in the miniseries episode of PBS’s “Pioneers of Television” in 2013.
In decades past, Chamberlain was the king of the TV miniseries, with starring roles in “Shogun,” “Centennial” and “The Thorn Birds.” “The whole structure of the miniseries is really wonderful,” the Beverly Hills, Calif.-born Chamberlain says. “Series television is a little too fast, and movies are a little too slow. The miniseries was just right in the middle…sort of like porridge. And the material that we got was so wonderful—‘The Thorn Birds,’ ‘Shogun’ and extraordinary books like that were just fabulous reads to begin with.
‘So we got to work on wonderful material. It was a really terrific medium, I think, thrilling to be involved in. For ‘Shogun,’ we were six and a half months shooting in Japan, which was glorious. I don’t know if people are offered those kinds of experiences anymore. I’m so happy to have been a part of it.”