Richard was born in Beverly Hills Ca. in 1934 (not 1935 as many sources claim). He was the second son of Charles A. and Elsa W. Chamberlain. His father was a salesman for a company that manufactured supermarket fixtures. Both Richard's parents were active and long standing members of Alcoholics Anonymous and Alanon.
Richard was a member of the track team at Beverly Hills High and went on to major in Applied Art at Pomona College. In college he found himself involved in a theatre groups and decided that acting was his true vocation. After college graduation and two years of service as a G.I. in Korea (earning sergeant strips and a sharp shooter certification) he returned to Hollywood and became the hottest TV star on the 1960's as Dr. Kildare.
Richard was determined to broaden his acting skills beyond television. After Dr. Kildare folded in 1965, he appeared in summer stock and also on Broadway in the ill fated Holly Golightly. He then went on to England in 1968 and became the first American actor to star in Hamlet in the British Theatre since John Barrymore. A series of TV films followed in which Richard displayed both his flair for wearing period costume and his mastery of film technique.
With Centennial in 1979 followed by Shogun in 1980, Richard was acclaimed the "King of the Mini-Series." A role truly earned with the enthralling "Thorn Birds" miniseries in 1983. Richard made many more films and returned to TV as doctor in 1989 in the all too brief and underrated series "Island Son." He then became the toast of Broadway with starring roles in "My Fair Lady" and "The Sound of Music."
Richard makes his home in Hawaii with his life partner of 26 years, producer and director Martin Rabbett. He is active in many environmental causes such as the Outdoor Circle. He also has returned successfully to painting, as can be seen on his popular Art Works site. He has written his memoirs "Shattered Love" in which he discusses his life long search for self discovery and spiritual truth.… Expand
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