Article 174

Wesley Eure of TV's "Land of the Lost" Comes Out

Wesley Eure

The story of Eure's life being cast to replace David Cassidy on The Partridge Family right before the show was canceled, for example has always been interesting. But now that he's opening up about being gay, his story also includes the stuff of even the richest of memoirs: his 70s love affair with Richard Chamberlain, his behind-the-scenes firing from Days of Our Lives, his relationship with some of the most famous closeted gay men in the Hollywood, and his touching thoughts on being a closeted teen heartthrob.

Richard Chamberlain and I were boyfriends for a year, before he met Martin [Rabbett, his long-term partner]. We lived together, he was at my place. We broke up. He met Martin, who he's with now for all these years. He's talked about it, or else I wouldn't. It's great for him. It broke my heart. I was destroyed. I was a kid, and he was a much older guy.

I remember, they were going to out him. I was starring in a play, and somebody said, "There's a magazine guy who wants to talk to you." And I said, "Great. Bring him to the dressing room after the show." It was this smarmy looking guy and a friend of his, they come in and he says, "What do you know about Richard Chamberlain being gay?" It took the wind out of me, and I was like, "What are you talking about?" And he goes, "Well, he came out in a Paris magazine."

And I said, "Well, if Richard is gay, then I wish him a great deal of happiness." And he said, "Well, we heard you were very close to Richard." So I said, "Richard and I are very good friends and I wish him a lot of luck, and my God, if he is and he's talking about it, that's terrific." I wouldn't answer their questions. I remember when they left my heart was beating so fast and I was terrified.

The next week, it was all over the tabloids. The Enquirer, The Globe, everyone's cover was Richard. I called a friend of mine who worked with the National Enquirer, I was panicked, "Please, what can I do? Am I going to get outed?" It was like the end of my life, I thought. He said, "I'll make some calls," and he squelched it. I remember that weekend, when the gossip papers came out in the grocery stores, I went to the store in Florida and I was shaking, and I grabbed one, and sure enough, on every couple was, "Richard Chamberlain is gay." I bought all three of them and read through the articles and didn't see my name, but I was shaking.

It was that kind of fear. It's immobilizing. It was a horrible experience, and I'm certainly very, very proud of Richard with his book and what he wrote, and he's had a great life with Martin, and he's a terrific guy, an amazing man. But that's the kind of fear that existed, and still exists today. As much as we can come out, as much as we say it's okay. Neil Patrick Harris came out and it didn't hurt him, but that was a choice he made.

Richard Chamberlain Online