Article 52

Richard Chamberlain Scores With Elvis Hit

Who would have thought it? To record a song associated with Elvis Presley, get it into the charts Ö and look like going higher with it than Mr. Presley himself!

Richard Chamberlain may do it with "Love Me Tender," a film song recorded by Elvis that made the British charts as far back as December, 1956.

Surprisingly though, Elvis only went to No. 11 with it, whereas TVís "Doctor Kildare" is already at No. 16 after two weeks!

Richard Ėthe "nice guy" in the TV doctorsí battle with Ben Casey (Vince Edwards)- is taking his singing career seriously. He admits that when he made his first record, "Theme from Dr. Kildare," he was very nervous. They had a 40-piece orchestra in the studio and the musicians had a definite "show us" attitude towards me at first, because I was a television personality, not a singer. But when they played back the record, David Rose, the MD, grabbed me and whirled me around to face the orchestra.

They were all applauding me! It was the greatest feeling of accomplishment Iíd ever felt. I had worked for three months on that first record."

It was made more worth while later when Richard received telegrams of congratulations from Connie Francis and Brenda Lee. Richard admits that praise like this gives him confidence.

Instant stardom from the Kildare series has brought its problems for Richard. He doesnít think he has "grown up" professionally yet. When bachelor Richard is asked about marriage he replies: "Yes indeed! But not right now. I think a wife right now would go out of her mind trying to compete with the demands on my time by the television studio, the series, my dancing ĖIím studying ballet- and my singing. All of these are important to me at present. If Iím not secure in my work, I could hardly be secure in marriage. It would be a strain on my wife."

Richard admits to working about 14 hours a day. He knows what he wants in a wife: "Bright, well-read, willing to stick up for her point of view. Preferably not an actress. Must love kids (four or five), be a good cook (I canít even boil water) and love the outdoors. Whatís more, she must understand the temperaments, problems and "goldfish" life of an actor."

One example of the "goldfish" life can be seen in the way Richard dresses when he decides to go out for a stroll. He is forced, through fan attention, to disguise himself in old sweat shirts and blue jeans.

He says: "And when I was an out-of-work actor, all I had in my wardrobe was one suit and a pair of jeans. Iíve now got half a dozen suits Ö plus 150 ties.

"Can I wear them? No. Theyíd get ripped to pieces!"