Article 56

Richard Chamberlain: I started acting because I felt worthless

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Haunted by low self-esteem, Richard Chamberlain began acting to overcome shyness -and blossomed into one of Hollywood’s most successful leading men.

"I never felt that I belonged in the human race, or even on this planet," confessed the 58-year-old actor, who shot to stardom in the 1960s as TV’s dashing "Dr. Kildare."

"As a boy and as a teenager I had a problem of low self-esteem. I didn’t think I merited attention. But I knew early on I could be someone in this business -because acting is a counter-balance to shyness and low self-esteem," said Chamberlain, who also starred in the acclaimed miniseries "Shogun" and "The Thorn Birds."

"Acting gives you a place to be wild and woolly, a safe way to experiment with getting to the outer limits of yourself. You can do things you wouldn’t dare to do in real life. Your extroverted self can get out, at last."