Article 92

Actor Richard Chamberlain to Lecture at Pomona College
(March 31, 2004)

Actor and author Richard Chamberlain will present a public talk at Pomona College on Monday, April 5. The subject will be Chamberlain's recently published autobiography Shattered Love: A Memoir. The talk will be held at 12:15 in Lyman Hall, Thatcher Music Building, 340 N. College Ave., Claremont. A book signing will follow in front of the Pomona College Museum of Art.

Chamberlain will discuss the dominant themes of his book: love, forgiveness, detachment, self-image and social conditioning. Although Chamberlain's public life and career have been extraordinary, the life issues and personal dilemmas he chronicles are universal.

Chamberlain's new memoir challenges the self-congratulatory stereotype of the celebrity autobiography, chronicling his professional and personal struggles with rare honesty and openness. Growing up in Beverly Hills, the second son of accomplished parents, Chamberlain's early life appeared ideal. In fact, his father was alcoholic, and the resulting family instability marked Chamberlain, setting him on a course fueled by a nearly desperate need for acceptance and acknowledgement. The remarkable productivity of his career can be explained in part, he suggests, by a relentless need to prove himself worthy. Chamberlain's quest was complicated by his homosexuality, which he recognized as a young man but has only recently been willing to discuss openly. This reluctance resulted in part from fears that his career as a leading man would be damaged if he were openly gay, and in part from his own discomfort with his sexuality. As his career progressed, however, despite notable successes and the support of thousands of fans, Chamberlain came to realize that outward acclaim would never satisfy his craving for validation. While continuing to work, the focus of his life shifted gradually to self-examination and spiritual development. It is this journey that is the true subject of the memoir.

Chamberlain began his acting career at Pomona College from which he graduated in 1956. Immediately offered a contract by Paramount Studios, he was obliged instead to serve in Korea. Returning to Los Angeles 16 months later, however, he signed with one of the most powerful talent agents in the city, and in 1961 won the lead role in the enormously popular TV series Dr. Kildare that ran for four years and brought him widespread recognition. Moving to London in 1968, Chamberlain undertook a number of stage roles, including Hamlet at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, acting in the company of such luminaries as John Gielgud and Michael Redgrave. In 1965 he starred with Julie Christie in the film Petulia and was tapped for the role of Ralph Touchett in the six-part BBC production of Henry James's Portrait of a Lady. Throughout his career, Chamberlain has continued to work in theater, television and movies. His credits include such theatrical roles as Hamlet, 1968; Lady Caroline Lamb and Cyrano de Bergerac, 1973; The Lady's Not for Burning, 1974; The Night of the Iguana, 1976; and My Fair Lady, 1993-4; his films include, Joy in the Morning, 1965; The Madwoman of Chaillot, 1969; Ken Russell's The Music Lovers, 1970; The Last Wave, 1977; and Wallenberg: A Hero's Story, 1985; and his television movies and series include, The Bourne Identity, 1988, Centennial, 1968; Shogun, 1980; and The Thorn Birds, 1983.

This event is open to the public without charge. It is being offered midday in order to enable as many people as possible to attend. Please note, however, that food and drink are not permitted in Lyman Hall. For more information, call (909) 621-8283.

© 2004 Pomona College