Interview 25

(1999)

Live with Regis and Kathie Lee

Regis: Here's Richard Chamberlain.

RC: Oh, there you are!

Regis: Richard how íre you doing?

Regis: Well you know what? He was there across a crowded room and then we got waylaid. But by the time we got back you were gone!

RC: Well, sorry I missed you! It was a great party.

Regis: Yeh...to be there in her residence.

RC: It was amazing! I met her once.

Regis: Did you?

RC: I went to a New Yearís Eve party at her house in Hawaii. And this was only about three years before her death and she was terrific!

Kathie Lee: So you met Bernard Lafferty?

RC: No, I didn't...well I donít know...see...I didnít know about him. I didnít notice, he was there.

Regis: He was lurking around.

RC: Yeh.

Kathie Lee: He does so...well...I have a confession. I have been in love with Richard Chamberlain, like everybody else, since I first laid my eyes on you in Dr. Kildare.

RC: Donít say that!

Kathie Lee: You have never been creepier than in this movie!

RC: This is a creepy guy!

Kathie Lee: You must have had a ball playing him!

RC: It was so much fun. It is much more fun to do character parts than leading man. It is great doing leading men too. But the character stuff is where the real fun is, because you've got so much freedom. And you can be as bad or as what ever you want to be!

Kathie Lee: Oh, he was pretty dark on that!

RC: Well, in our show he was.

Kathie Lee: How much of it is based on true facts?

RC: Nobody really knows a lot about the absolute facts. I met two people at the party last night, one on one side of the room and one on the other. One said he knew Bernard very well and he was the nicest person, couldnít possibly have killed her, couldnít possibly have done any of that. I go on the other side of the room and they say we knew him, he was a monster, of course he killed her! So we...we...for the sake of the drama we played him pretty, pretty sinister.

Kathie Lee: And against type, excuse me Regis, you didnít have the pony tale and you didnít have the Irish accent.

RC: No, CBS wouldnít let me do that. I used the tiniest bit of an Irish accent, but they didnít want me to do any of that stuff.

Regis: What was it like working with Lauren Bacall? who was also their last night.

RC: Unbelievable! She is one of the...

Regis: She really got in to that role too, didnít she?

RC: Yeh, she is very, very good at it.

Kathie Lee: She's great at it!

RC: She is totally amazing, she is one of the great, great movie stars, she's very sexy. Yes, no kidding , I mean really knockout sexy. She's very, very witty and funny. And a wonderful actress. I had a great time with her.

Regis: Even Brian Dennehy showed up.

Kathie Lee: Of course! Brian Dennehy's in everything.

Regis: So, Richard, you still living in Hawaii? I mean is this your full time...

RC: Yes, still live in Hawaii. I'm here for my...

Kathie Lee: You won't see much of it this year.

RC: ...for my shot of New York. No, I'm not going to be home for a year and a half.

Regis: No kidding.

RC: Yeah, but you need to get off the island sometimes. And I think New York is the perfect anecdote to the kind of a sleepy, uh, beach bum type of life in Hawaii. And then you come here and it's all go, go, go, which is great.

Regis: And you're going to do the "Sound Of Music."

Kathie Lee: Learning to play the guitar.

RC: Learning to play the guitar.

Kathie Lee: Who is going to be your Maria?

RC: Laura Benanti. She's the current understudy and she is fantastic! She's just fantastic. I mean, I'm already head-over-heels in love with her. She's just wonderful.

Kathie Lee: That'll help.

RC: Yeah, yeah, unfortunately she's got another guy and I could be her grandfather, but never mind.

Kathie Lee: Hey, details, details.

Regis: He's got a great voice, doesn't he? And a great singing voice too.

RC: Well, I sing, a little, yeah.

Kathie Lee: Remember the hit he had, "Dream."

Kathie Lee: Remember that? Oh...I was in love...stop it! Oh. Remember the one "Dr. Kildare" you did with, it was called 'Tiger, Tiger' with Yvette Mimieux.

RC: Yvette Mimieux. That's everybody's favourite. Mine was something else, but...

Kathie Lee: That's when I knew I had hormones, when that thing aired.

RC: Yeah, she was wonderful.

RC: She's the only actress I know who could have an epileptic fit on a surfboard and...

Kathie Lee: And look great.

RC: ...and look great.

Kathie Lee: It's true.

Regis: Well, so what are you going to do after Broadway?

RC: Well, I don't know. I'm, well, I'm going to have a nice holiday. A really nice holiday.

Regis: Where do you holiday when you live in Hawaii?

RC: Because I did another movie in between "Doris Duke" and the musical, called "Pavilion" in North Carolina, so I've been working steadily and I'm gonna have...I think I'm probably gonna go to Italy and maybe rent a little villa someplace and have some time off.

Kathie Lee: Oh, gosh, how fabulous.

Regis: But when people see you, which role do they talk about?

RC: Women "The Thorn Birds", Men "Shogun."

Regis: Oh, "Shogun"!

Kathie Lee: I love that too, though.

RC: Some people still remember "Dr. Kildare", but that hardly gets mentioned anymore. But mostly it's "The Thorn Birds" and "Shogun."

Regis: And which is your favourite of all the things you've done?

RC: Umm. I think in terms of mini-series, "Shogun" I thought was a really fantastic project, in all ways. And it also taught people so much about Japan, and everything, I think it was a really good one. Um, the most fun I've ever had was a show we did at The Public Theatre called "Fathers And Sons" by Tom Babe, and Dixie Carter and I , Dixie Carter played Calamity Jane and I was Wild Bill Hickok, and it was just a ball it was.

Kathie Lee: She's an old friend of yours, right?

RC: Yeah, she is, yeah.

Regis: So, you have nothing but fun in your life, huh?

RC: Well, no, no, no! no.

Regis: No, but I mean you've got the big house in Hawaii on the water.

Kathie Lee: Which he can't see for two years.

Regis: You're the toast of Broadway.

RC: It's pretty good. I have to say, it's pretty good.

Regis: It's a nice life.

RC: My life has not been without problems but, uh, it's, I feel extremely lucky.

Kathie Lee: That's plastic.

RC: Oh!

Kathie Lee: Sorry.

RC: Oh, this ain't, this is wood! I feel really, really fortunate, as you guys should.

Regis: Have you ever wrestled Sable?

RC: No, but I saw her in the dressing room and I said, "I'll stand in for you anytime."

Regis: Hey, that's mine! I want him out of the building.

RC: She is incredible. She is incredible. You get to fight with her, right?

Regis: Well, she's gonna, she's gonna teach me a few holds.

RC: Wait till you see this woman, she's really something.

Regis: Well, she's alright. It's really something.

Kathie Lee: It's a living, you know, it's a living.

Regis: These are the kind of mornings you live for, Richard. Well, listen, welcome back to New York.

RC: Thank you.

Regis: Looking forward to seeing this mini-series. It begins Sunday night on CBS and then continues for another episode on Tuesday night as well.

RC: On Tuesday.

Regis: Let's take a look at a clip now; here's the whole thing, getting her to name this butler the executor of her estate.

RC: Yeah, that's pretty amazing, isn't it?

Regis: It really is, now, let's take a look at this scene right now from "Doris Duke."

("Too Rich: The Secret Life of Doris Duke" clip)

Kathie Lee: Ugh!

RC: Eww!

Regis: Charming couple.

Kathie Lee: I wanted to smack you.

RC: What a bad guy!

Kathie Lee: Had to be fun, though, I could tell that.

RC: It was fun, it was fun. And working with her was sensational.

Regis: Two great performances. Okay, it's called "Too Rich: The Secret Life of Doris Duke." Sunday night, CBS. Richard, Thank you very, very much.

RC: Thank you.

Kathie Lee: It's so nice to see you. Thank you for coming.

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