Interview 36

Thinking Of Suicide
I Will Take A Few Pills And Go Into The Sea
(April 2007)

Richard Chamberlain was happy to welcome me in his villa in Hawaii. Despite being 73 years old Richard Chamberlain hasn't lost his charm, his bewitching smile. For more than 30 years an inseparable couple: Richard Chamberlain (73) and his lifelong partner, Martin Rabbett (53), who is 20 years younger - both live together on Hawaii Island.

Scary! The great movie star is longing after death. He is tired and bored with life. The 73 years old does not fear death, on the contrary he is curious about the Other World.

More openly and honestly than ever before the star of "The Thorn Birds", speaks about his most deeply felt wish: When he will be 76 he will swim into the sea to never come back. That is what the actor shared with us in a private conversation.

Why does a man like you think of suicide?

For several reasons that I am willing to share with you. Here in the United States the estate-tax will be phased out completely in 2010 for a period of twelve months. For the last thirty years I have been happily living with my partner Martin Rabbett without a marriage certificate. Should I die before Martin the taxes due will amount to 55% of the value of our property (house and land) which means several millions. And Martin will have to renounce to the house we love so much.

Do you choose suicide to save 55% of the estate-tax?

Yes, of course. I am determined to draw the consequences - should I live till 2010, which I trust I will. I will take a handful of pills and go into the sea at sunset, I will at some point lose consciousness and go down.

You don't mean it!

You bet I do! I will by then be 76 years old. I will have lived long enough. In three years time I will kill myself. I will then find myself in the Other World where I am longing so much to go. The good thing about it is that the Tax Revenue Office will be the loser and Martin will be able to keep the house and won't find himself covered with debts.

How did you reach such a decision?

For a long time I have been curious about death and what happens after. I have never been afraid of death. I am longing more and more to experience what it feels to be dead, whether there is another life and how it really is in the Other World. Where will I go, where will my soul go?

It is macabre!

Do you think so? The fact is that I feel more and more uneasy with myself. I am terribly tired to see every morning the same face in the mirror, to brush the same teeth, to go through the same routine every day. I am bored with this George Richard Chamberlain whom I have known inside out for 73 years. It makes me yawn in the real sense of the word.

I would like to broach also other topics besides death. Tell us how do you manage not to have wrinkles at 73. Did you have a lift?

(laughs) Well look behind my ears. Do you see any scars?


Here you have the proof that I did not have a lift. If I don't have that many wrinkles it is due to yoga. Every day I do face exercises in front of a mirror thus keeping in good shape.

So you are conceited.

Of course I am. I owe it to me and to my profession.

Your profession...

As an actor and as a man who loves women. I admire, I revere and in a certain way I love women. But I never wanted to marry a woman or to live fully with her.

Was it not especially difficult to play love scenes?

On the contrary, I often remember with pleasure the hot kisses in the TV series "The Thorn Birds" with Raquel Ward (who then was 28). We couldn't stop. It was wonderful. Raquel has a beautiful and exciting mouth. Our kisses were absolutely real. I love to kiss women. In all modesty I am a good kisser.

Who says so?

All the women I have kissed and they are plenty. Even today I still have to look at a woman who walks by swaying - nothing more though.

Has it ever happened to you to look at a man other than Martin?

Of course, I am not blind.

And what happened?

Nothing. From the beginning of our relationship my partner Martin and I agreed to be faithful to one another or to put an end to our relationship before cheating.

Many couples make that promise but something happens nonetheless, though in secret.

Martin and I don't have secrets for one another. We took and we take our promise of being faithful very seriously.

How do you resist seduction?

I no longer need the strength to resist it. Unfortunately no one is trying to seduce me any more. Perhaps I do not have the age for that any longer.

In your relationship were there problems due to the fact that you were a star and that you consequently showed off?

You can say it loud. I had the airs and awful habits that I loathe in other stars today. I considered myself the centre of attention and everything had to turn around me. Looking back it is not at all so surprising: did you know that every week I received twelve thousand letters from fans, more than Clark Gable ever received? It was not a big surprise that I lost my head. I cannot understand, even today, how Martin has remained so long with me.

But you changed?

Almost too late. Back in 1991 Martin packed, ordered a cab to go to the airport and said: "the way you are behaving you will one day find yourself all alone. I am leaving you for good."

Did you promise to become a better man?

Not at all, I let him go. But every day that went by and that we were separated made it clearer how important Martin was to me. When I called him and begged him to give me another last chance he came back. We had a very long conversation and have never separated since then.

A last question, who is Richard Chamberlain?

A man who has really had enough to worry about himself: whether he is happy or unhappy, whether he is hungry or thirsty, whether he is very busy or has nothing to do... Who is Richard Chamberlain now?
A man who doesn't want anything but his eternal rest.

(This article is courtesy of MC. It as been professionally translated from German into English and is © 2007 MC. This translation may not be reproduced partly or fully without the prior permission of MC.)

Note From Webmaster: This interview appeared in a German weekly magazine and has been translated from English into German and then back into English again, so mistakes and errors may occur because of the language barrier and interpretations of what was actually said and inferred. There is an audio recording of this article and when listened to does not come over the same way that is written in the above article.