Richard Chamberlain has starred in such classics as Dr. Kildare, The Thorn Birds, and Shogun and has received rave reviews for his theatrical turns in Hamlet, Cyrano de Bergerac, and My Fair Lady, as well as numerous other plays and films. Chamberlain lives in Hawaii, where he continues to act and pursue his passion for painting.
Despite its fevered title, this is a courtly, ruminative life's accounting by the TV miniseries star and 1960s heartthrob. It relates Chamberlain's journey toward self-awareness and growoing capacity for love, through the scrim of an actor's career. Although the author, who's now 69, discusses his main television, movie and stage efforts, he dishes no dirt about his colleagues or directors. Raymond Massey, Chamberlain's Dr. Kildare co-star, was like a second father to him. The Thorn Birds' co-star Barbara Stanwyck was prepared down to her gestures when she hit the set. The Three Musketeers's bombshell Raquel Welch was beloved by all. As Chamberlain revisits his acting credits, he concentrates on what he gained from them as an artist, such as how he fought for the lead in Shogun or broke through the constraints of Rex Harrison's performance to carve his own characterization of Henry Higgins in a stage revival of My Fair Lady. Throughout, he centers his account on how he evolved as a spiritual being. He writes of his spiritual counselors, who showed him how to gain strength through dissociation and open his heart to forgive and love others, particularly his alcoholic father. He speaks intermittently about his homosexuality, but considers it a nonissue, rather than a political passion. His pantheistic theology is heartfelt, but might seem unfounded to orthodox believers. The book is most valuable as a portrait of a man who has made peace with his past. B&w photo insert not seen by PW. (June) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.