Host Bob Goen: He was a child star of St. Elsewhere and
My Two Dads who later grew into a teen idol on Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. But
Chad Allen had a life long secret that was exposed when a tabloid published
pictures of him kissing another man.
Chad Allen: I was just a young guy...didn't know what
was going on. What to do. Sometimes things can get thrust upon you that are
Goen: When a national tabloid published the photo Chad
was 21 years old and starring in the fourth season on the Jane Seymour
drama. For a time it seemed his thriving career might disintegrate. He was
paralyzed with fear because he had kept his sexuality hidden.
Chad: For the most part I clammed up. You know, I'm
sitting around in rooms with older professional agents, managers, publicist,
studio executives, producers talking about you. It's just too frightening. I got
support from people around me. Certainly there was enough love in the area. And
people in Dr. Quinn and everybody around me, my family and stuff were
supportive, but my attitude was like, "I don't know what you're talking
about...this...I don't know what you're talking about."
Goen: Now 27 Chad is open about his homosexuality. But
the memory of being outted in print and having his career in jeopardy still
Chad: I look back now and think God forbid any 20 year
old is going to have to deal with that. Especially when I was doing something I
loved so much. To have that threat placed upon you. That they are going to take
it away. What you are. What's inside of you is supposedly ugly. It's too
scary, man. It's not right.
Goen: Being gay wasn't his only secret.
Chad: I was a 17 - 18 year old kid living in Hollywood
making too much money and you know, partying like a rock star.
Goen: Chad was rebelling against his strict parents and
trying to find himself.
Chad: I was a mess at times. I was in need of some
supervision and some love and I was defiantly striking out on my own. I was
living in a motel as much as possible before I could get a lease. And Jane
really...Jane Seymour really, I think, felt motherly towards me. There was...
She was always making sure that I ate and will you come over and have dinner
with us and looking into what I was doing at night.
Goen: Eventually Chad says he spun completely out of
control abusing drugs and alcohol. Fortunately his sense of survival helped him
Chad: I'm so grateful for the time that I had to go
away and sort out my drug abuse. You know my alcoholism. Cause I had to sit down
and figure it out. What was going on inside me. Is it good? What do you think?
Goen: In many ways Chad Allen was a reluctant star. His
career began when he was still in pre-school.
Chad: I had a twin sister and our Mom used to take us
to the twin contest at the county fair, where we would be paraded up on stage
and most look-alike boy and girl contest. People used to say, "Oh, your
kids are so cute they should to do commercials."
Goen: At age 8 he debuted on St. Elsewhere. Later, he
landed recurring roles on Paul Reiser's My Two Dads and the respected drama Our
House with Deidra Hall and the young Shannon Dougherty.
When ET caught up with the 10 year old Chad, he was emerging
as a fan magazine idol and already seeing the pitfalls of fame.
Chad (1984): As a little kid, It was always my dream to
be famous and stuff. I'm still working at it. But I like being an actor, I like
being recognized. At the same time it has its downfalls. Sometimes I I want to
go to a mall or someplace with my friends and I can't just go.
Chad (2002): It was crazy times. You know it was a
strange time to be me. I would take a look at these magazines and read these
letters and think my God what are they talking about. You know, who is this kid,
this perfect kid? Who seems to have it all together. It was bizarre I hated it.
I absolutely hated it, but I put on the smile and we walked through it. And
eventually got to the point where I learned that I couldn't do it anymore. This
is making me sick. I just couldn't stand the thought of these kids writing me
these letters thinking how great it would be to be me and how bad it was to be
Goen: There's no doubt that Chad was enjoying an
enviable career. Even co-starring with Helen Hunt in a 1991 movie of the week.
But eventually he walked away from professional acting and attended a typical
Chad: Incidentally I ended up falling into the drama
department, which in my school was just for geeks and losers, and anyone else
who didn't fit in anywhere else got stuck in the drama department.
Goen: Chad says he auditioned for the part on Dr.
Quinn because he thought the series would be cancelled quickly and he would
earn money for college. When the series was picked up for more episodes, things
really got complicated.
Chad: So what do you wanna do? Do you wanna go to New
York? Do you stay and do this television series? It will only last a year. It
couldn't possibly go on for anymore than that. I'll stick around. Six years
later I we were still doing it.
Goen: Six seasons on Dr. Quinn firmly
established Chad as an actor. During one hiatus he teamed up with Seymour in a
TV project directed by her husband James Keach.
Since Dr. Quinn ended, Chad has focused on producing
and acting in the theater, as well as starring in independent films. In the
upcoming drama, Downtown: A Street Tale, he portrays a drug addicted,
Chad: I don't want to give away the ending. But it's
pretty violent, pretty scary. Pretty intense stuff.
Goen: This latest role may be intense, but with all he
has been through he, Chad Allen will no doubt be able to handle it.
A big thank you to Mary Ann Marino for making the
screen caps for me.