Chad Allen --
Dr. Quinn's Young Rider Horses Around on the Fast
[Webmaster's Note: This article is from September
1995, before he was outted]
Allen looks tired and hungry this early afternoon. His gorgeous
blue-green eyes seem a bit weary, his slicked-back blond hair hasn't
seen a whole lot of attention, and he's wearing an earring. On top of
that, he is battling a cold and stuffy nose.
This definitely does not look like
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman's Matthew Cooper, the 18-year-old
frontiersman of 1870s Colorado Springs. But then again, Matthew has
never indulged in Manhattan's frenetic nightlife and faced a busy,
tightly scheduled publicity trip in the 1990s.
Also unlike Matthew, Chad, 21, is on
his own in the big city, without the watchful eyes of adoptive parents
Sully and Dr. Mike (Joe Lando and Jane Seymour) -- although his
publicist (who was also up much of the previous night) is hovering
nearby, Invited to dig in to the lunch set in front of him and not
worry about talking with his mouth full, he enthusiastically goes for
"Going for it" is something Chad's
done his whole life. An actor since he was little, Dr. Quinn
is Chad's fourth series. Though the show is already in season number
four, "This is going to be the most exciting year for Matthew," says
Chad, his eyes brightening. "He's got his whole life in front of him
and doesn't know want he's going to do, or where he's going to go. So
he can try things and screw up, start over again and learn from his
Some of Matthew's up-coming
adventures include getting his own digs, starting a new career and
most significantly--saying good-bye to Ingrid, his longtime fiancée.
Though poor Matthew will be
heartbroken over the loss of his Swedish sweetheart, Chad's not
shedding any tears. "The producers came to me right after the first
season," he explains, "and said, 'What do you want to see happen? Are
we pushing this marriage thing to soon? I said, 'Yeah. It'd be crazy
to have him stuck in this marriage. You've already got that happening
with Dr. Mike. He's a young guy. Let him try go off and have loves and
losses. It'd be so much more interesting to have him not tied down.'"
Chad's love life is also pretty free
and clear, which suits him just fine. After all, what single Hollywood
actor in his right mind wouldn't relish his romantic independence? "I
had a relationship for a while and I don't want another one anytime
soon," he says so emphatically that you just know he means
it. "When you're young it's important to go what you might like,
places and try everything.
Then, when something comes along, try it out. Learn. Meet different
people. Have a good time. Being involved in a relationship inhibits
all that. I'm not saying to be a slut, but let yourself be free."
So just how loose has Chad been? Well, there was a
stage of, let's say, randiness, way back when... "I was all over
the map," he concedes with a smile creeping up. S a map of L.A.
would be covered marking his conquest? "Not just L.A.!" Ah,
youth.... Since then, though maturity (and the threat of some pretty
nasty diseases) had no doubt calmed him down somewhat.
And speaking of wild times, where does this
good-looking young buck carouse in Hollywood? It's not where you might
think. Chad doesn't frequent trendy clubs like Bar One, Roxbury and
The Viper Room, or go to huge parties riddled with Barbie and Ken
doubles. Instead, he and his friends--many of them struggling
actors--prefer to haunt local bars and small, unpretentious night
Unfortunately for Chad, those low-key places don't
guarantee that their customers won't include prowling women looking to
bag themselves a TV star. Fortunately, though he's learned to spot
those types a mile away. "I can tell almost immediately," he
asserts. "Like when a girl states talking to you and says stupid
things. Or, if she says, 'So what do you do?' I can tell she knows
what I do and is just trying to make me think she doesn't
because she thinks there'll be a better chance I'll sleep with her.
Or, they talk about Hollywood and who they know. There are people who
sleep with whoever comes along, but it make me feel really
Chad's had the most luck dating women he's met via
friends. Some of those liaisons have come to him through the
matchmaking efforts of his twin sister, who, despite her good
intentions, hasn't exactly hooked him up with the woman of his dreams.
"Finally I told her not to set me up anymore," he says,
laughing at the recollection. "You'd think that somebody you know
so well will probably have a good semblance of
and, no, it couldn't have been more off."
These days, there is, of course, another down side
to the dating scene. With AIDS running rampant and scaring the hell
out of everybody in its wake, Chad underwent his second HIV test
(results: negative) not too long ago, calling it "a frightening
experience." Not everyone has been so lucky. "I know guys my
age who are HIV-positive," he says shaking his head in dismay,
"and this has just been in the last year. First you hear about
people you don't know getting it, and then its friends of friends, and
then it is friends."
Was he freaked out while waiting for the test
results? "Totally freaked out!" he remembers.
"It's a harrowing thing. You have no choice but to sit there and
think. 'What if?...' You almost build it up to the point where you are
ready for them to say you've got it."
That's why he is a condom fan. OK, maybe not quite a
fan, but he has been wearing them since his sex life kicked
into gear and accepts them as a part of being young and sexually
active. "Unlike past generations," he points out, "we
can't rebel against what they tell us [about safe sex] because we'll die!
So our form of rebellion has got to be to fight this thing."
Chad's TV counterpart hasn't even had to worry about
donning raincoats made for below the belt, mainly because he hasn't
seen enough action to warrant them--and not from lack of
In one humorous Dr. Quinn episode, a rumor
saying that a comet was about to pummel the Earth was running through
Colorado Springs. Matthew's entire story line revolved around his
wanting to get laid before the world's end. The poor horny kid spent
the entire time trying to convince his fair fiancée that if they did
the deed it wouldn't matter anyway since they weren't long for this
earth. She wouldn't budge without a wedding ring, forcing Matthew to
beg the reluctant preacher to marry them immediately. The reverend
didn't go for the sales pitch either. "I felt for him," Chad
So the sexual encounter tally is now: Matthew zero,
Chad what? His face reddens and he rolls his eyes at the inquiry. Well
this is PLAYGIRL, you know, and we are expected to pry in people's
private lives. Over 10? We venture.
"Over 10, fewer than 1,500," he demurs.