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Chad Allen -- Blazing Saddle

Dr. Quinn's Young Rider Horses Around on the Fast Track

[Webmaster's Note: This article is from September 1995, before he was outted]

Chad 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 it.

"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 mistakes."

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 spots.

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 weird."

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 trying.

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 sympathizes.

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.

'Nuff said.

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