World

People

Jane O’Hara April 9 1979
World

People

Jane O’Hara April 9 1979

People

Although it’s questionable whether they will ever touch a hair on his bushy head, macho music-maker Gino Vanelli recently purchased a pair of platinum scissors to give to his parents, who own several hairdressing salons in Montreal. “They never gave up faith in me,” said Vanelli. Faith was a necessity back in the days when the singer was reputed to have more sex appeal than talent—when he was more hair than there. And although his pants are still tight and his shirts still unbuttoned, the 26-year-old Adonis finally proved his worth last year with his first platinum album (over one million copies sold in the U.S. and 100,000 in Canada), Brother to Brother. A double Juno award winner last month, Vanelli plans to spring the costly clippers on his parents when he returns to play his home town April 27. Although it’s supposed to be a big secret, Mama Vanelli knows all about it. “He may be trying to surprise us,” said Mama Vanelli, “so I haven’t had the heart to ask him about it.”

Despite the fact that she was pronounced dead after a heart attack in 1972, Pearl Bailey, singer, author, former adviser to the United Nations and now a college freshman, took one breath last week and blew out all the candles on her 61st birthday cake. There were only four of them, but Pearlie Mae was pleased nonetheless, admitting, “Not bad for a lady who died seven years ago, eh?” Hours later, she was up on a Toronto stage for her first club performance since 1975 when she completed her long Broadway run as a black Dolly Gallagher Levi in Hello, Dolly! In a way, her 10-day Toronto stand, accompanied by her drummer-husband of 26 years, Louis Bellson, was Bailey’s Easter break. A chance to shut the French, philosophy and poetry books she studies for two hours a night and “just enjoy myself.” But with midterm exams at Washington’s Georgetown University waiting for her when she returns, Bailey won’t be playing hooky much longer. “There’s no favors ’cause I’m Pearl,” she cracked. “Not at Georgetown, no indeed.”

Granted, it was a slightly whimsical pretext, but New York author Truman Capote (In Cold Blood) felt perfectly justified in throwing a surgical celebration recently, giving himself a “chin-lift” party at the United Nations Plaza. Indulging his preoperative fantasy, Capote hosted the affair appropriately decked out in hospital colors, wearing an all-white sailor suit designed for him by Coco Chanel. With 16 of his closest friends in attendance, Ca-

pote managed to get into a clinical mood by popping champagne corks and serving chocolate mousse before shuttling off to Studio 54 for a little postprandial disco. The dancing continued until it was time for Capote to give his puffy profile up to the knife of New York plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Hogan.

The après-ski scene isn’t as trendy as Klosters, nor the skiing quite so good as St. Moritz, but nationalism aside, Spain’s King Juan Carlos is perfectly satisfied that the Spanish Pyrenees resort where he skis has slopes fit for a king. Accompanied by his wife, Queen Sophia, and decked out in a cardinal-red racing suit, the king’s well bodyguarded presence at the Aran Valley ski resort usually causes quite a stir. However, his appearance last week hardly raised a regal ripple. The local townsfolk were too busy discussing the news that one of the world’s richest gold deposits had re-

cently been discovered beneath their snow-mantled Sierras. While gold fever swept the little village (population, 6,000) after reports the mountain might yield 100 grams of gold per ton (20 grams per ton is considered bountiful), resort owner José Sola was thinking of ways to promote his 24-karat windfall. A king on the hills was one thing, but Sola was far more excited about his toilets. Pointing to the WCs which had been cut from the mountain 10 years ago, he said: “See. You can still see the gold flecks.”

Film audiences got their first unforgettable eyeful of Montreal actress Andrée Pelletier when she made her movie debut in Gilles Carle’s 1970 Les Mâles. “In my first scene I was stark naked in the shower of a strange apartment and two guys walked in,” recalled the 27-year-old Pelletier, who diplomatically secured permission for the performance from her then secretary of state father, Gérard Pelletier, now Can-

ada’s ambassador to France. But after starting out her film career with a bang, things have since dwindled to a whimper for the brown-haired Pelletier who, apart from a starring role in Marie-Anne (1978), has had to make due selling soap and sitting still for bit parts. Disaffected, in part, with moviemaking, Pelletier has recently returned to the stage after a seven-year leave, appearing in a Toronto production of Steven Petch’s new play, Sight Unseen. Although parental guidance is no longer a necessity, Pelletier still likes to keep in touch with her all-too-interested folks. “In a way they’re happy I’m back on stage,” said she. “They say I’m crazy, but they think that’s all right.”

ff A 111 do is eat ice cream, drink diet AAsoft drinks and stomp around my office late at night,” says Hollywood scriptwriter producer Alan Thicke, who sounds as though he’s discussing the latest West Coast diet rather than the manner in which he creates. “Invariably the next line comes to me.” Thicke, a 32-year-old native of Kirkland Lake, Ontario, used his technique to write his first film script for Norman Lear’s Religion, a movie which promises to do for Bible-thumpers what Network did for TV. After kicking off his career at the CBC where he earned $75 a week, Thicke moved to Hollywood in 1970 and has since worked on TV specials for stars such as Barry Manilow, Olivia NewtonJohn, Flip Wilson and Richard Pryor. Although his yearly salary of $250,000 and a still happy marriage to singer Gloria Loring have made recuperating from a case of homesickness easier, vestiges of the all-Canadian boy still remain. “I was never into the star trip,” admits Thicke. “My big thrill is to play hockey

twice a week at a rink near my Bel Air home.”

Although the manicured grass courts of Wimbledon are still recovering from a cold British winter, Canada’s 16year-old Glenn Michibata, considered one of the top junior tennis players in the world, is preparing for his second assault on them. Michibata, who last year became the first Canadian to reach the quarter-finals of Junior Wimbledon, has spent the winter in Irvine, California, working on his game and keeping up his “A” average at a local high school. Since in California good tennis players are as ubiquitous as avocados and hot tubs, Michibata has been forced to work hard just to keep up. “A lot of my friends in Toronto think it’s great to be in California,” said he. “But I’m no surf bum. Since September, I’ve only been to the beach twice.”

She has played a rabbi’s daughter in the 1974 Broadway production of Yentl, starred as a Czechoslovakian Jew in love with a German refugee (Joseph Bottoms) in TV’s Holocaust and was once cast sight unseen for a “Jewish” role—because of her name. But for 27year-old Tovah Feldshuh, enough was enough. Envisioning a future of being ethnically typecast—could a “Yiddisheh mama” be far behind?—Feldshuh decided not to accept any more Jewish roles and last year even considered changing her name. Consequently, it’s not surprising that Feldshuh is ecstatic about her present acting assignment as a sensual South American Roman Catholic in the Broadway production of Sarava. Although dramatically the play demands a religious leap of faith, Feldshuh’s happy to have made the transition. “It’s thrilling to play the part,” she said. “As much as I love Jewish people and as much as I am one, that’s all on the Jewish character scene for me for a long time.”

Edited by Jane O’Hara