People

Jane O’Hara June 18 1979

People

Jane O’Hara June 18 1979

People

Although at his tender age he’s yet to distinguish between an arabesque and a plié, three-month-old Alexander, the Pisces progeny of Nadia Potts, principal dancer for the National Ballet, and Harold Gomez, National Ballet clarinetist, is destined for a dancer’s peripatetic life. Potts, who is back at the barre after having hardly missed a beat, will take Alexander with her on the dance circuit—Chicago, New York, London, Toronto, Montreal, Western Canada— where he’ll have the company of four other children now touring with their balletic parents. He’ll even meet ballet’s most famous Pisces, all-star Rudolf Nureyev who’ll be partnering mother Nadia in Giselle at New York’s Lincoln Center. The tiny dancer, five feet, four inches, and a smidgen over 100 pounds, will have just 15 minutes to rehearse with Nureyev but her total confidence in the brilliant Russian soothes her openingnight jitters. “He loves to dance with the principal girls,” says Potts, who first danced with Nureyev eight years ago. “When he walks onstage, you know everything will be all right.” And then there’ll be baby Alexander giving his lusty-lunged encouragement from the wings.

It may turn out to be the gossip event of the decade, and that was certainly how it was being described in New York and Washington when author Truman

Capote went on a splenetic hour-long TV tirade last week to dissect the manners and morals of Jackie Kennedy Onassis’ sister, Princess Lee Radziwill. The background to the spectacle lies in a tale Capote told Playgirl magazine four years ago about another American man of letters, Gore Vidal. Vidal, said Capote, was once thrown out of the White House after behaving badly at a party which President John F. Kennedy and Jackie gave for Lee and Stash Radziwill. Vidal denied the story and sued Capote for $1 million. Capote claims that Radziwill told him the story and that she also promised to declare publicly that the tale was true. However, recently, she changed sides and swore a deposition for Vidal that she had not told Capote any such tale. Capote’s feelings of betrayal by his “best friend” of 20 years were somewhat amplified when, he says, Radziwill told a New York columnist: “Well, you know what they are. They’re just a couple of fags and this is just a fight between two fags. I think it’s disgusting that we have to be dragged into it.” So Capote, a theatrically inclined Southerner, took to New York City’s WCBS TV station to get his own back. When the cameras rolled Capote sent up Lee Radziwill’s on-again off-again marriage to West Coast billionaire Newton Cope. And when asked about Teddy Kennedy’s possible presidential bid, Capote said: “I wouldn’t care to see it at all, because he’s a highly

unstable fellow ... he’s a person given to outbursts of various kinds when he’s had something to drink.” When that interview concluded, The Washington Post got its turn. Capote offered, “Men to both Jackie and Lee are to be totally controlled, nothing but foot slaves. Lee and Jackie have incredible contempt for everything and everybody. They really do think in the royal ‘we.’ ”

As one of the Liberal babies who got tossed out with the bath water in the recent federal election, former Vancouver Kingsway MP Simma Holt bears no grudge against the man most people hold responsible —Pierre Elliott Trudeau. In fact, Holt is planning to stem the anti-Trudeau tide by writing a complimentary book about the new leader of the Opposition. With working titles such as The Trudeau I Know or The Trudeau Nobody Knows, Holt’s thesis is this: “There were some ignorant attacks on my friend, and no one attacks my friend. This book will inform them why I respect Trudeau.” However, before the 56-year-old journalist sets her wheels spinning again, she’s back in Ottawa cleaning out her office. Perhaps it’s just as well, since her additional project is a book about Indian rights, which her parliamentary cronies aren’t likely to favor. “My book is going to name names,” said Holt. “It’s going to say that the department of Indian affairs has to go.”

Confessing “an embarrassment of riches,” director John Hirsch is back in Canada after a two-month hiatus, having been hounded by offers from Los Angeles, Seattle and New Haven, Connecticut. A 30-year showbiz veteran, Hirsch is resisting the lure south in order to fill his Canadian commitments, among them stage productions for both the National Arts Centre and Toronto’s Young People’s Theatre. While in Los Angeles, Hirsch tackled a lifelong ambition—Shakespeare’s last play, The Tempest. His production displays the talents of Canadians Brent Carver and Michael Bond, and the vigorously selfanalytical British actor Anthony Hopkins as the magic-making Prospero. Hopkins, 41, was Hirsch’s ideal choice for the part of “a man who has not yet come to terms with himself,” according to New York Times critic Richard Eder, who gave the production a highly favorable review. Hirsch wisely refrained from stirring up the emotional actor’s memories of Corky, the bedevilled ventriloquist he played in Magic. “Tony is a very troubled person,” says Hirsch. “Magic was one subject I thought it best to steer clear of.”

It was supposed to be an In Praise of Older Women version of Love Story with a tennis racket twist, but when the

preliminary pictures started rolling in, “I didn’t look old enough and he didn’t look young enough,” says AM MacGraw. Now 40, MacGraw’s “younger man” in her new film Players is Dean-Paul Martin, the 27-year-old blonde, blue-eyed son of Dean Martin Sr. whose previous experience as a fringe tennis pro prepared him for his role as a “player” in his first film. In Toronto last week, MacGraw shyly asked more than 300 tennis buffs who had gathered for a Tennis Canada benefit to excuse her total ignorance of the game, but added that she might have missed out on her movie career if it hadn’t been for her aversion to the sport. “When I was in school if you didn’t play tennis, you did Shakespearean plays,” she said. That got her started. Before her graduation from Massachusetts’ Wellesley College in 1960 the fledgling thespian had a part in All's Well That Ends Well. Her costar was none other than Erich Segal, who was at Harvard writing Love Story in his off-hours.

When actress-activist Jane Fonda took centre stage recently and trooped her political colors before 90,000 anti-nukers on Washington’s Capitol Hill, the impact registered on everyone from a 70-year-old lady dressed as a mushroom to U.S. Presi-

dent Jimmy Carter. In line with Fonda’s radical sympathies, but keeping a somewhat lower profile, was Canada’s Donald Sutherland, who turned up unexpectedly last week to protest the building of a nuclear generating station at Darlington, 30 miles east of Toronto. Although hotly pursued by Greenpeace organizers who wanted his famous face to grace their cause, Sutherland reluctantly declined the invitation when the rally conflicted with his shooting schedule for the movie Nothing Personal. However, before the day was out not even an appointment with the film’s wardrobe department could stay the superstar from exercising his social conscience. Following anti-nuclear speeches by actors Barry Morse and Don Francks to a crowd of 2,000, Sutherland was finally spotted dropping a donation in the non-nuclear kitty. And although in normal circumstances he could be expected to cough up for a worthy cause, Sutherland was a little low on dough thanks to a burglar who, two days earlier, had robbed him of $3,500 cash, $12,000 in airline tickets and his Order of Canada medal. Proving that even a thief can have a heart, everything but the cash has since been returned.

Jane O’Hara