People

Marsha Boulton July 23 1979

People

Marsha Boulton July 23 1979

People

In last year’s psychological thriller Magic, green-eyed Ann-Margret lit up the screen wearing tailored sweaters and nicely fitted blue jeans. In her latest picture, The Villain, the actress has less comfortable-looking attire to deal with. The film is a wacko western that threatens to spew as many gunslinging stereotypes as Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles. For example, one of Ann-Margret’s co-stars is beefcake body-builder Arnold Schwarzenegger, who plays a handsome stranger and goes by the name Handsome Stranger. Her other leading man is dimple-chinned Kirk Douglas, who chases Ann-Margret around while portraying the Old West’s most incompetent outlaw. “While Kirk is falling out of trees, and I’m falling out of my

bodice, Arnold keeps gathering firewood,” says Ann-Margret, desperately attempting to summarize the plot. The Swedish-born beauty should have a chance to make a larger social comment in her next project, Middle Age Crazy, which is being produced by CBC Ombudsman-turned-movie-mogul Robert Cooper. In it she plays the patient but ruthlessly honest wife of Bruce Dern, whose 40th birthday triggers a roving eye and a sports-car fetish. “Some people, especially men, are going to get extremely uncomfortable,” says AnnMargret, who feels that the turning-40 anxiety syndrome is “indigenous to the whole world.” She is 38.

By swept 1940, up actress Broadway Sylvia and gone Sidney to Holhad lywood to star with Spencer Tracy, Humphrey Bogart, Henry Fonda and James Cagney. Nice work if you can get it—but it wasn’t enough for Sidney, who found her true passion when she decided to re-cover a set of dining-room chairs and discovered the joys of needlepoint. Her cross-stitches have endured the test of time better than some of her films and, at 68, she has written two “fumble and fuss” books about the craft. This fall she will lead a tapestrystudded trek across France with 30 dedicated crewelers and hookers who will enjoy such formidable sites as “71 scenes embroidered in eight colors of worsted recounting the Battle of Hastings.” The 16-day tour, including aperitifs with Sidney and round-trip airfare from New York, puts a $5,500 tear in the sewing basket. And, for those who can’t cope with thimbles, a similar excursion is being planned by 54-year-old actress and beauty expert Arlene Dahl, who will lead 20 consummate consumers through a 10-day tour of London establishments that bear the shingle “By Appointment to the Queen.” Special visitations on the Dahl dally include meeting the hatters who make Princess Anne’s riding helmets.

Ten years ago Charlie Farquharson’s alternate persona, Don Harron, set foot on stage to act without whiskers and Parry Sound accent. He was on his honeymoon. The well-known actor was appearing in a Chicago production of Measure for Measure and he had taken an afternoon off to marry singer Catherine McKinnon. “They made me play the evening performance—I decided after that, to hell with theatre,” says Harron, 54, who turned his sights to producing and is now concentrating on a radio career as the talkmeister of CBC AM’s Morningside. While he is on a twomonth leave of absence from radio this

summer, Harron is breaking his stage silence by appearing in a production of Bernard Slade’s much-applauded Same Time, Next Year, which is being staged at a little theatre in Barrie, Ontario, before moving to Toronto. Performing in the play, a two-hander about the serial infidelity of a couple who escape their mutual families and shack up once a year, won’t disrupt the honeymoon for Harron this time. He has solved the problem by co-starring with his 34year-old wife. It will be her first nonmusical play and Harron’s musical debut, which he marks with a rousing rendition of If I Knew You Were Coming I'd Have Baked a Cake.

As if this summer’s crop of horror films hasn’t curdled enough blood, those wonderful Hollywood folks who brought you The Brood, Prophecy and Dawn of the Dead have now spawned Guyana, Crime of the Century, a bigscreen blockbuster about the Rev. Jim Jones’s tragic cult of madness that led to the suicide/murders of more than 940 people eight months ago. The film was shot last February in a jungle outside Mexico City, where the Jonestown compound was re-created .’ight down to the Kool-Aid packages in the food storage room. Stuart Whitman {Murder Inc.) stars as “Rev. Jim Johnson,” a role for which the craggy actor gained at least 20 pounds, and Gene Barry {Name of the Game) plays “Congressman Lee O’Brian,” after Leo Ryan who was murdered on the Jonestown airstrip. Also lending a ghoulish tinge to the proceedings is Canadian-born Yvonne de Carlo, 56, ( Lily in The Munsters) who acts as a liaison between the Whitman character and the outside world.

Though her name doesn’t appear on the marquee, one of the most memorable images in Ivan Reitman’s summercamp version of Animal House, Meatballs, is light and lively Canadian actress Cindy Girling, who plays a counsellor in training under Kate Lynch and Bill

Murray. Sporting a hot pink bikini and a tan that never quits, the bouncy 22year-old is looking forward to playing more serious roles, not to be typecast as a “dizzy California blonde.” Oozing ambition, Girling started in show business at 14 as a rock singer in a long-forgotten band that frequently played at her high school in Waterdown, Ont. “It aged me quickly,” says the wrinklefree, former Miss Canada runner-up whose previous movie experience includes playing “mysterious mistress” in the thinly disguised story of the Peter Demeter murder saga, I Miss You, Hugs and Kisses. Girling had an opportunity to catch up on her youth when Meatballs was filming last summer in Northern Ontario. “It was great. We all had cabins to sleep in and every morning the buses would come around to pick us up and take us to camp.”

To capture the appropriate stranger-thanfiction reality for his 1960 epic, La Dolce Vita, Director Federico Fellini had Rome’s thoroughfare, the Via Veneto, rebuilt as a set. Ten films later, the 59-yearold master of neorealism is busy building again. This time he has re-created a congress hall, a jungle garden and a roller-skating arena which will serve as backdrops for The City of Women, a film about feminists and the women’s movement that he has been filming outside Rome since April. Starring in the contemporary-themed work is Marcello Mastroianni, a veteran of Vita, whom Fellini has cast as a puppy-dog character trailing about on the heels of the leader of a feminist party. The set, as with all Fellini efforts, is a bizarre bazaar in which subtlety is avoided and only Fellini is said to know the plot and ultimate outcome. Hundreds of women of all shapes and sizes and a variety of dogs from Afghans to Pekinese have been cavorting on the set, and confusion is reportedly rampant. There is also a great deal of concern in Italy about the approach Fellini will take to feminism,

and his wife, Giulietta Masina (who also starred in his Academy-Award winning Le Notti di Cabiria), has been conducting a radio campaign in defence of her husband’s right to parody.

(fit you weren’t in the wake of his deIstructiveness, he was an adorable man," says Maxine Marx, 56, of her father, Chico, the cuddly, behatted Marx who died in 1961 after 74 years of funny business. Once an aspiring actress, Maxine Marx has been working as a New York casting director for the past 12 years and will join the ranks of Hollywood offspring authors this January when her book, Growing Up With Chico, will be published. “It’s not at all an exposé like Christina Crawford’s Mommie Dearest. I didn’t have a horrible childhood like that,” insists Marx, who says she felt compelled to write the book because of denigrating comments made about her father by the late Groucho Marx, who pegged his older brother as selfish and irresponsible. “People have forgotten that Dad was the manager, the brains behind the act. He was the least malicious human being I’ve ever known,” she says. Chico did have his faults, however, and even according to his loving daughter he was “a compulsive gam -bier,chronically faithless husband and congenital liar.” And that’s not horse feathers.

Edited by Marsha Boulton