People

Marsha Boulton November 17 1980

People

Marsha Boulton November 17 1980

People

America’s First Brother-elect, J. Neil Reagan, might have said last week that he has no plans to be another Billy Carter, but interviewers from Vancouver’s CJAZ radio station got a different story. By dialing U.S. voters surnamed Reagan at random on election day, Word Jazz hosts Walt Rutherford and Mark O’Neill turned up Reagan’s brother, a 72-year-old retired advertising executive, just as he was leaving his Rancho Sante Fe, Cal., home for the polling station. Stunned by their luck, they groped for questions, since the original purpose had been only to ask

citizens named Reagan how they were voting. Would he be another Billy? “No, nothing like that could ever happen,” said Reagan. “If I had to go into a crooked business, I would stay away from Libya. I’d probably go into counterfeiting.” Foot in mouth, Reagan stumbled on to explain that he and his wife, Bess, holiday regularly in B.C.’s Gulf Islands. “My wife swears I know every Indian squaw by her first name from Nanaimo to Prince Rupert,” he confided. But Reagan couldn’t be tricked into talking about his brother’s movies. In fact, he and his wife haven’t been in a “picture theatre” in 40 years. -

Great lines such as “Go Flash go” could make the career of Albertaborn actress Melody Anderson, who plays “the comely Dale Arden” in Dino De Laurentiis’ $30-million revisitation of Flash Gordon. Anderson studied journalism at Ottawa’s Carleton University and served a brief stint as an on-air reporter for CTV on Parliament Hill. She left that job to go to Australia, having suffered in the hard-news area as a result of her name.“Nobody would believe a blonde named Melody,” she says, though she wound up becoming one of the first female radio journalists in Australia. After appearing briefly in

the TV film Elvis and reigning as the Mercury Zephyr girl, Anderson won the Arden role over Priscilla Presley and Dayle Haddon. Montreal-born Haddon, however, is currently suing De Laurentiis for allegedly firing her from the role. According to Haddon’s complaint, she was pink-slipped for being “too skinny and not sexy enough.”

f fBfly advice to senior citizens is not Iwlto retire,” says 84-year-old actor turned country and western singer George Burns. Admitting that he “can’t get old, because I am,” Burns advises the social security set that there is a serious reason to remain active. “Get out of bed,” he says. “I’ve found I can’t make any money in bed.”

After studio-quality stereos and broadcast-quality CB units, the prestige toy for car owners has to be the mobile telephone. In fact, actor-singer Frank Sinatra has acquired three phones

for his cars, and recently he upgraded them considerably by purchasing “digital voice privacy systems,” or scramblers. The made-in-Switzerland devices cost $125,000 each and fit into an attaché case. When plugged into a standard car phone, the transmitted voice comes out as a soft purr which must be decoded by matching technology on the receiving end. If this $375,000 indulgence seems extravagant, consider the fact that Sinatra also recently paid $500 to straighten and cap the teeth of his dog, Leroy Brown.

{ {IJ^e know what we don’t like,” says ■V Vancouver’s Norman Watt, who, together with partner Bili Goodacre, travels the globe in search of the

world’s worst oil paintings. For the past four years Watts and Goodacre have donated their awesomely gaudy finds to the B.C. Paraplegic Foundation, which raised $8,000 in an auction earlier this month. Most of the 150 awful oils were found in Victoria and San Diego where weekend painters abound and works can be acquired for less than $5. “Europe is not great for this,” advises Watt. “They want real money for these kinds of paintings.” A panel of five judges picked the 10 worst of the worst. Held in particular disdain by artist-judge Ron Woodall was No. 139, Fox in Cock’s Clothing. “When a wino wakes up in the gutter, he’s probably enjoying a superior esthetic experience compared to looking at this painting,” said Woodall, who decided that it had been painted “by someone who goes to hockey games for the organ music.” At the end of the $35-a-plate dinner-auction, titles such as Butchered Gardens, Sunset at Dawn and Put Down Your Banjo and Shoot the Horny Beast were banished to unidentified walls.

Following the CBC broadcast of Toronto’s Santa Claus parade recently, West Coast youngsters might have paused to wonder exactly what it is that Santa Claus does when he comes to town. In Vancouver, the show was followed by Pacific Waves, an experimental film compendium whose first offering was an apparent hidden camera study of two men not using the urinals in a public washroom. “I wasn’t informed,” cried program director Alex Frame after 30 outraged calls lit up the Vancouver CBC switchboard like a Christmas tree.

When actress Mare Winningham flew up to Toronto to be cast for a part in the doctor drama Threshold, she didn’t expect to spend four hours on a table being covered with plaster. “They had to make an exact replica of my body for the operation scenes. It’s an old magic trick—my real head will be on the table but the doctors will operate on a model body,” says the L.A. native, who plays a young heart patient who comes under Donald Sutherland’s scalpel. Winningham, 21, who picked up an Emmy for the Alberta-filmed home-screen drama Amber Waves and plays opposite Paul Simon in One-Trick Pony, says, “It’s really a challenging part—even if I am mostly comatose.”

With Hollywood’s moguls being guided by the stars of country and western all the way to the bank, it didn’t take long for them to get on the line to Canada’s first lady of the Stetson, Carroll Eaker. “I don’t know whether I’ll taxe them up. I wouldn’t want my fans to think I was deserting them,” says the Port Medway, N.S., native, who has been offered a part in a pilot for a possible TV series on NBC. She’s also mulling over a singing role in a carnival movie to star Burl Ives. “It’s a part I can identify with. It reminds me of the singers at the Bridgewater Exhibition back in Nova Scotia. Halfway through their set the ox-pulling contest would always start and everyone would leave.”

íí|want to be a storyteller like Homer |was to the Greeks,” says 70-yearold Louis L’Amour, author of 76 books, mostly western classics, including his most recent effort, Lonely on the Mountain. In it, his all-American cowboy protagonists, the Sacketts, move north and encounter Louis Riel, a former elephant handler, lumberjack and longshoreman. L’Amour himself reads a lot of solid research material and very little fiction. “Norman Mailer leaves me cold,” he says. Currently on L’Amour’s personal reading list is the southern Ontariopublished Aylmer Express, which he is using for information to be utilized in his coming books with a Canadian backdrop. One of these will be “about the fur trade” and another may concern “a move from Southwestern Ontario to Michigan.” Not exactly Achilles dragging the body of Hector around the walls of Troy, but as L’Amour admits: “The only people I want to please are the people out there who read books.”

íflhave been kind of white-balled in ■ this society,” says jazz drummer Max Roach, 55. who was recently inducted into domnbeat magazine’s Hall of Fame. Coincidentally, Roach also topped the db Critic’s Poll in the drum category, topping Elvin Jones who has reigned since 1963. Roach’s complaints of a “whiteout” on his career evolved because of the music he created in the 1960s to protest racism in the U.S. and apartheid in South Africa, but recently records such as 1960’s Freedom Now Suite have been reissued and Roach is enjoying a revival. “I appreciate the kind of notoriety that I get, even though I feel as though I’m being exploited,” he says, indicating that his views haven’t changed. Roach feels that today black culture is being used against black people. “What they’ve done is taken the culture and used it to enslave black people. They don’t need the gun anymore, not as long as they have Quincy Jones.”

Edited by Marsha Boulton