People

Maureen Piercy May 12 1980

People

Maureen Piercy May 12 1980

People

Buck Rogers’ vivacious 25th-century TV cohort, Col. Wilma Deering,

spends her real-life weekends in 19thcentury style pitching hay and tending 100 head of cattle on an upstate New York ranch. Despite the fantasy show’s success, Erin Gray, 29, leads a quiet family life with real estate agent husband Kenneth Schwartz and toddler son Kevan and, despite her obvious stretchy space-suit charms, wants to avoid the poster pin-up whirl to which Farrah Fawcett et al have succumbed. “I shy away from merchandising—there’s something in my gut that just says, ‘That’s not me,’ ” says Gray. “I enjoy being a woman, and my sexuality, but I don’t want to score from it.” Along with her acting career, she has been taking vocal lessons for the past four years and last week made her singing debut during a taping of Pete's Place, a sitcom variety-show parody being filmed in Toronto. “I’ve never sung for anyone before except my kid and my shower,” tittered Gray nervously. “I was thrown out of the glee club in fourth grade.”

if Nowadays to be really famous, you l^have to be a Frank Sinatra,” says world-famous Nobel Prize-winnerlsaac Bashevis Singer with a modest, cherubic smile. Since winning the literary award in 1978, Singer, 75, has had to fight off media demands for his time in order to keep up his daily writing schedule—but he recently finished work on the saga of an 18th-century Jewish leader. The book, Reaches of Heaven, is packaged in a limited edition with 24 etchings by New York artist Ira Moskowitz. Before an excessively priced trade edition appears, Singer hopes 250 inscribed copies z will be sold for $1,800 each. The author y maintains that he has not been spoiled by the limelight and he is at work on a new book, The King of the Fields, an anthropological fantasy about man as 5 food-gatherer. “My apartment is the | same, my wife is the same, my clothes m are more or less the same,” Singer told Maclean's last week. “The writer should do his work and not worry about recognition.”

({I’m okay. God doesn’t make junk,”

I Joe Plut told himself one day in 1972 as he surveyed his clumsy, balding, allergic, myopic, asthmatic 35-year-old body. Only one student had signed up for his poetry course and his self-esteem was in the pits. But he dragged himself from the depths of despair and started a love course, which he wouldn’t let anyone leave without a hug. “We all need to be touched more, to be hugged,” the mad hugger told packed houses in Winnipeg last fortnight. He preaches

the same theory as social scientist Virginia Satir, who says everyone needs four hugs a day for survival, eight for maintenance and 12 for growth. Plut says that a hug is “spiritual as well as physical” and, after his first foray into Canada, he’ll be back out in June to hug the stuffing out of Thunder Bay.

f ilsuggested Wendy wear red plaid inIstead of virginal white,” comedian Dick Shawn says about actress-model daughter Wendy’s plan to wed John Travolta’s big brother, Joey, her roommate of three years. The father of four thinks cohabiting before the nuptials is the best way to get to know your spouse: “If it doesn’t work out, you’re not bound to it, all you have to do is pay half of all you own. Lee Marvin killed it for all of us.” Shawn had to take time off last week for the festivities from his oneman show The Second-Greatest Enter« tainer in the World, a 1978 Los Angeles Drama Critics Award-winner. The o show sends up an inept comic who is £ inventing his act in a rundown dressing room and who discusses politics and kamikaze pilots while munching bananas for security. “Bananas are pure and absolutely perfect because they are the only food left that doesn’t cause cancer,” says Shawn, whose next project is a sitcom pilot, Mr. and Mrs. Dracula, about a reformed vamp who trades in his fangs for domestic bliss.

Honey-haired Time cover girl Diane Lane has just completed her fourth feature film, All Washed Up, in Vancouver, and the 15-year-old starlet will be taking a breather for the next couple of months. Lane turned down a role in the torrid, steamy-teen pic Blue Lagoon only to appear in All Washed Up as a street-wise singer with two of the notorious Sex Pistols, Steve Jones and Paul

Cook. Lane, who wears a see-through blouse and hurls epithets at concertgoers in the film, says the sexual aspects are going to be handled with class: “It’s not going to be close-ups of the boobs or anything.” She has her sensitive side: to play a cerebral palsy victim who corresponds with Elvis Presley in Touched by Love, Lane spent a week in Calgary working with handicapped kids. In her next movie, she may end up playing the 14-year-old bride of Edgar Allen Poe. “It’s an incredible story,” says Lane, “with the opium and a murder mystery, but right now there’s just me and a script. Until that happens I don’t think I’m going to do anything unless Gone With the Wind II comes along.”

íí|n rock ’n’ roll, what’s weird?” asks iFrank Soda, rubbing his bald head thoughtfully. Ex-Vancouverite Soda and fellow band members Peter Crolly and John Lechesseur have just produced their second album, Frank Soda

and the Imps. A mass head-shave was part of an intense promotion drive, but Soda says he likes the new look “because it’s more hygienic” and, “since we’ve shaved our heads, a lot of girls come up to us and want to touch our heads. They relate it to their fathers or something.”

The forbidding high priestess of literary London’s Bloomsbury circuit, Virginia Woolf, will make a ghost appearance at Stratford, Ontario, this summer when Virginia makes its world premiere. The play is the third written by another rebellious novelist, Edna O’Brien, whose earthy works have been banned in Australia, Rhodesia and South Africa as well as in her native Ireland. O’Brien says she and Woolf share repressive backgrounds—she escaped from a narrow-minded village and Woolf from the stifling world of the Victorian intelligentsia. Describing Woolf as “a bird of the upper spheres,” O’Brien got the one actress she thought would be perfect for the role—Maggie Smith.

Bringing back memories of false turtlenecks worn in the 1960s under bleeding madras shirts, The Dickies are a zany Los Angeles quintet which has made a big hit in Britain. The Dickies’ 120-m.p.h. parodies of Paul Simon’s The Sounds of Silence and the Moody Blues’ Nights in White Satin have become novelty hits—and the original authors are joining in the chuckle as they demand their royalties. The Dickies are willing, however, to put off getting a reaction from Sammy Davis Jr., the subject of their infamous ditty Where Did His Eye Go? “We haven’t heard from him

yet,” muses singer Leonard Graves Phillips nervously, “but I’m sure if he’s heard the song he’ll want us rubbed out.”

Signed Picassos in a CBC radio studio?

New Yorker cartoonist Frank Modell pondered the incongruity as he sat in Otto Preminger’s living room the other day trying to make small talk. Modell had mistakenly been sent by an absentminded booker to the film-producer’s home instead of the CBC’s New York studio. With characteristic European aplomb, Preminger invited Modell in, waited for him to state his business, and they chatted inanely about the weather—until the clouds of misunderstanding cleared. “I thought we were both guests on the show,” explains Modell lamely, “sitting in the green room waiting to be called.”

Ontario film buffs who had to slink across the border to Quebec or the U.S. to see intact versions of Pretty Baby or Luna are enraged at the provincial censor board’s decision to slash German film-maker Volker Schlöndorff’s The Tin Drum. Best foreign film winner at the Academy Awards, and cowinner with Francis Coppola’s Apocalypse Now of top honors at Cannes, The Tin Drum is based on Günter Grass’s 1959 novel. It is the story of Oskar Matzerath, who stunts his own growth on his third birthday out of contempt for the absurd adult world of fascist Germany. The censor board wants to clip scenes including one where Oskar, portrayed by 13-year-old David Bennent, presses his face against a young woman’s naked groin. “This isn’t some kind of kiddie porn,” says lawyer Aubrey Goldman, who represents the film’s distributor. Director Schlöndorff is adamant: “I am totally outraged. The Tin Drum, will stand as it is, to be shown complete or not at all.”

Maureen Piercy