People

Marsha Boulton July 14 1980

People

Marsha Boulton July 14 1980

People

When she was 19 and broke, Alberta Watson sauntered into a CBC audition hoping to land a bit part. She walked away, flabbergasted, with the lead role. Now completing work on her sixth movie job, Watson’s roles are getting better and her name’s getting around in the movie industry. “At the beginning I was always cast as the dark-haired quiet one,” explains the sultry five-foot, nine-inch actress, “but now I get to do more than just talk with my eyes.” She made her movie debut as a sensual chanteuse in the steamy 1978 Canadian export In Praise of Older Women, and last year played a Mafia moll in Dirty Tricks with Elliott Gould and Kate Jackson. In her current film, Misdeal, Watson plays a boutique operator whose boy-friend (played by John Heard) gets caught up in a drug-smuggling caper. Watson admits she would like to be landing Sissy Spacek-type roles and is not interested in cultivating a sexy image because, “I can talk.”

ff JL man’s coming up here to finance Msome pictures in Canada. I’m running half an hour behind schedule and if I don’t get out of this room soon I’ll have to pay another $8,000,” hollered

harried Shelley Winters as she stopped off in Toronto to promote the first half of her autobiography, Shelley. In the book, the former Shirley Schrift of Brooklyn strips herself of any mystery that could remain around a woman who has made more than 100 movies. According to Winters, 56, she passed over and under the sheets of Burt Lancaster, John Ireland, Errol Flynn, Marlon Brando and William Holden (but Holden only on Christmas Eves). “Get us a piece of paper. This man wants to give us money to do a picture,” brayed Winters when mild-mannered funny man, lawyer and potential film producer Hart Pomerantz requested an address for script mailing. Winters then moved on to other topics—movies that she wants to make in Canada. Pomerantz remained noncommittal: “I wouldn’t do anything to embarrass my family.”

ti^^allas is a pivotal point in my cal#reer, but not a high-water mark,” says Patrick Duffy, best known to millions as nice-guy Bobby Ewing on the super-soap that has the whole world asking, “Who shot J.R.?” Duffy won’t say, but he’s busy presiding over Bobby’s fall from grace next season as

Bobby moves to head the Ewing business while Larry Hagman’s J.R. is convalescing. Bobby is, of course, the victim of Dallas nasties who try to co-opt him into their nasty practices until honesty overrides greed. Aside from the kickin’, scratchin’ and gougin’ of Dallas, Duffy gets to show a more serious dramatic side of himself in the fall when he appears as Second World War pilot Col. Paul Tibets—best known as the man who dropped the bomb on Hiroshima in 1945. According to Duffy, the TV movie Enola Gay (named after the fateful plane) deals more with the decision to make the “big bang” and the mission itself than with the aftermath. Nevertheless, in the Dallas tradition he promises “a real shoulder-shaker.”

ffl’rn going to abstain from publication until 1982, to coincide with my 70th birthday,” intones poet Irving Layton of his work in progress, Europe and Other Bad News. Once described as “the man who took the underwear off Canadian poetry,” Layton says his delayed publication date will highlight “evidence of my continued creativity.” Looking fondly at his wife, Harriet, 31, the prolific poet adds: “My wife will be delivering a baby in January, as proof of my other kind of creativity. I fully expect her to present me with triplets.”

Does it take a stunning blonde wife to be a talk-show host in Canada? This fall Alan Hamel will move on to greener pastures, leaving his four-year-old host

seat on CTV’s popular mid-day talkfest to Alan Thicke. Hamel, you will recall, is the husband of jiggle sensation Suzanne Somers. The woman behind Thicke is the equally stunning singer/actress Gloria Loring. Hamel’s star rose in Canada before Somers lit up the Neilsen with Three's Company, Thicke debuts just as Loring takes off in the popular tear-duct soap Days of Our Lives. “We are very supportive of each other and always talk things out, including professional matters,” says Loring. The other thing uniting the pair is their commitment to raising funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Their efforts culminated in the song Please Forgive My Misconduct Last Night, sung by puck chasers Marcel

Dionne, Charlie Simmer and Dave Taylor,

who are donating the proceeds of their hit.

Italy—a country as famous for its strikes as for its pasta—came through last week for The National Ballet of Canada. The company opened the 25th anniversary program of the International Ballet Festival in Nervi last Wednesday, winning critical kudos for its performance of La Fille Mal Gardée, principally danced by Karen Kain. But panic struck before toe shoes were donned when it was discovered that the set was not completed. “We watched them build a stage and fantastic sets in less than 48 hours,” praised ballet spokesman Marcia McClung. “We’ve never seen anything like that before.”

When Jacques Cousteau climbed aboard his Halifax-moored Calypso last week, a month-long mystery was no more. The unsolved riddle of Cousteau’s May visit with Pierre Trudeau and several cabinet ministers was finally solved with the announcement that a two-hour ecological and historical documentary about the St. Lawrence River—co-produced by the National Film Board and the Cousteau Society—is soon to begin filming. The NFB is picking up half the $800,000 to $1.2-million tab, which will send the Calypso off on a four-month odyssey helmed by director Jacques Gagne and cameraman Guy Dufaux of the film board. Says enigmatic Cousteau of the challenge the film crew faces: “What

was it like when Jacques Cartier landed? It’s hard to imagine what they saw, and support it by what is left, and carry on this marvelous human adventure.”

f i^he blues can catch you at any age,” I advises harmonica master Sonny Terry, 68, who has been playing and singing heartfelt laments “ever since I can remember,” along with his sidekick, guitarist Brownie McGhee. Terry recalls a 1940s gig in Baltimore, where he was playing with Woody Guthrie. After the set the group was hungry and noticed five or six tables piled high with food and flanked by folks who could afford it. “Woody asked if we could join them,” Terry tells Maclean 's. “They said no and told him to go eat in the corner or in a kitchen. Woody said, ‘Well, I don’t see why. You people sat out here and we shared our music with you; now all we’re asking is that you share,too. ’’Refused again, Guthrie sent his band outside while he overturned the tables and a few of the people. Says Terry: “That Woody, he really had some heart.”

When former Conservative party leader Robert Stanfield missed a constitutional conference in his native Nova Scotia last week, people started asking whatever could have kept him away. It seems that 66-year-old Stanfield was grounded in the Laurentians on a weekend boating attempt which ended in dry dock for the boat and a bad break for Stanfield. With his leg in a cast enshrouding two below-the-knee fractures, the retired politico is now resting comfortably at his Ottawa home.

ii^he life is terribly hard and often I degrading,” recalls Ottawa-born June Havoc, 63, who hootchy-kootchy danced her way along the vaudeville circuit in Canada and the U.S. at the tender age of 7 with her sister, Gypsy Rose Lee. The former Dainty Baby June has now turned her toes to dancing again as the disco mama in the Village People’s showcase Can't Stop the Music, but the boogaloo has very little to do with her off-screen lifestyle. Three years ago the award-winning actress sold her Picasso and her jewels to buy eight acres of land, a farm and some dilapidated buildings in Connecticut and since then has been restoring the 19th-centurystyle post office, general store and schoolhouse to their historical glory. With the film finished and the second volume of her autobiography, More Havoc, completed, the vagabond vaudevillian has only one desire: “I can’t wait to remove the greasepaint of glamor and retreat to my 18th-century gristmill down on the farm.”

Edited by Marsha Boulton