U.S.A.

PEOPLE

BARBARA MATTHEWS August 17 1981
U.S.A.

PEOPLE

BARBARA MATTHEWS August 17 1981

PEOPLE

It took a bit of manoeuvring but in the end it was a jolly good show when, as part of its British Festival, Henry Birks and Sons jewellers in Vancouver borrowed a Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II and had it set onto four Wedgwood teacups to demonstrate the bone china’s durability. Six attempts and nine broken cups later, Wedgwood’s “tremendous strength” was finally proved as the 2,950-kg car settled safely on the $18 cups. Even Piers, Lord Wedgwood, the 26-year-old sixth-generation descendant of the company’s founder who missed the royal wedding to supervise, was satisfied. “We must keep the name of Wedgwood as being rather special,” he said. Informed that Royal Doulton’s teacups withstood the weight of a double-decker bus after an undisclosed number of attempts, the roving ambassador could only sniff, “They might well have for all I know, but I do believe we did it first.”

I have an affinity for being dull,” says Second City’s Dave Thomas, contradicting his natural ability for being funny. Thomas, head writer and costar of SCTV Network 90, has, in fact, used his yawnsome talents to tickle aficionados left in a comedic void after the exodus of Saturday Night Live. When not filming 90 in Edmonton, Thomas follows fellow comedic Canadians south, where this fall he will be co-starring in a spy spoof he co-scripted with buddy Dan Aykroyd. Defending the California comedy drain, Thomas maintains that employment is not a question of nationalism but merely the breadand-butter necessity of “those great monolithic structures that grind out movies like ham sandwiches.” A Canadian project may be in the works if funding can be found for Great White

North, a feature starring Doug and Bob MacKenzie, the two betoqued beerdrinking Canucks who, much to creator Thomas’ surprise, have them chuckling even in the palm-treed Sun Belt.

Patrick Macnee, the once suave, bowler-hatted gent who made his name as crime fighter John Steed in The Avengers, is fighting a weight problem so he can return to his slim self in time for a new Avengers TV movie (sans former partner Diana Rigg) in 1982. “For the past year I’ve been going about in mother hubbards and smocks,” he says. “It’s just fortunate that my film roles—a fat, mad psychiatrist in The Howling and the fat, cuckolded husband in Dick Turpin—have fitted my physical condition.” Currently appearing in Sleuth at Winnipeg’s Stage West Dinner Theatre, Macnee, 59, says he is planning a co-starring role with his cousin David Niven in Who Dares Wins, about

Britain’s Special Air Service commando unit. “David says the average age of an SAS officer is 22, so he thinks the producer will probably have us sitting around in white gloves as Chelsea pensioners.”

Freed after five years of house arrest in Argentina, Isabel Perón, widow of the late dictator Juan Perón, looks understandably older than her 50 years. Birdlike and simply dressed, she is currently displaying a self-portrait of dignified restraint on Spain’s Costa del Sol. The onetime dancer, who ruled Argentina for 21 months until being deposed by the military, passes her time quietly enjoying the sights near her rented villa in Puerto Banus on the Mediterranean. Attended by 20 servants and a chauffeur-driven Mercedes, Perón nevertheless yearns for the

golden days of a previous exile with her husband in the Madrid hacienda that has since been reclaimed by the Argentine government. “I came to the coast 15 years ago with the general,” she said last week. “How things have changed.”

It’s about this fella who’s a Clerk 1 down at the Confederation Building and thinks he’s the first president of the Republic of Newfoundland,” explains actress-writer Mary Walsh, 29, of the upcoming made-in-Newfoundland feature The Adventures of Faustus Bidgood. Walsh and the six other original members of the satiric troupe Codeo star in the film, “but just about everybody in St. John’s is in it,” she says. Known to Canadian-content connoisseurs as Mrs. Ball, the warmhearted housekeeper on CBC TV’s Up at Ours, and to Toronto Theatre Festivalgoers as the director of the hit play Terras de Bacalhau, Walsh recently made

her film debut playing femme fatale to John the Baptist in the 25-minute Codeo production Extraordinary Visitor. Says Walsh: “John comes to Newfoundland and loses his head over a girl—only not so literally this time.”

Sentenced to life imprisonment for her part in the 1969 slayings of actress Sharon Tate and four others, Manson-family murderess Susan Atkins (AKA Sadie Mae Glutz) is now determined to start a family of her own. Security will be tight this month when the 33-year-old ties the knot with Texas entrepreneur Donald Lee (Fla$h) Laisure Sr., 52, at the California Institute for Women. Stressing that this romance is no flash in the can, Laisure says: “It is true I’ve been married 35 times before, but I want you to know that this is the only time I’ve been in love . . . [and] I

Though a tentative postal strike settlement was reached last week, Postmaster-General Andre Ouellet’s loaded statement: “I can’t accept that businessmen have to rely on the post office to make a living. If they do, they better find other ways,” was still causing howls of outrage. Harried secretaries in his office claim the phones were ringing off the wall —with some callers so furious they couldn’t even speak coherently. Editorialists and businessmen clamored for Ouellet’s dismissal while one Ottawa entrepreneur used the gaffe to advantage. “Instead of fuming, I took out an ad,” says Leonard Lee of Lee Valley Tools Ltd. Lee’s full-page

don’t believe she’s guilty. She never said she was.” If ever freed, Atkins, a bornagain Christian, plans to honeymoon in the Holy Land because, as the groomto-be explains, “She wants to walk where Christ walked.”

$2,500 announcement of an ANDRÉ OUELLET SALE-ALL TOOLS 10 PER CENT OFF, prompted incensed people to come in off the street and offer to help cover the cost of the newspaper ad, which went on to claim: “It is not a big discount but we didn’t think Mr. Ouellet was worth any more.” Says Lee: “I write our catalogue for a living, but in this case I had more inspiration than usual.”

Regina-born folk-singer Connie Kaldor, 28, who gave up a theatre career three years ago to “sing my little heart out,” has been doing just that in 15 music festivals from Vancouver to Ottawa this summer. Last week the flaxen-haired trouper gave workshops and concerts in Lethbridge and Edmonton before leaving there aboard the Fort McMurray-bound Second Annual

Folk Festival on Rails. Strumming away the miles in two antique passenger coaches for 40 captive fans appealed to Kaldor. “I’ll try anything once,” she laughed, but “there’s not much money in this....” As soon as she gets off the track, Kaldor will fly to a three-day festival in Owen Sound, Ont. “It’s kind of like summer camp,” she says of the festival circuit. “You get to meet all the other singers, and they feed you.”

Following the write-what-you-know formula for literary success, Sondra Gotlieb, wife of Undersecretary of State for External Affairs Allan Gotlieb, has just finished First Lady, Last Lady, a satirical and revealing look at ambitious politicians and their spouses, due to be published this fall. After 25 years of marriage to the Ottawa mandarin, Gotlieb says: “I’ve absorbed the milieu by osmosis, [but] everything I know is public knowledge. You just have to dig.” Their three children grown, the 44year-old Leacock award-winner has plenty of time for research. “Allan works too hard,” she says. “He travels a lot and I stay home like a lot of wives.”

Twenty-four-year-old Toronto Blue Jay leather-hurler Dave Stieb is having what he understatedly calls “a heavy week.” He starts off in Cleveland as the first Jay to gain a repeat spot on the American League’s all-star team— despite an ignominious performance in Los Angeles last year where he threw a record-setting two wild pitches in one inning. Following a game in Detroit, Stieb touches down briefly in Toronto to marry “California girl” Pattie Faso, 21, before taking off to play in Kansas City. Says the pitching groom, “We’re just going over to city hall to get it done.” -EDITED BY BARBARA MATTHEWS