OPENING NOTES

Michael J. Fox buys protection, Kerrie Keane questions a script change, and Donald Trump fights for peace

April 3 1989

OPENING NOTES

Michael J. Fox buys protection, Kerrie Keane questions a script change, and Donald Trump fights for peace

April 3 1989

OPENING NOTES

Michael J. Fox buys protection, Kerrie Keane questions a script change, and Donald Trump fights for peace

CRYING AT THE MOVIES

Kerrie Keane, a runner-up for best-actress honors at the Genie awards in Toronto last week, is still waiting to see one of her recent films in U.S. theatres. In 1988, the Canadian-born Keane left the security of a Hollywood contract for a starring role in Obsessed, a Canadian movie about a woman's efforts to extradite the American hit-and-run driver who killed her son. That drama has been seen in Canada and about 40 other countries. But U.S. distributor New Star Entertainment has made extensive changes to the movie. Among them: retitling the film because the original title—Hitting Home—sounded like a baseball movie, substituting new music and redubbing a profanity-sprinkled sound track in order to secure a parentalguidance rating. New Star has still not released the film in the United States. Declared Keane: "The Americans dictated a lot of what happened in this film and now they may not even distribute it. I don't own it, but I get very possessive about this film." Grounds for obsession, indeed.

A new look for The Globe

Newsroom changes are still occurring at the Toronto Globe and Mail following

the firings of editor-in-chief Norman and managing editor Geoffrey Stevens earlier this year. Former deputy managing editor Shirley Sharzer—who left recently after rejecting a Globe offer to edit a planned Vancouver-based magazine—is now negotiating with the newspaper over her departure. Provincial affairs columnist Thomas Walkom and feature writer Judy Steed have taken similar posts at the archrival Toronto Star—and departure rumors surround such fixtures of the Webster-Stevens era as municipal affairs columnist Michael Valpy and political gossip columnist Stevie Cameron. Meanwhile, Globe publisher Roy Me-

garry is considering redesigning the newspaper’s layout, particularly its op-ed page. All in all, it is a makeover by any standard,

Search for a superstar

When the Vancouver Canucks hosted the Edmonton Oilers recently, Oiler coach Glen Sather was clearly angered by the sight of more than 15,000 fans wearing plastic bibs emblazoned with the slogan “Where’s 99?” That is the number worn by former Oiler Wayne Gretzky—and the dial numbers of a local radio station. Canuck vice-president Brian Burke later apologized to Sather for the Canuck-authorized marketing promotion. It was not difficult to explain the need for the campaign: Vancouver shut out the slumping Oilers 3-0.

Competition for the limelight

The International Chamber of Commerce cited Prime Minister Brian Mulroney for outstanding environmental achievement last week—to the surprise of many Canadian environmentalists who said that Mulroney had only recently turned his attention to ecological issues. Now, one of Mulroney’s predecessors is also expressing concern about the Earth's fate. And on April 29, former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau is scheduled to chair an environmental conference in Montreal. Mulroney aides reacted frostily to Trudeau's planned tum in the limelight. Said one aide: “We will go to great lengths to ignore this event. "

A BRIEF MESSAGE FROM MOSCOW

The U.S. magazine International Defense & Aerospace recently ran what appeared to be an advertisement for a new fighter plane. Above a picture of a MiG-29 Fulcrum, a block of copy—in Cyrillic script—declared, "Expect the unexpected from the leaders in defense and aerospace communications." Another message invited readers to write to the minister of aviation industries—in Moscow. Editor Gary Keiffer stressed that the Soviet Union had not placed the ad. Instead, said Keiffer, the magazine had commissioned the ad to tout its own article on the plane. But none of the staffers reads Russian and they did not notice that the ad lacked a key detail: the magazine's name. That could generate an assignment on the Soviet military—in Siberia.

KEEPING THE FANS AT BAY

For actor Michael J. Fox, married life has had one unsettling drawback. After he wed actress Tracy Pollan last July, the Canadian-born star of the hit television series Family Ties received more than 5,000 letters from a fan who threatened to kill him because she disapproved of the marriage. In desperation, Fox turned to Gavin de Becker—who describes himself as a “consultant to public figures on life safety.” De Becker, 34, began his career 15 years ago, protecting Liz Taylor and Richard Burton.

Now, de Becker’s 31-member staff includes investigators and bodyguards, and he charges an average fee of $270,000 yearly to assess threats to more than 100 stars— including Cher. After de Becker began working for Fox, police arrested a 26-year-old shipping clerk in Camarillo, a small town 80 km northwest of Los Angeles. Tina Ledbetter faces trial on April 10 for allegedly threatening Fox’s life. For many stars, personal safety commands a higher price than the one charged for identity-concealing sunglasses.

Menacingly fashionable

With their shaven heads, so-called skinheads are often seen as chilling symbols of alienated, urban youth. But many among the estimated 1,000 skinheads in Canada say that they were surprised to learn that an icon of their subculture—a brand of laceup leather boots or shoes—was designed by a man who was simply seeking relief for his aching feet. Shortly after the Second World War, West German physician Klaus Maertens created the footwear that is now known as “Doc Martens.” Stephen Griggs, a director of the British company that makes 26,000 pairs of the thick-soled footwear each week, said that the firm’s customers ranged from construction workers to urban trendsetters. Still, acknowledged Griggs: “Skinheads have put us on the map.” They have also contributed to the company’s profits: a pair of Doc Martens boots retails for about $140.

Trouble in paradise

A Florida retreat for the rich has become a hotbed of discontent as residents of Palm Beach say that aircraft using

a new terminal have inundated their properties with noise and dirt. U.S. developer Donald Trump has led the fight for fewer overflights—aided by George Petty, the president of a Montreal-based paper company. Petty said that a realtor had first shown him his $4.5-million estate during the afternoon—when few planes use the airport. An overflight oversight, perhaps.