Four years ago singer Kenny Rogers found his life “in shreds.” His third marriage had broken up, his group The Fifth Edition was splitting up and Rogers could see the whole kit and caboodle disintegrating into “nothing.” Enter wife No. 4, Marianne Gordon, 34, who is a regular on the hayseed TV show Hee Haw. According to Rogers, Marianne helped him put a new perspective on his life and after that all of his records turned into platinum platters. At 41, the honey-over-gravel-voiced millionaire claims he is working so that he can afford Marianne “some security” in their old age but, with 250 bookings this year, a guest appearance on The Muppet Show, a TV special and Kenny Rogers Day in Los Angeles to look forward to, Rogers wouldn’t seem to have much time for marriage. In fact, he says their privacy is sometimes restricted to travel between engagements in one of his two airplanes. Between takeoffs, landings and singing Lucille, Rogers plans to star in a film based on his hit song The Gambler. He will play a 65year-old, non-singing cardsharper and no one is sure yet how it will work out. As Rogers admitted to Maclean’s, “It’s either going to be good or it will be the biggest piece of garbage you ever saw.”
Relatives don’t always follow in their forbears’ footsteps but it seems that Margaux Hemingway has inherited more than her grandfather’s illustrious last name. True to the family tradition emblazoned by novelist Ernest (Papa) Hemingway’s boisterous quests, the 24-yearold blonde recently strode off into South American Amazon country. Life in the tropical jungle was not easy for Hemingway, who found herself the first white woman to arrive at the hunt-
ing camp of the Mah-kititait Indians. “Sleeping in chinchotas [hammocks] is not dancing at Studio 54,” says the six-footer, who had her fabulous Fabergé face ritualistically painted in mud by female members of the tribe. Now “bored by spending days in front of the mirror,” cosmetic promoter Hemingway is working on King of the Amazon, a film based on her experiences which was co-scripted by her main man, Baron Bernard Foucher. Hemingway’s last film role was as a model who went through a rape scene in the critically lambasted film Lipstick. Next she wants to portray a character who can “sing the blues, swear and be funny.” Now that’s a Hemingway.
A passing reference to a gang in Woody Guthrie’s
autobiography, Bound for Glory, provided the unusual
name for the Irish band called The Boomtown Rats. A hot item on the New Wave scene, the Rats (as they are lovingly known to their fans) may have some trouble in North America with the release of their latest single, I Don’t Like Mondays, which has already sold close to one million copies in Britain. The Rats’ lead singer, Bob Geldof, 25, a caustic Irishman who once spewed critical invective for Vancouver’s late underground newspaper Georgia Straight, wrote the song after learning that a 16-year-old girl in San Diego had sprayed a school yard with bullets, wounding eight children and killing two
men, with the explanation, “I don’t like Mondays.” The girl’s family and lawyer have sought to have the record banned, but the Rats wouldn’t hear of it. “You can’t stop tragedy from being part of the human experience and you can’t stop people from writing about it,” says Rat Geldof. “The record doesn’t exploit the tragic circumstances of the San Diego incident. It is an attempt to understand what happened.”
The longer Prince Charles remains a bachelor, the broader his romantic myth grows. Most recently the 30-yearold king-in-waiting has been linked with actress Susan George, 29, and brewery heiress Sabrina Guinness, 24, but the Prince is obviously willing to wait for royal wedlock. In the meantime, a new side of the bonnie Prince has been unveiled at Windsor Castle as part of an exhibition devoted to royal children through the ages. His Royal Highness’ contribution is a fairy tale, which he wrote 10 years ago for brothers Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, then 9 and 5. The senior Prince penned the fantasy, Old Man of Lochnagar, while he and the brothers were on a voyage to Scotland in the royal yacht Britannia and part of it is displayed as writtenon four sheets of the yacht’s notepaper. According to the story’s illustrator, Sir Hugh Casson, Prince Charles’s “funny
old boy” protagonist is a Scotsman who lives in a cave and has adventures with nature. “He does things like catching hold of eagles’ feet and going for rides in the sky. He’s also able to breathe underwater and goes beneath the surface of a loch with the fish,” says Sir Hugh. With such an imagination the Prince should have a winning way with children, and the search for Princess Right continues.
When Casey Stevens was a boy
growing up in the village of Dunham, Quebec (population, 451), he longed for the bright lights and movie theatres of Montreal. At 11, he began taking the 50-mile trip as many as three times a week and quickly fell into the Montreal creative mafia, then headed by actor/artist Stephen Lack. Encouraged by Lack, Stevens soon headed off to Hollywood to study “the Method” with acting coach Lee Strasberg. Now 22, Stevens has chalked up numerous credits including a 1977 film called Angela, which he filmed in Quebec with Sophia Loren; however, he is quick to point out that it hasn’t been easy. In a made-for-TV movie called Running Free, Stevens had to learn to ride a dirt bike and ended up “buried in a pile of dirt.” For his latest film, Prom Night, Stevens was transformed into an athletic disco bunny. “I didn’t know how to disco before the film, so they brought in a choreographer to work with me for six
weeks,” explains the would-be John Travolta, who soon found himself capable of “flips and other far-out moves.” Next Stevens hopes to move on to a film tentatively called Caribbean which should require less strenuous activity. He’s scheduled to play a novice dope-smuggler, and all the action is “in the air and on the water.”
The Swinging Shepherd of Canadian jazz, Moe Koffman, 50, is having a bonanza year. In mid-September he recorded an album at the Monterey Jazz Festival and this week his second album of Johann Sebastian Bach tunes will be released. “I’ve been put down for doing this,” he says of the “commercial” nature of Back to Bach, “but on this album I was able to go the whole length of it. We chose Bach material that would be adaptable to disco, to funk and to straight-ahead gorgeous melodies.” Though Swinging Shepherd Blues came out in 1958, Koffman still plays it at every concert “because the fans expect it, the same way they expect Tony Bennett to sing I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” and he considers it a loving albatross. Next month Koffman and his quintet begin a tour of Quebec and plans are being made for an Australian trip in March. Accompanying Koffman wherever he goes will be his 14-karat gold Haynes flute, which he bought
about five years ago for $4,500. “It was a steal,” admits Koffman, who keeps the instrument with him at all times. The flute weighs 17 ounces, so at week’s end—musical value aside—Koffman’s flute was worth $3,850 at close of trading.
Both Halifax’s Neptune Theatre and Edmonton’s Citadel had major winter productions riding on the drawing power of U.S. stars—and it hasn’t worked out for either of them. In August Mia Farrow cancelled her commitment to do Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder at the Neptune (Maclean's, Aug. 27,1979) and Beverly D’Angelo was recently forced to bow out of the Citadel’s production of Hey Marilyn! to star in the action-packed adventure film Highpoint. Enter Lenore Zann, 19, of Truro, Nova Scotia, who was scheduled to play opposite Farrow at the Neptune until Marilyn! author Cliff Jones scooped her off a Charlottetown Festival stage and offered her the chance to play Marilyn Monroe at the Citadel. An Australian transplant who made her way to Canada 11 years ago, Zann is “thrilled” by the opportunity to play Monroe. “I think I’m a lot like her but I’m not as unhappy a person,” says fivefoot-four Zann, who plans to spend a lot of time screening the wispy-voiced sexpot’s films to “get into her character.” Says Citadel Artistic Director Peter Coe: “Girls like this simply don’t on trees.”
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