People

April 30 1979

People

April 30 1979

People

Psst! Margaret Trudeau, that very private person who has just published a book that tells the story of her short, unhappy life as Mrs. Prime Minister, has been trying to keep a secret: the name of her new boyfriend. "I'll tell you something I haven’t told anyone else” (how can she keep track?), she recently confided to a Paris Match reporter. “Pm madly in love with a man I met a few months ago. He doesn’t want me to reveal his name but I can tell you he’s a South American businessman, he’s my age and he adores racing cars.” But when you’re Margaret Trudeau, secrets have a way of floating to the surface: the lucky man is tall, blonde and goodlooking jet-setter George Koechlin, the son of a German family from Lima, Peru. George, whose nickname is Piti, met Margaret in London several months ago and has been keeping her company ever since. At one point she had considered a visit to Lima, where his family—of good social standing but not terribly wealthy—has been casually telling friends and neighbors about the relationship, but the voyage was cancelled. “I think I’ve finally found someone capable of understanding and accepting who I am,” says Margaret. There are those who would wish George luck.

To many North Americans, losing Johnny Carson as a late-night companion could be as traumatic as having a wife or husband walk out: there is enough evidence to suggest that in his 17 years as host of NBC’s The Tonight Show Carson has become a cultural addiction for millions of viewers who would seem to prefer his droll murmurings to those of their nearest and dearest. But Carson, who already takes 15 weeks vacation a year (and a salary rumored to be between $2.5 and $4 million for his efforts), says he is “mentally and emotionally tired” and wants out. The gossip around NBC (already losing in the ratings wars) is that he is being pressured to do more shows than the three a week for 25 weeks and four a week for 12 weeks that his contract calls for. NBC maintains tersely that they expect him to finish out his contract until 1981. If Carson is determined to bow out, he may have a court battle on his hands. However he might compromise with NBC and stay until 1980, in which case his fans can count on a year’s grace before they suffer withdrawal.

Even the most avid nostalgia freak would be unlikely to mistake Quebec demi-superstar Winston McQuade for Ed Sullivan. But come Sunday evening, May 6, the comparison will grow a little

more plausible when McQuade debuts as host of a show that’s really big. Not only will it be the most ambitious variety show in CBC TV’s history, but it will be broadcast live (with a few spliced-in video segments) for a full hour simultaneously in English and French. The sandy-haired McQuade was tapped for stardom after a cross-country talent search for a flawlessly bilingual host/performer of the monthly show, which will incorporate the draws for Loto Canada’s prizes. With his big chance in front of him, McQuade reports his mood matches the title of the new extravaganza: Feelin ' Like a Million or, en français, Vas-y pour le million.

Although actor Al Pacino will appear next fall as a Baltimore lawyer in the film . . . and Justice for All, this spring the young man’s fancy has turned to the classical stage. And, after playing the role of the ruthless Michael Corleone in The Godfather, odds are that Pacino will have no trouble recreating the black-hearted hunchback Richard III when the Shakespearean

drama opens on Broadway in May. Even though the 39-year-old Method actor from the South Bronx acted the same role three years ago in Boston, there’s no telling how he will portray the crafty villain this time out. “It’s a matter of trial and error,” Pacino said of his rehearsals. “I took my hump off and on at will. I’d change my accent and do Richard as many different people—Lee Strasberg, George C. Scott, my grandmother. I might do it in a barrel.” One thing is certain, however—when Pacino gets into a role, he rarely forgets it. After acting the part of Serpico, he kept the cop’s clothes. Last time he played Richard, he left the raiments but retained the royal limp.

f f If you want my body and you think I I’m sexy, come on, sugar, let me know.” That’s the key line in British rocker Rod Stewart’s latest single Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?—a song which, judging from its popularity, has become the latest anthem of the narcissistic disco-crazed sequined-pants set. Stewart (a humanitarian in wolf’s clothing) has donated the royalties from the song to the United Nations Children’s Fund. The shaggy-haired singer has been shaking his satin-covered—or partially uncovered—parts in Canada recently in a series of sold-out concerts. Backstage in Vancouver he gave his considered opinion about his own press coverage: “I’m one of the most misunderstood people in the music business.”

Of late his love life has received lavish attention from the press: after settling a bitter “palimony” suit out of court with his sexy-ex, actress Britt Ekland, Stewart proved to be an incurable romantic optimist by marrying Alana Hamilton, the ex-wife of actor George Hamilton. He says his lovely wife will not be touring with him because, “I don’t want her to be another Bianca Jagger or Linda McCartney,” two rock ’n’ roll wives who have tried—sometimes a little desperately—to share the spotlights with their famous husbands. Stewart seems quite happy to have it all to himself.

Duddy Kravitz, that obnoxious but charming Canadian hero created by author Mordecai Richler in his awardwinning novel The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz and portrayed with gusto by actor Richard Dreyfuss in the movie of the same name, will come to life once more, this time in a musical comedy. Richler and Galt McDermot, who wrote the music for Hair, are collaborating on a musical, Duddy, to be staged at Stratford during the 1980 season. Stratford Artistic Director Robin Phillips views the project as some sort of Canadian culture dream come true: “To have something absolutely, totally Canadian and to have it be absolutely, totally tops, well what could be more exciting?” Phillips says he hasn’t given casting a thought at this stage, but one thing is certain: he’ll be flooded with offers from Duddy hopefuls. The role is an obvious plum—if you can sing, dance, and be obnoxious and charming all at once.

At 16, she married and ran away to England and British theatre. Now, 15 years later after involvement in two divorces (one her own, one somebody else’s) and the starring role as Diana Rigg’s replacement in The Avengers, Linda Thorson is back home in Toronto-centre stage and married. After titillating British scandal-sheet readers for years, Thorson has Tarragon Theatre audiences gawking at her portrayal of a harem girl in an English translation of Racine’s Bajazet. Thorson stepped out of her harem pants and into a “pretty white wedding gown” between the matinee and evening performances Sunday last week and walked down the aisle with Texan Cyril J. Smith, Jr. She says she accepted the 17th of Smith’s proposals, proffered in their 3 xk-month courtship. What made her finally take the weight off his knees? “This man is like a rock,” Thorson said of her insurance salesman husband.