"When I told my friends I was writing a song for liver, they thought I was working for an agricultural organization,” says Peter Pringle, 28, whose song Outside and Inside is fast becoming the anthem of the Canadian Liver Foundation. The song was commissioned by the foundation after statistics revealed that liver disease, the third largest cause of death in Canada, was afflicting a growing number of teen-agers. Finding that group “notoriously difficult to reach by ordinary means of communication,” the foundation hit on popular music as a vehicle. A former choirboy, Halifax-born Pringle has written songs for Anne Murray (remember Please Don't Sell Nova Scotia?)
and himself has had a bout with liver disease—a mild case of hepatitis several years ago which he got after eating “a particularly bad batch of Long Island clams.” What with lyrics like I wanna touch you outside and inside, Pringle admits his soft rock-risqué tune is “mildly suggestive—but I couldn’t very well write a song that went, I love your liver.”
It all happened “too fast to believe,” according to Vancouver’s Dorothy Stratten, who graces the centrefold of August’s Playboy magazine. Stratten was “found” last year when the bunnylittered publication was searching for its 25th anniversary playmate. Though she “lost” to Candy Loving’s 37-24-34,
Stratten’s 36-24-36 placed her “among the top 12 contenders,” according to a magazine spokesman. Now living in Los Angeles, the 19-year-old plans to pursue a film career and makes her debut this month in Americathon. “It’s a walk-on bit and I wear a bunny costume,” says Stratten, whose talents will be on display throughout July in a cross-country tour which includes stop-offs at the Calgary Stampede and Edmonton’s Klondike Days. Accompanying her will be Victoria, B.C.’s David Chan, a regular Playboy photographer who will be scanning the crowds for an upcoming feature on the girls of Canada. Stratten’s mom is not upset about her daughter’s
full-color nudity—in fact, Stratten says, she was “surprised but proud.” And what does the playmate herself thing of the layout? “I think they’ve done me justice.”
Sounding like an amorous leftover from a Canada Day sound stage, country and western singer Ray Griff pours out his love for his homeland in an album titled Canada, dedicated to Canada and chock-full of Canadian material. Trouble is, though raised in Calgary, Griff, 37, moved to Nashville 15 years ago, so his vinyl “expression of my love affair with this country” stretches the credibility of most native sons. The composer of more than 1,500 twangy tunes, Griff has written for Dolly Par-
ton, Loretta Lynn, Tex Ritter and Carroll Baker, whose current hit, I’m, Getting High Remembering, is a Griff composition. Currently packing halls across Western Canada, Griff has been finding a lot of new material to write about and already has eight songs ready to record for a Canada-inspired sequel album. And then he’ll be able to laugh all the way to his Nashville bank.
It’s a “nanu-nanu” world for Robin Williams, 26, the gonzo Orkan whose hit series Mork & Mindy has introduced a whole new vernacular to TV audiences. The wizard of “shazbot” is currently working at a nonstop pace on nex*
year’s series and preparing for his role in Robert Altman’s Popeye, in which Williams plays the title role of the 50year-old spinach-chawing sea-salt. The success of Mork has also inspired a byproduct blitz that includes Mork Tshirts, suspenders, pyjamas and bubble gum (five pieces per egg). At the end of this month Williams’ first record, Reality, What a Concept, will be released and when the affable alien completes his current projects he will star in a film which he is writing in his idle moments. In the middle of all this are reports that his year-old marriage to dancer Valerie Velardi is on the rocks. Perhaps someone should remind Wil-
Hams that while Orkans live to be 72 “bleems” before they go back to the egg for a recharge, humans go around only once.
Being beautiful and funny has sometimes made life difficult for Madeline Kahn. “Men never fall in love with women they laugh and have fun with,” advised the 36-year-old actress who has yet to find a solid romantic link. Certainly there have been no rumors about Kahn and her current leading man, Kermit the frog, who falls prey to the seductive redhead’s charm in The Muppet Movie and barely escapes having his legs pan-fried by Kahn’s “jealous” husband, Telly Savalas. In Toronto this month, Kahn is filming Happy Birthday Gemini, with co-stars Rita Moreno and Robert Vaharo. The film is directed by Richard Benner (Outrageous!) and once again Kahn’s comedic
character fails to find true love by being funny. In this case Kahn cannot blame herself—she plays the sympathetic neighbor of a young man who is coming to terms with his homosexuality.
In 1921, Olive Fredrickson wintered on a trapline 100 miles upstream from Great Slave Lake with her husband, Walter, and their new baby. All of their provisions were lost in a fire and they were forced to live on bark, grass, roots and the occasional squirrel. Things won’t be anywhere as tough for Ellen Burstyn when she plays the lead in The Silence of the North, a film based on Mrs. Fredrickson’s 1972 autobiography. Fredrickson, now 77, approves of the casting. She met Burstyn and the film’s
director, Allan King, several years ago when the project was being planned. “She was really nice, helping out with the dishes and things,” says Fredrickson, now retired with her second husband, John. They hope to be present during the fall filming near Fort McMurray, Alberta, and one thing Olive Fredrickson will be checking is the language used on the set. She recently saw Burstyn’s Academy Award-winning performance in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore and didn’t approve of the gutsy characterization. “I don’t like bad language and filthy things. She doesn’t have to use bad language in this one. We sure didn’t.”
f Í Mobody who spends years at what Plis called ‘writing a book’ actually spends much time writing it,” concludes Tom Wolfe, the natty nabob of New Journalism whose latest book, The Right Stuff, has been tangled in his typewriter since 1973 and now faces im-
minent publication. Though he has completed three other books (The New Journalism, The Painted Word and Mauve Gloves & Madmen, Clutter & Vine) in the past six years, Wolfe, 48, spent most of that time examining the “competitive pyramid of flying” and the “stuff” it takes to become a pilot or astronaut. “I suppose people will say that I waited until the 10th anniversary of the landing on the moon, which is really silly because I don’t even reach the moon in the book,” laments the New York-based author. Currently “exhausted,” Wolfe plans to regroup before considering his next project. Then, he says, “Maybe I should bite the bullet and try a novel.”
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