By now, the monumental indiscretions of Margaret Trudeau are a
household embarrassment and the legend throbs on even though Pierre Trudeau has lost his throne. In a devastatingly revealing interview with Celeste Fremon, a contributing editor to malenudie magazine Playgirl, Margaret claims that the so-called “Southerner” in her book, Beyond Reason—the man she “fell in love with” after a tennis tournament in New York—was Senator Edward Kennedy, even though reports of a romantic liaison between the couple were adroitly dismissed when first published in Maclean’s last March 26. Margaret further claims she has scaled the wall of Ryan O’Neal’s house, slept with him, “cleaned up” her “act” and become entangled with singer Lou Rawls with whom she speculates a “beautiful chocolate-colored daughter” could be created. “I feel the woman has been crying out for help,” Fremon, 30, told
Maclean’s. She interviewed Maggie both before and after the election: “I caught her at an interesting, but probably unfair, time because she realized her marriage was over.” Fremon edited some things out of the interview but included a one-sided transcript of the first phone call Margaret claims to have received from Trudeau in two years, as well as Margaret’s poignant description of an abortion she says she had at 17. Fremon’s unspoken reaction to Margaret was often, “Oh my God,” as the former prime minister’s wife rattled out phrases like “No way, José” and “You know what I mean, jelly bean?” There were also times, says Fremon, when she felt like turning into “Auntie Celeste” to protect Margaret, because “she’s the kind of woman you’d like to run, not walk, to a really good therapist.”
For four years in the early 1960s Michele Finney ca-
z vorted with Alan Hamel and « Howard the Turtle on the
£ teeny-bopper TV series Raz§ zle Dazzle. Every weekday, t pubescent males across the ¡r country went into an after¿ school daze as Finney grew up before the cameras
creating the same sort of havoc Annette Funicello caused on The Mickey Mouse Club when she visibly began to mature. “We had to start cutting out some of the magic skits because they looked like bondage,” laughs Finney, who, at 29, feels it is time to drop the Razzle image. “I’m very proud of the show, but that was 15 years ago. I can’t live on that.” Now living in Toronto with her 10-year-old daughter, Finney has been busy making commercials for everything from toothpaste to garbage bags. This month she begins work on her first feature film, Never Trust An Honest Thief, in which she shares billing with Michael Murphy and Orson Welles. Needless to say, Finney is excited by the company she will be keeping, and plans to be on the set every day “whether I’m needed or not.” Her first task, however, will be learning to control a 1953 army jeep that her character uses as a delivery van. “It’s not bad to drive, except the brakes don’t work and there isn’t any first gear,” she announced after her first ride around the block.
Author Fran Lebowitz has been gadding about the continent promoting the paperback edition of her 1978 paean Metropolitan Life, and she’s enjoying it so much that it may be difficult to epoxy her fingers back to the typewriter. “It’s much easier to speak a sentence than to write one,” says the 28-year-old New Yorker who counts talk shows among her hobbies and would consider making a career out of public appearances if
there were royalties. Instead she is working on a new book, Social Studies, which she says will look “like a grammar-school textbook” complete with “a serious academic tone and six lectures about major academic topics about which I know nothing.” Though Studies is half-finished, chances are that Lebowitz’s publishers aren’t holding their breath for the manuscript. Life took 2 xk years to complete and was a year past deadline. “The publishers were very surprised to get it and I was surprised to give it to them. Deadlines are frequently missed,” she muses dryly. Her next project will be a novel which should take her “about 55 years.”
Montreal bass player Charlie Biddle is living proof that the lifestyle of a jazz musician doesn’t have to fall into the seamy, finger-snapping, drugriddled degeneracy that has stereotyped the art and many of its practitioners. After 30 years of playing “every club in Quebec,” Biddle, 53, can honestly say that he has never been away from his family for more than three days at a time and has managed to live “a good clean life and blow good clean music.” Though he has managed some of the finest jazz haunts in the province and filled them with melodious sounds hailing from an era that grooved to Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, Biddle claims he has never been properly acknowledged as an artist. Ironically, the elusive recognition may arrive next year when the football-farce film Crunch is released. “They needed a
tough old man to play a school janitor,” says Biddle, whose only previous acting experience was in a theatrical production of Edward Albee’s play The Death of Bessie Smith. In keeping with Biddle’s family image, his daughters Sonya, 20, and Stephanie, 15, appear in the film with him as cheerleaders. “We’re a real family. We stay together and we play together, but my daughters are athletes and I tell youthey can take care of themselves.”
In July, 1977, Ross McLean ended an era for himself and the CBC by leaving the network he had helped catalyze since the first flickering image found its way into the living rooms of the nation in 1952. Initially McLean, 54, left to join the production team of Nielson-Ferns where he spent a year “wheel-spinning, which passed for wheeling and dealing.” He went on to spend a year with a Toronto film company, a job which folded in February when the man who has been described as the “pioneer of television journalism” found himself a “casualty of a corporate shuffle.” McLean was admittedly “between jobs” when Toronto radio station CFRB approached him about filling in on a daily hour-long interview program. “I enjoyed it, after spending all those years bullying other people as a producer,” he says of the hours he spent before the microphone with an “embarrassingly predictable” list of guests including Paul Anka, Dinah Christie and Ben Wicks. Describing his career as a “rollercoaster ride,” McLean says he would now entertain radio offers and is working on two books, one an anthology
he refuses to discuss and the other an “anecdotal, personal and autobiographical” examination of his years in TV which “promises to be as nonfictional as those years have been.”
Ever since Sean Connery abandoned his James Bond persona eight years ago to play such roles as Robin Hood (Robin and Marian) and a Victorian criminal (The Great Train Robbery), audiences have had to get by mainly with an eight-by-10 glossy 007 played by Roger Moore. The hiatus will end this winter, however, when Connery, 49, redons his Bond toupee. There are at least two good reasons for the comeback: “I am bitter about the way others have exploited James Bond,” he has said. “Money is important,” he has also said. Thus the Scotsman will reportedly have a hand in writing the script, tentatively titled Warhead, and he has upped his fee from the original $12,000 he received for Dr. No to a hefty $8 million. Before renewing the infamous “licence to kill,” Connery will be on view in a film called Cuba. Perhaps as a warm-up to his spying role, he plays a mercenary soldier who goes to Havana on behalf of the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista and ends up trying to help entrepreneur Jack Weston and plantation owner Brooke Adams escape from the advancing troops of Fidel Castro. True to the Bond image, Connery ends up on the side of right and justice, transferring his affections to Castro’s cause and frolicking in the sugar cane with Adams.
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