People

Marsha Boulton August 27 1979

People

Marsha Boulton August 27 1979

People

Affable David Steinberg played himself recently during the lensing of Nothing Personal in Toronto. The script called for Donald Sutherland’s crusading character to appear on The Tonight Show and expose a multinational scandal involving nuclear missiles, seal pups and native land claims. Johnny Carson was unavailable so Steinberg sat in as host with Sutherland, and Craig Russell, in his Mae West finery, filled the third seat on the all-Canadian, simulated talk show. “David Steinberg is a character I wouldn’t like to play again,” sighed the 37-year-old comic when the lights were turned off. Steinberg’s star is finally ascending Hollywood-style and his schedule is so busy that he will barely have time to be himself. His latest film, Something Short of Paradise, will be unveiled next month and following that Steinberg is to make his directorial debut with How the West Was Shrunk, in which he will also star opposite Susan Sarandon and Céline Lomez. From that role, as a Freudian psychiatrist who plays analyst to a small western town, Steinberg will direct a film called Dreamhouse with Sally Field. “Every comedian in Los Angeles is walking around with a three-picture deal,” he says with tongue-in-cheek modesty.

For three years Beverly D’Angelo romped with Ronnie Hawkins singing in bars that would rock until the clock stopped. Five years later the sensuously fetching 26-year-old is singing a different tune. As the star of Milos Forman’s hippie-dippy celluloid version of Hair she achieved international recognition, which helped her win the role of

country and western singer Patsy Cline in the autobiographical story of country queen Loretta Lynn, Coal Miner's Daughter, which will be released next year.

With her career in high gear D’Angelo has now shifted into a role that requires her comedic and dramatic skills, but not her silken voice. In the “comedy action drama” Highpoint she plays the daughter of crafty Christopher Plummer, who plays dead in order to fulfil a $10-million caper and ends up dead in what should be one of the film industry’s most memorable stunts—a free-fall dive off Toronto’s 1,822-foot CN tower. D’Angelo doesn’t have to fall with him, but she will be taking a perilous calèche ride through the cobbled streets of old Quebec City at full gallop and has already refused a stunt person to stand in on some cliffhanging scenes in California. “She’s terrific,” says producer Danny Fine. “Beautiful, exciting and very brave. We just hope she doesn’t get killed.”

Even in exile, the Shah of Iran can have a devastating effect on the workings of the world. His latest coup is luring Robert Armao, New York City’s unpaid official greeter, away from his welcoming post to polish up the deposed tyrant’s public image. “What I am trying to do is to relocate his majesty and put his life back in order,” says Armao, 30, who started his career as a volunteer in

the late Nelson A. Rockefeller’s campaigns. It was Rockefeller who introduced Armao to the Shah and urged the New Yorker to visit Iran shortly before the royal family flew into exile. An experienced PR man with his own thriving business, Armao acted as spokesman and chief of staff for the Shah while he was in the Bahamas and he has been in constant contact with the family since their flight to Mexico City. “I hope to help him get his story out,” says silktongued Armao. “He is referred to as a dictator by the press. I can’t put my finger on why he got the image he did.”

Henrik Ibsen would have appreciated the irony of it all. Last June, Halifax’s Neptune Theatre thought it had a coup on its hands. Mia Farrow, the little lost child of Peyton Place, was slated to star in a Neptune production of Ibsen’s masterwork, The Master Builder. True to Ibsen, artist Farrow may be trying to surpass her own limitations—because she has now reneged on the commitment. That naturally leads to another of Ibsen’s themes: the conflict between one’s own needs and the needs of others. Farrow, who in June told Maclean's that she had “heard Nova Scotia was very beautiful” and was “looking for2 ward to taking a firsthand look at it” t along with anticipating her leading role ^ opposite Neptune director John Neville ¿ in what she then considered “a perfectly

constructed play” with “a perfect role for everyone,” has opted out in favor of the lead in Bernard Slade’s latest play, Romantic Comedy, which is slated for a yearlong run on Broadway with Anthony Perkins taking up Neville’s slack. Regardless of their leading lady’s professional whims, the Neptune plans to go ahead with the February production and they won’t be without U.S. star clout. Ex-Odd Coupler Tony Randall, who starred in last season’s Neptune production of Anton Chekhov’s weighty play The Seagull, will direct The Master Builder with or without the fickle Farrow.

ii^he last thing I see myself as is a I sex symbol,” says Susan Anton, 28, who helps sell cigars and mattresses between her TV variety and drama reverses. Anton’s future swung into limbo following her failure to click with the public in her own TV variety series and various episodes of the best-forgotten Cliffhangers serial. Even more devastating was her feature film debut in Goldengirl, which even James Coburn and Leslie Caron couldn’t save from a virtual torrent of critical bombast. Currently on the concert circuit with her singing act, Anton will be lighting up the Canadian National Exhibition grandstand in Toronto later this month in an extravagant production, in which

she shares billing with self-deprecating comic David Brenner. Perking up the former Miss America runner-up image is going to be particularly difficult since NBC honcho Fred Silverman recently dubbed her “the Dinah Shore of the ’80s,” a label any jiggle star would have difficulty living down.

After all he went through with the Happy Adventure, you’d think that Farley Mowat would have washed that boat right out of his hair, but not so. The seagoing heroine of Mowat’s 1969 book The Boat Who Wouldn't Float sailed, however soggily, back into the kilt-flinging author’s life last month and will weigh anchor before the end of August from Mowat’s summer home at River Bourgeois in Cape Breton. Before the launching Mowat, 58, plans to rechristen the congenitally leaky craft with a bottle of Lemon Hart Rum because, as he sees it, “there’s nothing stronger available.” He would actually have been content to let the two-masted fishing schooner rest in peace but local boatbuilder Jim Boucher insisted that she was too beautiful to die, and so set out restoring Happy to her present state, “high and dry, looking elderly but very handsome.” Even though Mowat now believes the boat will float, he has decided not to wear his famous tartan at the launching, saying: “I’m not taking any chances of getting my kilt wet.”

Greece did not lose an actress when Melina Mercouri was elected to parliament in 1977—it gained a fine politician. For the past two years the mercurial Mercouri, 54, has been putting in 16-hour days on behalf of her constituents in the impoverished port of Piraeus, the locale of her 1960 hit Never on Sunday. Her busy schedule -has left only vacations open for film and acting commitments, including last year’s critically acclaimed A Dream of Passion in which she co-starred with Elian Burstyn. While parliament was out for summer recess, Mercouri travelled to Toronto with husband/director Jules Dassin, 68, who is pieparing to film Circle of Two with Richard Burton and Tatum O’Neal. “I won’t see Julie for the next three months and I wanted to be with him,” she said, but while Dassin was involved in casting sessions Mercouri couldn’t resist a little politicking. For two hours one afternoon she glad-handed her way through Greek shops, restaurants and backgammon halls, stopping to talk, mostly politics, and visiting chefs’ kitchens for a taste of soup or nibble of moussaka. Never missing an opportunity, Mercouri announced plans to return to Canada next recess to work on a film about Greek immigrants which she says will be “good propaganda for Canada, good for the Greeks and amusing for the world.” Edited by Marsha Boulton