When you are 19 years old and have no acting experience, it’s not easy to land the lead in a million-dollar movie. Unless, of course, you are pretty and happen to meet the genetic criteria of an unusual character. But Burnaby, B.C.’s Cindy Jensen met those criteria and she is now starring in Up River, an adventure that is being filmed in the B.C. interior. Jensen plays White Swan, a half-Indian princess who marries a white homesteader and is raped and murdered in a dispute over gold. Jensen is not an Indian princess; she has never been raped and she found it difficult being murdered on screen because “I didn’t know what it felt like to be shot.” She is, however, the daughter of a Scandinavian father and an Indian mother from the Tsimshian tribe of northern B.C. Jensen found that her native heritage helped her to develop her character, but she doesn’t plan to remain typecast for the rest of her life. She has one session left in the modelling course she was taking before she was “discovered,” and says, “It 's in acting.”
Doing research on a historical novel can be extended to the ultimate degree. Stephen Sheppard, for example, checked almanacs and news clippings for the weather on the dates he talks about in his true-life, robbery-suspense
novel The Four Hundred. But to uncover the method by which his four American “heroes” stole £400,000 from the Bank of England in 1873, Sheppard had to spend months digging for the “bare bones” of the story in the archives of the British Museum. The effort has paid off, however, and the first-time novelist recently cashed in on movie rights of $1 million. On the subject of money Sheppard, 34, waxes poetic. “Money relaxes you,” says the jet-setting author, who has a penchant for the gambling at Monte Carlo. “Bank managers all over the world are smiling now, and offering to lend me money. Where the hell were they when I needed them?”
It was supposed to be a decade of brotherly love, but Mrs. Smothers’ sons went one hug too far. Jittery about Tom and Dick Smothers’ anti-Vietnam skits and off-color jokes, CBS TV abruptly cancelled their prime-time hour in 1969 and the brothers found themselves hustling to keep their act together on the nightclub circuit. Three years ago they decided to put “Mom always liked Dick best” into mothballs and go their separate ways—Tom to dinner theatre, Dick to a hillside vineyard to cultivate Smothers wine. But the heady allure of showbiz beat out California white last year when the two teamed up to make their Broadway debuts in the spouseswapping musical I Love My Wife. Now in Canada with the show, the two retreads are happy to shoot down stories that their split had been messy. “It’s
been difficult for us to get away from the brother image,” admits Tom. “People think we don’t get along anymore but Dick is my best friend.”
After playing a disengaged hippie in the 1977 film Outrageous, Hollis McLaren might have been wary of repeating herself. But her latest role, as a pregnant flower child in Louis (Pretty Baby) Malle’s new movie, Atlantic City U.S.A., will give her the bucks “to do what I really want to do.” When her last scenes are shot, the fragile Toronto actress will leave co-stars Burt Lancaster, Susan Sarandon and Canadians Kate Reid and AI Waxman behind and head back to India where she spent three months last year—returning only when her money ran out and it was income
tax time again back home. “Travelling, or just being," she insists, “is far more important to me at this point than becoming a movie star.”
Crime can pay. Once Spain’s most wanted man, robber Eleuterio Sanchez livened up the tabloids with his stylish escapes. But now the 37-year-old “El Lute” is a model prisoner, propping up underdogs from his minimum security prison, studying law and, most recently, defending what remains of his honor against a Jamaican pop music group, Boney M. When El Lute, an unauthorized disc of Sanchez’s life story, seared European charts with sales of one million, the reformed crook went gunning for his rights. The recording
company promptly agreed to settle out of court for $70,000 worth of El Lute’s righteous anger. “Now that I know how to defend myself,” he declared, “I believe I have a perfect right to charge for the exploitation of my fame.”
The wriggle throbs accurately but the pelvis is streamlined and the chest is hairier. And although Morris Bates of Williams Lake, B.C., admits that there are “guys who sing Elvis better and guys who look more like Elvis than I do,” few imitators have survived as long on the road as the 29-year-old Shuswap Indian with his 13-piece backup band and $3,500 sequined jumpsuits. “I’ve got him down,” says Bates. Since he began performing in the early ’70s, he has toured The Elvis Presley Story to Las Vegas, South Africa and the Far East—a far swoon from his salad days in Prairie bars where, he recalls, “You’d have to beat up the manager to get your money.”
In 1963, the Beatles immortalized the rock standard called Money which
featured such lyric simplicity as The best things in life are free, but you can give them to the birds and bees/1 want money. This timeless ode is once again appearing on record charts in a version by Britain’s latest avant-punk discovery, The Flying Lizards. Beatles’ fans would hardly recognize this year’s Money, which features a musical genre known only as “petulant minimalism” and a vocalist known only as Deborah who chants “just give me your money.” Though it is rising up international charts, Money was actually conceived and produced as a joke by sound artist David Cunningham, 24, who executed his humor for less than $50. “I don’t think it’s difficult to make a hit record,” says Lizard Cunningham. “All you need is a tape recorder and your subway fare.”
Janet Margolin’s first film role was as a psychotic teen-ager who fell in love with Keir Dullea. But the 1962 cult classic David and Lisa, which seemed to spell a bright future for the precocious 18-year-old, propelled her instead into a tailspin which included a disastrous 1965 Marlon Brando epic, Morituri. Driven almost to suicide by what she calls her co-star’s “self-destructive phase,” Margolin sidelined acting for psychology classes at UCLA and marriage. “It was frightening to be told by everyone that I was a great actress,” she recalls. “I began to behave very badly.” Today, the high-cheekboned divorcee is set on reassembling her hit-andmiss career. After snagging a bit part as Woody Allen’s wife in the 1977 comedy Annie Hall, Margolin won the lead in Element of Risk, a nuke mystery now being filmed amid the Arthur Ericksondesigned Vancouver courthouse complex which doubles as a sinister plutonium plant.
il^Phis is one of the most dangerous I roles of my career,” insists actor Richard Harris. Putting 40 films and a reputation as a hard lover behind him, the 49-year-old ex-rugby player stripped down his ego for the role of a middle-aged industrialist who falls into love and impotence in the new Canadian movie Your Ticket Is No Longer Valid, shot in Montreal, New York and Paris. Harris’ nemesis is a luscious young Brazilian played by Canadian starlet Jennifer Dale. “It’s a delicate part for me,” said Harris, whose advisers warned him that impotence might dampen his virile image, “but after this movie is over I’ll prove to the world I’m not.”
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