"I answered love letters for Fred Flintstone, that’s how bad it was,” laughs Shari Belafonte Harper, who once worked as a publicist for the HannaBarbera cartoon mill. Harper, 26, is now in front of the cameras as a model and actress. Last week she completed work on the Canadian feature If You Could See What I Hear, the biography of blind athlete, singer and pianist Tom Sullivan, to whom Harper gives a loving jilt. As the daughter of singer Harry Belafonte and model-turned-doctor Frances Mazique, Harper has found that famous family ties don’t hurt a career. “I’m sure there are people out there who ask me to audition just so they can take a look at Harry Belafonte’s daughter,”
she admits. “When I was starting out, I was told I’d have no problem getting fast-food commercials, but I did.” Later, Harper was finally told the truth by an advertising executive friend: “I’m just not black enough.”
Freedom always has its price, and in the case of 41-year-old hockey superstar Bobby Hull the tag reads $600,000. Last week Mr. Justice Louis Peniset of the Manitoba Court of Queen’s bench ordered Hull to hand over $460,000 as a property settlement to his former wife, Joanne. The Golden Jet also has to make a lump sum payment of $100,696.55 to cover unpaid maintenance and family bills. There are other lumps to swallow too, such as $30,000, plus disbursements, for his former wife’s legal fees, a share of Hull’s $430,000 chunk of the Winnipeg Jets if it is ever sold and $37,500, which Joanne Hull has to match, into a trust fund for the three children. Hull is also required to $4,000 a month in maintenance. In all, it’s a settlement at which John Craig Eaton would surely blanch. Eaton, chairman of the board of the department store chain, went to the Supreme Court of Canada last week trying to stop monthly payments of $2,500 to his former wife, Catherine Burdick Eaton, who, Eaton contended, lives “in a state resembling matrimony” with John Cardwell. Eaton’s request was denied, despite his complaint that his former wife had lent Cardwell $100,000 and had given him access to everything from her home to her cabin cruiser.
ÍÍIn the original context of the song, I I’m the one who gets beat up. So anyone who misconstrues Hit Me With
Your Best Shot as a sexist anthem is missing the point of the song,” explains Toronto-born Eddie Schwartz in answer to critics who have suggested that the song, as sung by heavy-metal femme fatale Pat Benatar, fosters violence toward women. After years in the shadow of Canadian singer Charity Brown, Schwartz is finding fame as a composer as well as a singer, though it was Benatar who got her face on the cover of Rolling Stone after the success of Best Shot. Schwartz has also composed songs for German disco-star Amii Stewart, Long John Baldry and Peter Frampton. A caustic Schwartz reports that Frampton had the most difficulty with his grinding melodies. “His band recorded the song Heart on Fire in three different keys and he still couldn’t sing it.”
The most colorful figure on the Vancouver political scene these days is pesky Stan Persky, a community college sociology instructor who enjoys poking a rapier at B.C.’s prim and powerful. Last year Persky wrote Son of Soared, a less-than-kindly look at Premier Bill Bennett and the Social Credit government. It sold a respectable 10,000 copies. This year Persky has taken a soft-cover swipe at Vancouver Mayor Jack Volrich, titled The House That Jack Built. Persky’s next target is J.V. Clyne, whom he plans to challenge for the chancellorship of the University of British Columbia. Clyne is a former justice of the B.C. Supreme Court and past chairman of MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. Unimpressed with Clyne’s qualifications, Persky, in typical style, told the campus paper, The Ubyssey, “As long as they’re planning to run some bourgeois pig again
and hang the robes of office from some giant timber baron or the guy who owns all the fish, I will be around. I intend to make as grand a gesture as I can,” froths the former campus radical. For his part, Clyne declines comment, describing Persky only as “an unpleasant individual.”
Seemingly without regard for the reading public, veteran politicians often write their memoirs. Not so for Don Jamieson, who at month’s end will be stepping down as leader of Newfoundland’s Liberal party—he has put his on record. Forgoing tales of power in both federal and provincial arenas, the onetime broadcaster and former external affairs minister opted for such selections as Memories of Christmas in Old St. John's and Father Eli's Christmas Stocking to fill his double record album, Don Jamieson Remembers. The record Jamieson stands by is into its second pressing and doing well at $14.95, but the 59-year-old says he did it at family bidding and plans no career in the vinyl industry.
The last person one could imagine mouthing the words “hooray for Hollywood” is U.S. consumer advocate and very serious man Ralph Nader. But recently, Nader joined the ranks of Hollywood and Vine moguls when his New Citizen Productions opened shop with the noble ambition of producing movies that “hold some redeeming social value.” According to chief of production Mark Litwak, Nader realized the power of the medium when the Three Mile Island nuclear accident dovetailed with the release of The China Syndrome and gave new relevance to popcorn conversation. So far, Nader has contacted his allies Jane Fonda and Robert Redford about possible work and the Nader droids are reading through the real-life Nader’s Raiders files looking for “anything of social significance.”
Author Larry King earns $1 million a year in royalties from the hit Broadway musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, but when the movie rights were purchased one executive told him that all they really wanted was the title. In The Washington Post, King announced that he’s now so upset at script changes demanded by the movie’s star, Burt Reynolds, that he thinks the title should be changed to Smokey and the Bandit Go to a Whorehouse. It seems Reynolds refused to play his sheriff character as a 62-yearold. King relented and made the character 50, but Reynolds has worked it down to a “young, macho 35-year-old.” King also expresses disdain for leading lady Dolly Parton, who is rumored to be writing her own songs. “I also heard that she’s gonna wear those outlandish wigs of hers,” he complains. “I don’t believe she’s got real hair. I think she’s bald and that hair may not be all that’s false.”
Hit s just a matter of completing the Isentence,” says Vancouver filmmaker AI Razutis, whose nine-minute movie A Message From Our Sponsor completes excerpts from over 200 TV commercials with some sizzlingly explicit footage. The film had been chosen by a jury to be part of the nationally touring Canadian Filmmakers Series IV this winter when word came from its sponsor, The National Gallery of Canada, that the film might contravene the Criminal Code and wasn’t going anywhere. “How can they give the film the distinction of being chosen and not show it?” asks Razutis, who was joined in protest by the 10 other film-makers in the exhibition. “If this attitude continues, they’ll soon be putting BandAids over certain parts of their paintings.”
On the ’50s TV series Les Plouffes (The Plouffe Family) they were father and son, so it was only fitting that actor Emile Genest stayed with his TV “father,” Paul Guevremont, after returning to Montreal via Hollywood 11 years ago. “In fact, I slept so well I stole the pillow,” confesses Genest. Now Genest, 59, finds he has taken the late Guevremont’s role in a five-hour film revival of the old series, being directed by Gilles Carle. After six years of playing the frustrated Napoleon in both French and English in CBC’s first homegrown drama series, Genest says he was nervous about taking on the role of Théophile, father of the war-era Quebec City family. “Nervous—until I went home and slept on the same pillow.”
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