PEOPLE

PEOPLE

TOM MACGREGOR December 29 1980
PEOPLE

PEOPLE

TOM MACGREGOR December 29 1980

PEOPLE

e’re just incredibly bigoted,” says a gleeful Jackie Burroughs, describing the eight strictly stereotyped characters who form the cast of The Chairman of the Board, a Canadian-made, self-confessed “Dallas of the boardroom”-style TV soap opera to be broadcast next season. In Chairman, Shakespearean-trained Burroughs plays Professor Hannah Cohen, a Jewish-German humanities specialist who believes “all people should be free, and if they don’t want to be we must force them to accept freedom.” So far, the 13-week series produced by Caroline and Jim Hanley has been sold to Ontario educational TV, though it will certainly provide a lighter look at social issues than usually prevails on the government station. “I think they thought it was educational because all of the board members sit in their chairs and talk a lot,” says Burroughs.

The Ian Adams case drew to a close last week with a payment of $30,000 to Leslie James Bennett, the former RCMP counterspy who says the protagonist in the novel S: Portrait of a Spy is a thinly veiled version of himself. Author Adams also agreed to buy the rights to the book from Gage Publishing for $10,000. But as the final papers were being signed, amid howls from the literary community, the genesis of the affair came to light for the first time. Bennett, it turns out, was in blissfully ignorant retirement in Australia when he got a letter from Toronto Sun editor Peter Worthington suggesting he might like to sue over the justreleased book. Worthington even had a suggestion of just the lawyer to call. Worthington wrote that he also thought a “crude right winger without a conscience” was a version of himself, but didn’t want to sue Adams because “if you dish it out you should take it too.” So while much has been said about libel in a work of fiction, there is one question still intriguing watchers of the case. Why didn’t Bennett sue Worthington since The Toronto Sun was the first to publicly suggest that Bennett and S were one and the same?

Once in a while a clear perspective of one’s position comes echoing out of the bleachers. Last week’s signing of free-agent outfielder Dave Winfield, 29, to a 10-year contract with the New York Yankees was one of those moments for the Toronto Blue Jays. The value of Winfield’s contract could be as high as $25 million, and for the lowly Blue Jays, whose entire budget for all 25 players amounted to just over $2 million last season, it is a sobering thought. Blue Jays President Peter Bavasi, who projects a salary budget of $12 million by 1991, says: “The shrapnel from this kind of a deal plants itself squarely in the hindquarters of the contending teams. All of us age with every Winfield signing.” Of course, Winfield will be aging at a rate of about $1 per second played.

^T3eople like these have a lifestyle that makes it very difficult for them to own houses,” says editor Sherry Reinker of The World of Turnberry ’s readers. But with a mailing list that boasts Princess Caroline, Andy Warhol and tennis star Jimmy Connors the monthly magazine is hardly for downand-outs, but rather the house organ of the Turnberry Isle Yacht and Racquet Club in north Miami. The “total security” $300-million condominium resort is strictly for those willing to pay dearly to live “in their own, very private world.” Or as World's masthead reads: “For the fortunate few whose ship has arrived.”

here’s a great future in freezedried minnows,” says taxidermist Ray Maher, who is revolutionizing his Brandon, Man., business with a threeby one-metre freeze-drying chamber. “Freeze-drying is far superior to traditional methods. Instead of tanning the skin and then stuffing the animal, you can dry the organs right inside,” says Maher. After a week to 10 days in the chamber, the specimens are dry, odorless and immune to moisture “as long as you don’t drop them in a bathtub.” Although Maher is busy just

keeping up with his game-trophy work, he hopes to launch into the preservedbait business by spring. “Then we hope to get into laboratory specimens. I can do a snake you’ll swear is alive.”

She’s a vision of oldtime Hollywood glamor roughing it in the sub-zero Canadian winter. Eva Gabor dropped in to perform in an episode of a new Jack London TV series, Tales of the Klondike, and lifted her gown at a Toronto studio last week to reveal thermal underwear. Since the end of her long-running sitcom, Green Acres, Gabor has been doing the regional theatre circuit and making TV guest appearances, but finds true Gabor consolation in Ronald Reagan’s victory. “Ronnie is marvelously exciting. Carter wasn’t chic at all, and I love to go to the White House.” Her good wishes don’t go far enough that she’ll grace her old friend’s inauguration on Jan. 20. “No darling, I believe in getting paid for personal appearances.”

Right from the womb, Paul L. Smith must have been marked to play Bluto to somebody’s Popeye. Weighing into the world at 17 pounds, no ounces, Smith grew to be 320 pounds spread over six feet, four inches, crowned with a 25-inch head resting on a 22 V2 -inch neck and balanced at the bottom by size 12 feet. “How can you be like this and not want to play Bluto?” asks Smith, who first saw himself in the role as a result of a comment by comic Lenny Bruce in 1961. “As I walked into a club on Sunset Strip, Lenny looked up and said ‘Ladies and gentlemen, you won’t believe this but Bluto just walked in.’ I never had a choice about the part.” Large though he may be, Smith’s bulk is surpassed in Robert Altman’s adaptation of the Popeye cartoon strip. For the record, Montreal’s Peter Bray, who plays Oxblood Oxheart, displaces 425 pounds over six feet, seven inches.

A much-mellowed Roman Polanski says he’s through with the violent and the bizarre and is “nostalgic for romance.” So much so, he returned to Thomas Hardy’s 1891 novel Tess of the D'Urbervilles for his latest film, Tess. The film, made in 1978, is dedicated to

his murdered wife, Sharon Tate, and stars Polanski’s 17-year-old former girl-friend and Europe’s latest sex kitten, Nastassia Kinski. “We were like brother and sister,” he says of Kinski, the daughter of Nosferatu vampire Klaus Kinski. Still on the lam from a prison sentence for his involvement with a 13-year-old girl in the U.S., Polanski is sensitive about his vowed return. “I said I would do it and I will. The press would love me to promote my film from jail.”

remember what you did at Line JLand Kelly’s wedding. You don’t deserve to go to any weddings!” came the accusation. “Well,” came the retort, “the minister said: ‘Is there anyone here who knows why these two should not be wed?’ I’m an honest woman. I say what I think.” The outspoken matron was Ruth Warrick, 65, in character as Phoebe Tyler, star of ABC’s All My Children and “the vilest woman on daytime TV.” Warrick, author of The Confessions of Phoebe Tyler, was in Toronto recently in Soaps Alive!—a road show of daytime TV stars which appears in shopping malls across the U.S. and Canada, giving soap addicts the golden opportunity to meet their favorites in the flesh. “They want me to be mean. You see, I speak out for a lot of people,” says Warrick. “When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a missionary or an actress. Now I can be both.”

Twenty years ago it would have been the occasion to make star-struck movie buffs swoon—Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis, Kim Novak and Elizabeth Taylor all together plugging a new film. But the Agatha Christie thriller The Mirror Crack'd was almost forgotten as the stars accounted for recent ravages of time. A paunchy Hudson lamented the loss of screaming fans while Curtis, resplendent in western garb, confided in Bronx tones that he would like to be a rancher. “I ought to be good at it after all the horse crap in the movies I’ve made.” In her first major production in more than a decade, reclusive Kim Novak, who spends most of her time raising llamas in Monterey, Calif., gave away her secret for keeping a svelte figure: “It’s cleaning up after all those llamas—all that bending down, heaving with your arms and back. It really keeps you in shape.” Shape was the only subject about which an overweight and over-jewelled Liz Taylor did not have much to say. When asked about the spare tire that had made her poundage more widely noted than her cleavage, Taylor snapped, “I have nothing to say, not a bloody word.”

-EDITED BY TOM MACGREGOR