BARBARA MATTHEWS November 16 1981


BARBARA MATTHEWS November 16 1981


"People have seen my face so many times they think they sat beside me in the second grade,” laughs titianhaired Conchata Ferrell. Though she co-starred as Faye Dunaway’s belittled assistant, Barbara, in Network, it is only recently that audiences have begun to connect the round, intelligent face with the name. The reason is Heartland, a critically acclaimed film about early settlers in an unforgiving Montana.

Shot in Big Sky country during the Easter blizzards, Heartland brought out the pioneer spirit in the Los Angeles-based 38-yearold. She donned snowmobile boots, six pairs of underwear and even took to wearing a down coat off camera—a considerable concession for a lady of her girth. Back in “tacky old L.A.,”

Ferrell is taping yet another TV show (McClain's Law, starring James Arness), while she waits for her next film offer. After all,

“There is nothing left to be learned from being poor,” she says flatly. “And I have to sleep with more famous people before I can write a biography.”

Ken Read and Steve Podborski have more in common than a penchant for taking hills at breakneck speeds. The “Crazy Canucks” share a crucial all-out desire to win. “That’s the goal, isn’t it? To be on top,” says the 26-year-old Read. Podborski,

24, who missed that distinction by .28 of a second at Aspen last season, adds, “I don’t like to do things poorly.” The duo left for Europe last week to join the other members of the Canadian ski team who are already in training for the first race of the season at Val d’Isère, France, early in December. Undaunted by their injuries—Read tore his knee ligaments in a spectacular fall in Garmisch, West Germany, last January and Podborski separated his shoulder in a bicycle crash last May—the pair is confident of victories to come. “I’m ready to go all out,” warns Read. Clear the hill.

Inspired by the late Amy Vanderbilt’s comprehensive text, cartoonist and best-selling author Ben Wicks, 55, recently published his own Etiquette. This one is a workingman’s guide to emulating the upper crust. “Canadians are badly behaved, but it’s not their fault,” says Wicks in his best Cockney accent. “They haven’t had a chance to study the

aristocracy at close hand.” Although he’s no aristocrat himself, Wicks claims he can tout the virtues of polo or cricket with the best of them. His latest concern is that gentlemanly behavior has been totally untouched in the debate over the constitution and charter of rights. “England is afraid to let us go,” Wicks explains, “because they take one look at our peasant behavior and say we’re not ready for our own constitution.” Ergo Etiquette: “The book should be our new Bible. In fact, it should go in all hotel rooms, on top of Gideon’s. And once Thatcher and the Queen realize we’re reading it, they’ll say, ‘Jolly good show, here you are.’ ”

Move over Mercedes. The De Lorean has landed. The gull-winged, stainless-steel beauty dreamed up by former Detroit whiz John De Lorean was delivered to its first Canadian owner last week. Edmund King, 48, a vice-president and director of leading investment banker Wood Gundy Ltd., happily left his station wagon to zip around Toronto in the sleek silver machine with its soft leather interior. Traffic tie-ups followed, z “Kids in Cobras and Trans Ams 2 were speeding ahead and cutting I back in just to get a look,” he i* chuckles. Wood Gundy was one I of De Lorean’s original backers z five years ago and it helped him i to locate the unlikely plant site

in West Belfast, Ireland, where 80 cars a day are now rolling off the line. With a top end of more than 200 km-h, reasonable gas consumption and responsiveness built in by some of Europe’s top midwives, the $32,000 price tag isn’t outrageous, says King. And there is no need to worry about winter’s ravages. The rustless stainless will stand up just like a kitchen sink.

Not satisfied with weekly exposure in 43 countries on CTV’s Stars on Ice, skater-artist-writer Toller Cranston is looking to the home screen for new heights. Before he embarked on a threemonth Ice Capades tour, the 32-year-old

Olympie medal winner wrapped up the filming of his latest brain wave — a one-hour $l-million-plus CBC TV special called Strawberry Ice. “If it’s not a success, I could be the man who singlehandedly bankrupts the CBC,” speculates the star. The scenario is predictable. With help from fellow skater Peggy Fleming and singer-dancer Chita Rivera, Cranston skates through a sequence of fables about an artist who meets the imaginary characters he paints. “Perhaps I’m an egomaniac or perhaps I’m a victim of my own fantasies,” he muses.

f you’ve got it . . . flaunt it,” says .Garfield the cartoon cat. And his creator, Jim Davis, is doing just that. Since 1978, when the Muncie, Ind., native managed to convince New York ( ity’s United Features to syndicate the adventures of his paunchy puss, the strip has been picked up by more than 800 newspapers worldwide. “I’d rather not do anything else between now and retirement or death — whichever comes first,” says the 35-year-old artist. That is hardly surprising. His company, Paws, Inc., is currently supervising the marketing of everything from stuffed Garfields to Garfield underwear. Next spring there is a prime time animated special on CBS and, after that, who

knows? In any case, success hasn’t changed Garfield much. But in Davis’ new book, Garfield: Bigger Than Life, the anthropomorphic feline is shown eating chicken and taking his muchhated baths for the last time. The conscientious artist dropped those activities when cat lovers protested.

Last week’s official proclamation was straightforward. “It is announced from Buckingham Palace that the Princess of Wales is expecting a baby in June next year.” A thousand office workers immediately flocked to the Guildhall in London to cheer “Lady Di” and Prince Charles as they arrived to lunch with the Lord Mayor. As Britons clinked mugs in local pubs, the House of Commons passed a motion of congratulations wishing the Princess “excellent health and suitable self-indulgence.” Bookmakers began taking bets on

whether the baby would be a boy or a girl. Romantic novelist Barbara Cartland, Diana’s step-grandmother, plumped for the former “because it is what every English man and woman wants. In America they seem to prefer girls.” Debrett’s Peerage checked the lineage odds and reported it might be

twins. And everyone speculated as to whether or not Charles would attend the birth. The London Times was in no doubt about the outcome. “The prime constitutional duty of a Princess of Wales is to produce a male heir,” it said succinctly.

Moe Koffman has been one of Canada’s best-known jazzmen since the late 1950s, when he released the pop hit Swinging Shepherd Blues. But it took mega-band producer Bob Ezrin to engineer his first American record deal in nearly two decades. The album, If You Don't Know My Name By Now, was recorded a few months ago with rock guitarist Domenic Troiano, three women back-up singers and a host of other young musicians. Koffman recruited the group to give his flute and

saxophone a “today sound.” But none of the American labels was interested. Then Pink Floyd producer Ezrin heard the demonstration tape when Koffman was called to over-dub some sax tracks on another of his creations, Murray McLauchlan’s Storm Warning. “He flipped,” recalls Koffman. “He couldn’t believe it was me and that the session wasn’t done in L.A.” Soon after, Koffman was signed to Elektra, and his album is slated for a January release. Now the 52-year-old musician worries that the new funk-fusion style “may turn off some of my older fans who expect me to play Bach and Mozart. But it will attract a wider audience.”

Rosemary Dunsmore has spent the past eight years pounding the boards in Canadian theatres. But it took a favorable foreign review to make local critics sit up and take notice. Hailed by the London Sunday Telegraph as best actress of the Edinburgh Festival for her performance in Straight Ahead/Blind Dancers, Dunsmore gave a virtuoso performance of a ’40s Ohio farm girl who longs to swing with the big bands. Riding the crest of success back to Toronto and rave reviews from local scribes, Dunsmore still has time for personal pursuits—marriage to actor Peter Dvorsky. “The theatre agreed to close the show a day early so we could get married,” she says. “But I’ve just been offered the lead in a [CBC drama series] For the Record, so there goes the honeymoon.”

In an extraordinary use of the news media, U.S. communications multimillionaire Walter H. Annenberg, 73,

took out a full-page advertisement in The Washington Post last week. Headlined CANADA’S UNFAIRNESS DOCTRINE, the pricey ad condemned Canada’s cable TV regulations, which prohibit foreigners from owning more than 20 per cent of a cable TV system and bar them from cable company directorates. “Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s crusade to ‘Canadianize’ his country’s culture and economy at the expense of the United States [has brought] the American Congress to the brink of retaliatory legislation ...,” it read in part. Annenberg, a former U.S. ambassador to Britain, has investments in TV Guide. He sold the Canadian edition in 1976, when changing tax laws made it less profitable. His 1,800-word message concluded with dark musings about the delayed Alaskan pipeline: “Certainly it would seem safer to liquefy the Alaskan gas and ship it south by tanker rather than send it through a vulnerable pipeline that could be plugged at any time by Ottawa.”