BARBARA MATTHEWS November 23 1981


BARBARA MATTHEWS November 23 1981


The house lights dimmed, a voice came through the darkness, the spotlight shone and there was Mimi Hines glittering in a white dress and floor-length fur coat. Toronto Sun critic Wilder Penfield III turned his chair for a better look just as the tiny show business veteran flew by on her opening night at the Royal York Hotel’s Imperial Room last week. She managed to travel about 20 steps before anyone realized that Penfield had positioned himself atop her long microphone cord. Hines looked exasperated as Penfield stood, fumbled and finally picked up the chair to set her free. Hines was having her hassles upstairs, too. For two days she tried unsuccessfully to have a kingsized bed installed prior to the arrival of her fiancé, Nelson—“a beautiful, handsome Frenchman” she plans to marry soon. When she was told that she might have to change suites, Hines acquiesced. It was better than making Nelson sleep in a twin bed.

Thanks to Maple Leaf meats and the RCMP, Richard Thomas has the

highest profile in the lacklustre race for leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party. As wise Ben on TV, who knows good bacon when he smells it, Thomas has turned his sonorous voice and Papa Hemingway beard into something of a household fixture. Last year he became a folk hero when the RCMP raided his farm in Kearney, Ont., and charged him with running a still. But the charges were dropped when it became clear Thomas was concocting an alcohol brew as a viable fuel to power his car. The 49year-old broadcaster/conservationist, who missed a seat in the last provincial election by just seven votes, admits to having some credibility problems in his latest endeavor. “A lot of people think I’m some wild man from the woods who goes around planting trees and making hootch,” he says—perhaps a more interesting image than that of the man favored to win the leadership, MPP David Peterson, a London, Ont., business executive and lawyer.

It’s not that he needs the money, but the prestige wouldn’t hurt. Harvard Phi Beta Kappa Sadruddin Aga Khan

hates to admit he’s unemployed. As a result, Khan, 48, half-brother of the late bon vivant Aly Khan, has let it be known that he wouldn’t mind the job of United Nations secretary general. With China blocking a third term for incumbent Kurt Waldheim and the United States (Unalterably opposed to Tanzania’s Salim A. Salim (whose most noteworthy diplomatic performance was dancing a jig on

the General Assembly’s floor when Nationalist China was banished), Khan is presenting himself as a candidate acceptable to both. To spread the news, he has dispatched a trusted lieutenant to New York to “answer any questions about him,” according to a spokesman. An official biography emphasizes his successful 12-year posting as United Nations high commissioner for refugees and boasts that Sadruddin is “at home in Karachi, Zanzibar and Geneva.” If it is a bit skimpy on personal detail, the spokesman explains that with his colorful family background Khan doesn’t want anybody to get the notion that he, too, is a playboy.

Independent Toronto film-maker Ron Mann, 23, may be the youngest producer/director/writer in the history of Canadian cinema to receive international acclaim for his first featurelength film, Imagine the Sound. Nominated for most popular picture at the Festival of Festivals in Toronto last summer, the film won the prestigious Silver Hugo Award for best documentary of the year last week at the Chicago Film Festival. Its subject—the lives of America’s often ignored jazz innovators, Archie Shepp, Bill Dixon, Paul Bley and Cecil Taylor—was obviously dear to the hearts of the panel in a city long known for its love of the genre. “I think it is ironic that it took a Canadian film to make people realize how important their contribution to American music was and still is,” says Mann. People in

Britain will soon be aware of it, too. Mann has just sold the film to British TV but, so far, there have been no takers at home.

Bryan Adams, the diminutive and cocky dynamo from Vancouver, is frank about the way he plays his music. “Technically, I’m a hack,” he says with a raspy laugh. But playing is what is important to the 22-year-old writer who, with partner Jim Vallance, has composed 40 songs in the past three years—most of them recorded by the likes of B.T.O., Prism and Loverboy. Tired of the anonymity—“people don’t care about writers; all they care about is a hit song”—Adams put a band together and headed east a couple of weeks ago to promote his latest album, You Want It—You Got It. Though his debut in Toronto’s showcase club, the El Mocambo, was populated by more record company backers than fans, Adams’ album is selling well, and his noisy onstage enthusiasm is matched by a quiet, undaunted ambition. “I’m not the least bit inhibited by anything,” he says with a shrug. “I’ve got good feel.” Reviewers are calling it talent.

Five years of standing by her man as a folksy regular on The Ian Tyson Show taught Sylvia Tyson a few things about performing for the cameras. Now she is putting her skills to solo gain on her own half-hour show, Country in My Soul—backed up by her ex-husband’s old band, The Great Speckled Bird. But the down-home im-

age is long gone. Tyson’s updated look is low-cut feathers and leathers—and the 41-year-old never looked better. “The era of jeans and work boots is over,” Tyson pronounces. “Glamor adds something to any performance.” It also turns heads on the street. The new wardrobe isn’t something her producers arranged; it comes straight out of her closet. “The great thing about television,” says Tyson in a new revelation about the electronic medium, “is that you can wear clothes that would be ruined by the smoke in the clubs.”

Suzanne Perry has packed a number of careers into her short life. She has moved from modelling to the highprofile job of press aide to Pierre Trudeau to a one-year stint as coanchorman/reporter at Global Television’s newsdesk in Toronto. Now the 33-yearold blonde with the Bardot pout is back in Ottawa with her husband, CTV anchorman Keith Morrison, their fourmonth-old daughter, Caitlin, and her son, Matthew. Being a wife and mother is not a full-time occupation, though. Perry is expanding her skills to include the print medium, contributing fashion and feature articles to the lifestyles section of the Ottawa Citizen. Says section editor Stevie Cameron: “She is a very funny and talented woman and her wit was never evident on Global. If she writes the way she talks, we will have a delightful contributor on our hands.”

At 81, Admiral Hyman G. Rickover is

the oldest serving officer in the U.S. forces and still one of the most powerful. The mastermind behind the design and construction of America’s

nuclear submarines, Rickover is generally acknowledged by the Pentagon to know more about fighting a nuclear war than anyone else alive. But last week, Navy Secretary John F. Lehman Jr., 39, announced, “we need to put in a young man who can be available for the next decade,” saying that he intended to replace Rickover next January. When the story first leaked, a reporter asked Ronald Reagan if he agreed. The 70-year-old U.S. president replied with a laugh: “You are asking me? Gladstone reached his height in England at 83, as prime minister.” White House sources later confirmed that Reagan had ended the four-star admiral’s nearly 60-year career but has offered him a civilian post as his adviser on atomic energy.

Gerald Phillips, an exuberant communications professor at Pennsylvania State University, has written the definitive text for the flush-and-blush set, Help For Shy People. The tips outlined in his book range from conversation starters (“The dip is delicious. I wonder what it is made of?”) to a group of topics that “work at most social gatherings” (e.g., “What I miss most about my home town”). Phillips says the toughest encounters for shyness sufferers are of the boy-girl variety. In fact, the area has proven to be such a problem, from junior-high dating anxiety to young women who “want to learn ways of not ending up on their backs,” that Phillips is publishing a sequel: Loving and Living. It is guaranteed to provide the pat lines for getting out of, or into, the most compromising situations.