Writer Dominick Dunne moves in the circles of the rich and famous, regularly profiling them in devastating detail for Vanity Fair magazine. With his just-published third novel, People Like Us, Dunne has used his insider’s view for a biting satire of New York City’s extravagant high society. And the book’s journalist-narrator, Gus Bailey, bears a striking resemblance to his 61-year-old creator. Bailey is haunted by the murder of his daughter—in 1982, Dunne’s daughter, Dominique, was strangled by a former boyfriend who served three years in jail for the killing. Says Dunne: “I feel strongly about people getting away with things. Privilege abused interests me tremendously.”
Actress Cheryl Ladd
says that she does not miss her early acting days, playing a sexy blond detective on the popular TV series Charlie’s Angels. “It certainly wasn’t Shakespeare,” said Ladd, 36. The Los Angeles-based actress is currently in Toronto filming Millennium, a science-fiction adventure set 1,000 years into the future. Ladd’s soldier character time-travels back to 1988 to seduce a man, played by Kris Kristofferson, to recover a deadly weapon. Said Ladd: “She has no idea how to go about this. There’s no sex in the future, and she’s never worn high heels. It’s quite funny seeing her deal with fashion and sex.”
For the Royal Family, it seems no one but Michael Noakes will do. The 54-year-old portrait artist’s royal subjects have spanned three generations of the House of Windsor: from the Queen Mother to Queen Elizabeth ii and Prince Philip, the Prince of Wales, and Anne, the Princess Royal, and now, Andrew and Sarah, the Duke and Duchess of York. A portrait of the royal couple, expecting their first child in August, will be unveiled on June 27 at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Noakes says that he usually hides his works in progress from his sitters but that he made an exception this time. “I needed reassurance,” he said. “It was a demanding picture because it was a double portrait more than six feet tall.” Still, he added,
“I’m allowed to say that they’re very pleased with it.”
Although he has called Nashville, Tenn., home for the past 25 years, Calumet, Que.-born Ronnie Prophet says that playing almost 50 Canadian shows a year keeps him in touch with his roots. Indeed, the 50-year-old country singer is currently on a 40-stop North American tour that finishes on Sept. 3 in Chatham, N.B. A week later in Toronto, he will cohost the Canadian Country Music
Awards show, to be broadcast on CTV. “I like being on the road,” said Prophet. “I wouldn’t really call it a tour, it’s more like a lifestyle for me.”
Journalist Victor Malarek earned $56 last week for appearing as an extra in Malarek, a movie based on his 1984 memoirs of growing up in Montreal in foster homes and in a juvenile detention centre. “I’m going to hang the cheque on the wall,” said the 39-year-old Toronto Globe and Mail reporter after returning from filming in Montreal. Malarek, who appeared as a patron in a tavern scene, watched Canadian actor Elias Koteas play him as a young reporter. “I felt a roller coaster of emotions,” said Malarek, who was placed in a foster home at 7, after the breakup of his parents’ violent marriage. He added, “In one scene—about my feelings for my father—I got choked up and just had to walk away.”
It was the universal language of music, says pianist Angela Cheng, that helped her communicate after her Chinese-speaking family moved from Hong Kong to Edmonton when she was 12. “Expressing myself fully through lan-
I guage was difficult, but with music I could,” said Cheng, 28, who last week became the first Canadian to win the $15,000 top honors at the 25th anniversary of the Montreal International Music Competition. Added Cheng, who defeated 48 pianists from Japan, China, Hungary, West Germany and the Soviet Union: “It was a proud feeling to win in my home country.”
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