Actress Rebecca Jenkins says she enjoyed being "a free spirit," singing in Toronto nightclubs, before she became a movie star, CBC TV casting director Claire Hewitt noticed Jenkins, 30, in 1987 when she was waitressing and helped her land the lead in the 1987 CBC movie Family Reunion. Now, Jenkins—who stars in the newly released movie Bye Bye Blues and has just recorded her first single, Through the Leaves— says that she is undecided whether to concentrate on movies or music. Added Jenkins: 'Tm always thinking about what I should do next—it's exhausting."
Performer Suzy Gottlieb, better known as Phranc, says that as “an average all-American Jewish lesbian folksinger,” she wants to set an example for modern youth. The Santa Monica, Calif., resident added that she sings about her lesbianism because “I want kids to grow up knowing that they can be happy and successful regardless of their sexuality.” Her newly released second album, I Enjoy Being a Girl, is winning rave reviews, but the singer said that she is still sometimes greeted with insults when she performs. Added Phranc, 32: “I won’t compromise on honesty.”
SAD LITTLE RICH GIRL
The unhappy Christina Onassis was an unwanted child who desperately craved the attention of her father, Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, writes Nigel Dempster in Heiress: The Story of Christina Onassis. In a book excerpt in London’s The Sunday Times, British celebrity-watcher Dempster writes that Christina—who died last year of heart failure at age 37—wanted to be noticed by Onassis “at any cost ” Ironically, she got her wish: in 1970, Onassis blocked Christina’s plans to marry her first lover. Later, he bugged her London apartment and forced an end to her first marriage, after six months, to an American businessman. By 1972, writes Dempster, Christina realized that she was a “prisoner of her father’s megalomania. ”
A MASTERFUL SALES STRATEGY
When British master spy novelist Ken Follett left his thriller territory to write a book of passion and greed in medieval times, he used outside help to capture a new audience. Follett said that he relied on market research to select the best title from a list of options for his newly released best-seller. Follett, 40, added that he preferred Allegiance, but chose The Pillars of the Earth instead because it was more popular with survey respondents. Evidently, the writer believes in letting people judge a book by its title.
A passionate return
Despite being acclaimed as one of the century’s greatest stage actresses, Vanessa Redgrave has not worked on Broadway since 1977. In the United States, plans to cast the well-known pro-Palestinian activist have often been scuttled by protests. But last week, the arts triumphed over politics when the 52-year-old British actress made a spectacular Broadway comeback in Tennessee Williams’s 1957 drama Orpheus Descending. She earned a standing ovation and glowing reviews for her performance as the unhappy wife of a southern bigot. Wrote Wall Street Journal theatre critic Edwin Wilson: “Redgrave provides one of the most electric performances of recent times.” Still, Redgrave remains controversial: in Orpheus she appears nude for a love scene. According to her daughter, actress Natasha Richardson, Redgrave is committed to risk-taking. Said Richardson: “She taught me if you jump in the deep end, you only have to swim to the shallow end.”
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