PEOPLE

PEOPLE

December 18 1989
PEOPLE

PEOPLE

December 18 1989

PEOPLE

Taking centre stage

For more than 10 years, singer Sheree Jeacocke has been a voice in the background. The 31-year-old Toronto resident was a backup singer to such superstars as Smokey Robinson, B.B. King, Aretha Franklin and Gordon Lightfoot. But after three years of working on her own music, Jeacocke recently released her

first album, Sheree, and Woman ’s Work, one of the songs from the record, is rapidly climbing the popularity charts. “Being at the front, now, is a relief,” said Jeacocke. Still, she added that from observing celebrities she learned that only “strong individuals” can withstand the pressures of stardom. Said Jeacocke: “I’m inherently shy, and it’s not that I dislike the recognition, but this is a big adjustment for me.”

A tale of courage and of adultery

Former Olympic champion Nadia Comaneci is now living in the United States, and she expects, once again, to become a star—in a movie about her life. The 28year-old former gymnast, who made Olympic history at

14 when she got seven perfect scores at the 1976 Montreal Games, left behind her parents and her five gold medals when she defected from Romania on Nov. 28. Comaneci says that she crawled over rough ground into Hungary where her boyfriend, Romanian emigrant Constantin

Famous families

Canadian songwriter David Foster says that he knocked on his friends’ doors, including those of Wayne Gretzky and Katarina Witt, for his CTV special, A David Foster Christmas, which airs on Dec. 18. Foster added that he features Gretzky as a “laid-back Canadian” relaxing at home with his wife, Janet, and their 11-month-old daughter. He added that he filmed Witt giving his own four-year-old daughter a skating lesson in ToronI to. Said Foster, 40: “I called in a few favors.”

A HARROWING TEST OF WITS

Although Rev. Owen Lee is one of the world's leading operatic authorities, he says that his "knees still knock" when grilled on his knowledge. But Father Lee, a University of Toronto classics professor, adds that he will remain a regular panelist on the popular quizzes held during the weekly live Saturday CBC Radio broadcasts from New York City's Metropolitan Opera. Said the Roman Catholic priest, 59, whose book on Richard Wagner's Ring cycle will be published in May: "With no formal training, I sometimes wonder at my own nerve."

One for all

Actress Stacie Mistysyn says that she is “a bit self-conscious” about being singled out from her friends. “I hope nobody looks at me differently now,” added the 18year-old Toronto native last week, after accepting a TV Gemini Award for best actress in a series for her role as student Caitlin Ryan in Degrassi Junior High. At the Toronto award ceremonies, Mistysyn, who made her TV debut at age 9, said that she was relieved that the show, newly renamed Degrassi High, was also honored with a prize for best dramatic series. Added Mistysyn: “This makes my own award easier to take.”

Panait, 34, awaited her. The only flaw in the courageous and moving story is that Panait, a self-employed roofer, is married with four children. But, said Comaneci, who added that she plans to live with Panait near his family home in Hallandale, Fla.: “So what?” It seems that she no longer cares about being judged.