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Archive for Monday, July 31, 2000

People, Faces & Things

July 31, 2000

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Political mouthpiece

Morgan Fairchild, who plays a senator's wife in the off-Broadway political comedy "High Infidelity," is a Democrat who often espouses liberal causes. But her roots are Republican.

"I was raised around ideas about what the country and Constitution stood for. I started getting active when the right wing tried to censor everything; that's not what it's supposed to be about," said Fairchild, 50, in Sunday's Newsday.

Best known for her roles as a vamp and a manipulator, Fairchild has never been shy about exercising her right of free speech, addressing such issues as global warming, AIDS and campaign financing, sometimes before U.S. Senate subcommittees.

"I've testified about things before many people knew what they were about -- or wanted to get out there and talk about. I think senators expect heart-strings stuff from someone like me. I like to hit 'em with science; it gets their attention."

Opening up

Jazz musician Michael Wolff, who fronted the band on Arsenio Hall's talk show, never liked to talk about his Tourette's syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by exaggerated tics.

On Friday, "The Tic Code," a movie about the disorder written by and co-starring his wife, Polly Draper, opens at theaters across the country.

"When I met him, he was so humiliated by it (Tourette's), he didn't want me to tell anyone he had it," said Draper, who is best known for her portrayal of egocentric yuppie Ellyn Warren on "thirtysomething."

At first, Wolff opposed the film project, which drew heavily on his experiences with Tourette's.

"I have to admit I was mad at her a lot of the time, for exposing me and making me confront things I didn't want to confront," he said in Sunday's Daily News.

But today he's grateful she did so. He talks about his condition openly and even jokes about.

"Standup comedy is my second career now. I'm that crazy Tourette's guy."

A swing at Disney

Gia Prima, wife of the late swing-jazz singer Louis Prima, is suing Walt Disney Corp. for royalties from video and DVD sales of the 1967 animated movie "Jungle Book," in which her husband voiced King Louie of the Apes.

The estate of Prima, who sang "I Want to Be Like You" in the movie, has received royalties on audio recordings of the soundtrack. But Disney contends the singer's contract entitled him only to audio recording royalties, not those from new technology like videocassettes and DVDs.

Disney officials insist the company has "met all contractual obligations to Mr. Prima's estate."

The music of Prima, who died in 1978, has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years. The Brian Setzer Orchestra covered his "Jump, Jive and Wail," and clothing retailer The Gap used Prima's version to advertise khaki pants.

The federal lawsuit is scheduled for trial Oct. 31.

Love and respect

Clint Eastwood said it's easy for him to remain monogamous because of his deep love for his wife, Dina Ruiz.

"Everything is focused on this one person and that relationship. I still notice other gals and there is cleavage out there," Eastwood said in the July 31 edition of TV Guide. But "by maintaining respect for the person, you maintain self-respect."

Eastwood and Ruiz, a broadcast journalist, married four years ago when she was 30. They have a young daughter.

Eastwood, 70, said it has taken him a long time to mature. He said he found understanding among many women during his highly publicized 1988 breakup with actress Sandra Locke.

"You learn to do certain things differently," Eastwood said. "But I'm just glad that fate (led) me to be alone, so I ended up where I am now."

Eastwood's latest movie, "Space Cowboys," opens in theaters Friday.

Not his typecast

Paul Sorvino doesn't like playing roles that may perpetuate Italian-American stereotypes -- such as those on HBO's "The Sopranos."

"It's a wonderful show, but it's not something I would do," Sorvino said in the July 31 editions of TV Guide.

"'The Sopranos' is very smart and has integrity, but, yes, I'm worried about Italian stereotyping."

Sorvino can be seen in the upcoming Showtime film, "The Thin Blue Lie." Sorvino plays former Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo, a national symbol of law-and-order policing in the 1960s and 1970s despite persistent allegations of bigotry and brutality.

Emotional farewell

Pulling the curtain down on his successful 46-city concert tour proved emotional for Marc Anthony, who broke down on stage midway through Saturday's show at the Miami Arena.

As Anthony struggled to regain his composure, members of his band, his backup singers -- even some of his crew -- surrounded the singer, who could be heard weeping into an open mike. Whether the emotion was real or staged -- remember, this is a man who has starred on both the Broadway stage and the big screen -- Anthony needed nearly 10 minutes to pull himself together and finish the nearly two-hour performance.

When he was finally ready to continue, Anthony told the full house -- which included boxer and fledgling singer Oscar de la Hoya, talk show host Rosie O'Donnell and Univision network president Ray Rodriguez -- that long-standing rumors of his wife's pregnancy were true, dedicating "Nadie como ella" (There's No One Like Her) to Dayanara Torres, the beauty queen Anthony married in May.

O'Donnell helped close the concert -- and the tour -- by joining Anthony on stage to sing and dance a duet of Dimelo (I Need to Know). And if you've never seen O'Donnell dance salsa, well, consider yourself lucky.

Today's birthdays

Singer Bob Welch is 54. Sportscaster Curt Gowdy is 81. Record executive Ahmet Ertegun is 77. Tennis player Evonne Goolagong-Cawley is 49. Actor Michael Biehn is 44. Actor Wesley Snipes is 38. Actor Dean Cain is 34. Singer Shannon Curfman is 15.

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