Names In The News
LONDON (AP) _ Actor Rex Harrison received mixed reviews for his first London stage performance in four years, ″The Admirable Crichton.″
″He has now become a gently feathery presence who potters benignly about with little of the tenor bark that was once his trademark,″ Michael Billington wrote Wednesday in The Guardian.
Harrison is cast in J.M. Barrie’s 1902 play as the Earl of Loam, a social ″radical″ who believes in reversing the class relationship between his own wealthy family and the servants they employ.
″The production’s sleepy course probably is the consequence of casting Rex Harrison,″ Jeremy Kingston wrote in The Times of London.
Michael Coveney in The Financial Times was one of several critics to note that the actor ″can barely deliver a speech without stumbling.″
Harrison, 80, is best known for playing Henry Higgins in the musical ″My Fair Lady.″
NEW YORK (AP) - Not to be left out of the lucrative namesake perfume business, Cher has joined Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor and Gloria Vanderbilt in launching her own line of fragrance, ″Cher - Uninhibited.″
″Uninhibited means something different to every one of us. ... It can suit every woman’s idea of fantasy,″ Cher told reporters Wednesday at the Plaza Hotel, adding that her own definition might be ″running naked through the park.″
Cher, who wore a black, skin-tight, off-the-shoulder minidress by Bob Mackie, said she tried out ″Uninhibited″ on friends during the testing, and her boyfriend, Robert Camilletti, ″actually, finally liked it.″
Michael Stern, president of Parfums Stern, said the fragrance will be available about Nov. 1. Prices will range from $30 for a 1.7-ounce eau de toilette spray to $300 for a 1.7-ounce ″deluxe perfume presentation.″
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Comedian Jay Leno and his Big Dog Productions Co. have sued the De Laurentiis Entertainment Group Inc. for failing to release Leno’s film debut, ″Collision Course.″
Leno claims that De Laurentiis’ failure to release the movie after Leno had plugged it on national television, including ″The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,″ resulted in a ″loss of confidence and credibility with the television viewing audience upon whom Leno is reliant.″
The $3 million suit, filed Tuesday in Superior Court, also says Leno was to receive more than $1 million each for two addition De Laurentiis films that were scheduled.
Mark Baron, a De Laurentiis’ executive vice president, said Wednesday the studio had not seen the suit and had no comment.
″Collision Course″ was due for release in January, but De Laurentiis’ financial difficulties prevented it, Baron said.
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Attorney Melvin Belli, fighting a government tax claim of up to $3 million, says he legitimately sold his office building to his son, who took three years to record the transaction.
The famed trial lawyer, who also faces heated divorce proceedings with his wife, Lia, told reporters Wednesday the Internal Revenue Service claim against him was ″a goddamn lie.″
Belli must prove that his transfer of his law office building to his son, Caesar, was a sale and not a gift. Large gifts are taxed against the giver at a higher rate than the capital gains tax on a sale of real estate.
The IRS calls the sale a sham, noting that the $9,000 a month Caesar was to have paid for the building was exactly offset by the amount his father was charged to rent his office.
In a related case, the IRS is seeking more than $300,000 in back income taxes and penalties against Melvin and Lia Belli.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - Actor Mr. T and the contractor he hired to remodel his home have agreed to drop lawsuits against each other.
Mr. T, the tough guy in the ″A Team″ series now in syndication, hired contractor Kenneth Tomkins in 1987 for a $170,000 remodeling of his luxurious home in this north Chicago suburb. Included were new fencing and security gates, interior decorating and improvements to 10 bathrooms.
But Mr. T fired Tomkins before the project was completed, and hired a different contractor to finish. He sued Tomkins in Lake County Circuit Court for $200,000, contending their contract wasn’t fulfilled satisfactorily.
Tomkins countersued, saying the actor owed him $18,000.
But on Tuesday, Mr. T and Tomkins left the courtroom with their attorneys before testimony began. About an hour later, their attorneys returned and announced a settlement. They did not disclose the terms.
″Both of them seemed real pleased with the agreement and we all had a nice lunch together,″ said Tomkins’ attorney, James Ryan.
ST. MARYS, Ga. (AP) - TV weatherman Willard Scott hopes to ease the disappointment of the residents of St. Marys after a woman falsely led them to believe that he planned to visit the tiny coastal community.
A spokesman for NBC in New York said Scott, the genial ″Today″ show weatherman who often gives his forecasts from remote sites, will try to spend a day in the town in November talking to residents, though he will not be able to appear on the air from St. Marys.
″It’s definitely in response to that unfortunate incident,″ spokesman John Bianchi said Tuesday. ″Willard felt bad, so he said to try to work out the details because he didn’t want to disappoint the folks down there.″
Last month, a woman who claimed she was from NBC came to town to made plans for Scott and newsman John Palmer to visit. The woman, who stayed 10 days, suddenly checked out of her motel Aug. 2 and has not been seen since. ″Today″ spokeswoman Kathy Graham said the woman does not work for NBC.