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People in the News

March 20, 1988

ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) _ Prince Charles returned to Britain on Sunday after spending a somber weekend near the site of an avalanche that killed his friend and just missed the prince during a skiing trip.

The March 10 avalanche also injured another member of the royal skiing party, Patricia Palmer-Tomkinson.

Charles called on her twice at the Davos hospital during his two-day stay. She has twice undergone surgery after suffering complicated fractures of both legs.

He also took a long walk in the mountains not far from the spot where Maj. Hugh Lindsay was fatally struck by the snowslide that narrowly missed the prince. Charles Palmer-Tomkinson and Swiss guide Bruno Sprecher accompanied him.

Mrs. Palmer-Tomkinson’s condition was reported to have considerably improved.


CHICAGO (AP) - Michael J. Fox delved into the drudgery of fact-checking while preparing for his role in the upcoming movie ″Bright Lights, Big City″ and found the experience ″very frustrating.″

Fox, who plays wise-cracking Alex Keaton on NBC’s Family Ties, checked pie recipes during a stint at Esquire magazine to get a feel for the job of the protagonist in the movie based on Jay McInerney’s novel.

Fox plays Jamie Conway, a fact-checker at a New York magazine who can’t handle the fast lane and retreats into cocaine.

″I ended up checking recipes for black cherry pie, and let me tell you, it’s a very frustrating job,″ Fox told the Chicago Tribune.

″People just aren’t that cooperative on the phone, so I started to relate to Jamie pretty quickly, and to his ambition and his idealizing,″ Fox said.

″Bright Lights, Big City″ makes its debut April 1.

″A lot of people told me it was so strange to think of me playing a guy with a drug problem,″ Fox told the Chicago Sun-Times. ″I dunno. If there’s a consistent quality about my acting and the characters I play, it’s a guy who’s gonna make it.

″But there is a fine line in this movie between a guy who has unfulfilled potential and is very frustrated, and a guy who starts taking himself out of his mind chemically,″ he said.

Fox’s next project is a movie in Thailand, directed by Brian De Palma and co-starring Sean Penn.


MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Elizabeth Taylor’s star-studded AIDS benefit earlier this month, featuring a glittering parade of parties and black-tie affairs, netted its goal of $2.5 million, organizers said.

″We’re really pleased and proud,″ said Al Evans, chairman of the Community Alliance Against AIDS. ″It’s been fabulous.″

Participants shelled out $2,500 to attend dinner parties held in homes from Miami to Palm Beach and break bread with some 40 celebrities. The guests and celebrities then converged March 12 at the Fontainebleau Hilton Hotel for a grand finale.

Half the money raised for patient care, education and research, is earmarked for the University of Miami AIDS programs. The other half is destined for the American Foundation for AIDS Research, a Los Angeles-based organization chaired by Ms. Taylor.


LOS ANGELES (AP) - The widow of crooner Rudy Vallee married an attorney she met last year while playing tennis in a match that apparently ended love-all, her secretary said.

Eleanor Vallee, who was married to her late husband for 36 years before his death in July 1986, wed Edward Hustedt in a ceremony Saturday, said secretary Kim Basaran.

The two met last year and ″fell in love immediately,″ she said. ″They came up here to play to tennis, and as she says, it was ‘zing, zing, zing’ from there on.″

Hustedt is 56 and the new Mrs. Hustedt, who became Vallee’s fourth wife when she was 16, also is in her 50s.

The newlyweds planned an 18-day honeymoon in Tahiti, and then were scheduled to attend a Maine tribute to Vallee, the singer-actor known for such songs as ″The Vagabond Lover.″


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Comedian Arte Johnson surprised his wife and other diners at a California restaurant with a case of Goo Goo Clusters, Nashville- made candy bars, said theme park officials who provided the treats.

Johnson conspired with the manager of the Bistro Garden in Beverly Hills to have the 24 six-packs of Goo Goo Clusters served as dessert at a birthday luncheon last week for his wife, Gisela Johnson. The women were presented with the chocolate, marshmallow and caramel bars arranged on a sterling silver platter.

″It brought the restaurant to a stop,″ Johnson told Opryland USA spokesman Tom Adkinson.

Johnson, who appeared on the old TV show ″Laugh-In,″ was introduced to Goo Goos while taping a TV special at Opryland USA in Nashville. Opryland then sent Johnson a case of the chocolate treats.

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