Related topics

People in the News

March 30, 1987

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ If you need a good idea for a movie, maybe you should lie on the beach and wait for a stranger to give you a book you never heard of.

That’s how Anne Bancroft worked it. She was relaxing at Fire Island in New York with her husband, Mel Brooks, when a man walked up and handed her a copy of Helene Hanff’s book, ″84 Charing Cross Road.″

″Do you know this book? You should read it. You’d be great for it,″ the man said.

Miss Bancroft fell in love with the book. She and Brooks acquired the film rights and began a long struggle to have the movie financed and made.

″I have no idea who the man on the beach was,″ Miss Bancroft recalled a few days ago. ″Maybe he’ll show up and want a finder’s fee.″

″84 Charing Cross Road″ details a 20-year correspondence between Hanff, a Manhattan script reader and later a television script writer, and Frank Doel - portrayed by Anthony Hopkins in the film - who worked for a firm of antiquarian booksellers at 84 Charing Cross Road in London.


BERLIN (AP) - They love ″Goldfinger″ in East Germany, even if it is the theme song for a movie about a British Secret Service agent.

Shirley Bassey opened an East German here tour Sunday, and the song the standing-room-only crowd went for most came from the 1960s James Bond movie about the man who wanted to irradiate all the gold in Fort Knox.

The East German news agency ADN said Bassey dazzled the crowd at the Friedrichstadtpalast concert hall during a 90-minute program with such hits as ″Arthur’s Theme,″ ″New York,″ ″My Way″ and ″I Am What I Am.″


LONDON (AP) - It didn’t take long for a jury to give the Countess of Dudley, the former actress Maureen Swanson, a victory in a libel case Monday.

The countess sued the monthly Literary Review over an article that claimed she gossiped unkindly about Princess Michael of Kent, a member of the royal family, and that Buckingham Palace acted to silence her.

The 54-year-old countess, who retired after a brief screen career to marry the Earl of Dudley in 1961, was awarded $8,000 in damages plus court costs of $32,000.

She said the magazine portrayed her as ″greedy, grasping and pushy.″

The trial was one of the shortest on record for a libel case, lasting just 4 1/2 hours.


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Many Americans don’t know the difference between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, something former Chief Justice Warren Burger says they should learn by the time they leave grammar school.

″These days there are disorders and there are great disagreements. It’s not surprising that young people should wonder whether our system is working, Burger said Sunday, addressing 8,000 members of the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

Burger said he was ″saddened″ by a recent poll of Americans that ″showed the appalling state of ignorance about our system.″

Many respondents could not describe the difference between the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

″This gives us a notion of ... the dimension of your responsibility to the generations of future years,″ he said.

Burger, chief justice from 1969 until September, chairs the Commission of the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, which is orchestrating events to commemorate the Constitution, signed Sept. 17, 1787.

The organization presented Burger with its first award for Distinguished Service to Preserving American Heritage.


LOS ANGELES (AP) - David Birney and Meredith Baxter-Birney, who met and married while doing ″Bridget Loves Bernie″ in 1972, are teaming up for again for a television movie.

Their appearance in the CBS mystery-adventure movie ″The Long Way Home″ will be their first time together in a drama since the series, which was a contemporary version of ″Abie’s Irish Rose.″

Birney is the now host of a syndicated series called ″Beyond 2000″ and is starring in the current film release ″Pretty Kill.″ Baxter-Birney stars in the hit NBC comedy series ″Family Ties.″


LOS ANGELES (AP) - Tom Bradford and the rest of his brood from ″Eight Is Enough″ may be back for a reunion in a movie on NBC, although his wife may look like a new person.

The movie is still in development, but it appears that many cast members, including Dick Van Patten as Bradford, will be back.

One prominent cast member who will not return, however, is Betty Buckley, who played Bradford’s wife, Abby. She is working on a film and is not available, said Barbara Brogliatti, a senior vice president at Lorimar- Telepictures.

A search is under way for a replacement for her. It was not known when production would begin.

Update hourly