The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, October 27, 2002
Lead Article

Hollywood hues
Hair-raising charges

CLOSET baldies of the world better run for cover as a new group called Bald Urban Liberation Brigade (BULB) is out to expose them. The American outfit has taken upon itself the unusual task of uncovering the shining pate hidden under immaculately designed wigs and the list of exposures is already making jaws drop.

Top of the ladder is — hold your breath — Hollywood heart-throbs Robert De Niro, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kevin Costner, Robin Williams, Nick Nolte and the ever youthful Al Pacino. The other film stars who have been follically challenged are Ted Danson (Three Men And A Lady), Larry Hagman (Dallas) and Warren Beatty (Dick Tracy). One other star listed as ‘probably bald’ isre Harrison Ford who, according to BULB, shed his mane some two decades ago and has since been wearing cleverly crafted wigs. But the shock prize must go for the revelation that baldie Danny De vito has a rich growth of hair but hides it with the help of smart bald wigs!

Courting trouble

It’s a throwback on the troubled life of tennis ace Jennifer Capriati. What the then world No. 1 did has allegedly been repeated by Hollywood ace Winona Ryder. Their misdemeanour? Shoplifting. Winona has vehemently denied the charges of stealing designer wear worth nearly $ 6,000 from Saks Fifth Avenue store in Beverley Hills for which she was arrested in December. The star of hits like Girl Interrupted and Autumn In New York, has refused an out of court settlement and says she is ready to contest. "People keep telling me to settle out of court. I’ve got to be guilty of something for that, isn’t it?" She says she’s been framed. If she can’t prove that she could face a jail term of over three years. But Winona is ready to fight for her innocence. Now, that’s a courtroom trial that has the makings of a hit.


Meaty role

Hopkins in Red Dragon: Hannibal the Cannibal
Hopkins in Red Dragon: Hannibal the Cannibal

In the era of flops, Hollywood studios have traditionally been turning to sequels for succour. But now, the dream city has taken a step backward and has fallen back on a prequel — thanks to Anthony Hopkins. Eleven years after he gave the Oscar-winning performance of Dr Hannibal Lectar, the man-eating wine-savouring psychiatrist in Silence of the Lambs, he has reprised the cannibal in Red Dragon.

Playing Hannibal the third time is draining him, says the 64-year-old Hopkins who last year did Hannibal, a sequel to Silence ... This year he has followed it up with a prequel. But then he shrugs, "It’s a job. I do it the best way I can." Red Dragon is set in 1984 where Hopkins is yet to meet FBI agent Starling — played by Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs — but he’s already in prison. The reason? "I made the mistake of having a friend for dinner!" he says half menacingly. No one misses the double-entendre..

Tiring times

Redford: Life’s a chore
Redford: Life’s a chore

Time rides ruthlessly even on the seemingly immortal stars. Take the swashbuckling Robert Redford. Millions of his fans the world over would be upset to know that age has pawed its path on his face but worse still, he is suffering from an array of physical disorders.

The 62-year-old star of superhits like Sting and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid has of late been cancelling all his public appearances because of the vile ailment known in medical terms as the Epstein-Bar virus which leaves its victims in a permanent state of exhaustion. Even simple chores as getting up from a chair require a superhuman effort and the patient has to be on a permanent vigil as the ailment is known to be fatal at times.

Usually a result of fanatic dieting and long hours of work, the virus has found Hollywood a happy hunting ground. Cher too has been struck with it earlier. It causes fatigue, headache, fever, sweating, acute muscle and joint pains and severe loss of weight.

Redford is so worn out and tired that two of his multi-million productions, A President Elopes and Angel Heart have been put on hold. Doctors have warned him to slow down once he recovers but, says the stubborn star, he’d rather go down than slow down.

Taylor’s crown jewel

The dream city has never seen a bigger star than her. Her films are legend, her romances and marriages are the subject of Hollywood folklore and now her jewellery collection has fans gasping in disbelief. Elizabeth Taylor is non-challant about it and says she revels in jewellery. In fact her love for gems and precious stones dates back to the time when she was the reigning queen of the silver screen.

In her new book, Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair With Jewellery published by Simon & Schuster, the Cleopatra of the sixties dwells on the enormous amount of gems and jewellery she has amassed over the years.

To celebrate the launch of her book, Christie’s auctioned one of her precious jewels that went for a staggering $ 1.2 million. The money was donated to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. Last year, her jewellery was in the news for all the wrong reasons. Her pet pooch chewed on her fabulous La Perriginla pearls and destroyed them. The sparklers which cost Liz $ 18,000 in 1967 were valued presently at $700,000. But Taylor is all smiles again as she dwells on her favourite subject — her staggering jewellery collection.

— Newsmen Features