People Staff
July 13, 1981 12:00 PM

Valerie Robertson, 27, was required, like all other graduates of the Royal College of Art in London, to present a show of her work at the end of her three-year course in 1979. Her bold jewelry ideas so impressed New Wave designer Zandra Rhodes that Rhodes hired Valerie to do the designs for her spring line. Rhodes wanted to use her again in 1980, but the jeweler refused. With orders pouring in from stores like Bergdorf’s in New York and chic Harvey Nichols in London, she just didn’t have the time. Her pieces, priced from $25 to $70, have grossed around $60,000 so far this year. And last month Robertson’s leafy, wreathy gold-plated earrings, bracelets and necklaces were featured at Gloria Vanderbilt’s summer fashion show in London. To keep up with orders, she has expanded from a tiny workshop in London’s East End to a studio in an artists’ cooperative on the Thames. She shares it, as well as a Chelsea flat, with painter Hugh Barnden, 35. The daughter of a Scottish oil rigger and a Russian-Armenian housewife, Valerie was born in Trinidad and lived in Venezuela, Holland and Qatar. Now, despite her profits, Robertson insists she is not really a businesswoman. “I’m working for fashion-conscious people,” she explains, “not for the mass market.”

Francis Warrington Gillette III, 22, isn’t sure it helps in the film business “for people to know you come from a great family.” He may be right, judging from his C-movie debut as the cut-and-kill ogre in Friday the 13th Part 2. The role, which required a six-hour makeup job (above), “wasn’t fulfilling at all,” concedes Gillette. Still, it did provide his first steady work since he dropped out of Villanova two years ago. The novice actor’s great-grandfather on his mother’s side was Joseph E. Davies, FDR’s ambassador to Moscow in the 1930s and a husband of cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post. Grandpa was Millard Tydings, a U.S. senator from Maryland for 24 years. Young Warrington grew up in the hunt country of Maryland, owned his first racehorse at 16 and competed for three years as a steeplechase rider. Determined to become “a self-made man by 30,” he quit college after two years and enrolled in acting classes at New York’s Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. Since turning in his Friday the 13th fright face, he has screen-tested for a role on the CBS soap Search for Tomorrow. Although Warrington says he stands to inherit the family-owned Laurel Race Course outside Washington, D.C., he is banking on pictures rather than ponies for now. “I have access to a lot of money, and I could make my own movie,” he says, sounding a little less self-made than he might. “Sylvester Stallone did it.”

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