Randall Duk Kim is making it from Central Park to Broadway in one giant step. Last month he ended a four-week run of the New York Shakespeare Festival’s production of Pericles, in which critics saluted his work in the title role as “exceptional.” He will next play Richard III at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco before essaying a principal role in Pacific Overtures, the Hal Prince-Stephen Sondheim collaboration about Commodore Matthew Perry’s caper in old Nippon.
Of Chinese-Korean descent, Kim says that even as a child on a flower farm in Hawaii—where his parents raised carnations to make leis—he knew he would grow up to be an actor. “I started making believe very young. I’d perform for company on an old, weather-beaten table that I used as a stage.” Kim’s first professional appearance was in Hair, rocking the gaming crowd from a genuine stage in Las Vegas.
Kim, 30 and a bachelor, shares a pad on the upper west side of New York with a girl and a guy. He hopes to form—with 24 actor friends—a national repertory touring company dedicated to “doing our own thing and showing how alive the theater can be.”
Barbara Millett’s husband, a chartered accountant named Jeremy Griffiths, gave her an ultimatum when they were wed, shortly after she graduated from London’s preeminent art school, The Slade, in 1972. She had just two years to make it as an artist or she could jolly well get a paying job. Punctiliously, the 26-year-old Millett debuted this summer with a one-woman show in London, which rocked the critics. Huzzahed the International Herald Tribune, “One hesitates to use the word ‘genius’…but.” Perhaps more edifying to accountant Jeremy was the fact that his wife’s 27 ink-and-crayon pictures sold out even before the show had formally opened in a posh Jermyn Street gallery—some bringing as much as $3,000.
Has success changed the regime in the Griffiths-Millett three-room flat? Not a bit. Rules as before: tidy up after painting; supper on time; no painting in the evenings. So while Jeremy is off doing his sums in the daytime, Barbara plops herself on the floor with crayons and Rapidograph to make her frequently disturbing images of bizarre animals, hairy men, spooky, surrealized beach scenes and imagined portraits of herself at 70 (as at left). Painter Millett seems to thrive on this regimen. “I need a nice comfortable grayness around me,” she says.