People Staff
September 11, 2000 12:00 PM

DEAR NEIGHBOR…

Fifty police visits? A personal museum? A mile-long fence? Sometimes a celebrity next door leads to unusual hassles in the ‘hood

Focus

Jeopardy! answer: Dennis Rodman, Claudia Schiffer and Garth Brooks. Question: Name three celebrities who may not get invites to their block parties this year.

Not that Rodman is hard up for a place to party. The former NBA bad boy, who often kicks off wild after-bar-hours parties at his pink-stucco waterfront house in Newport Beach, Calif., has received nearly 50 complaints about his rowdy gatherings—for noise, parking violations and his guests’ public intoxication, among other things—since he moved to the neighborhood in 1998. “We get more complaints about Dennis Rodman’s house than any other spot in the city,” says Newport Beach police Sgt. Mike McDermott. “So far he’s paid close to $4,000 in fines. We’ve had citations of his guests urinating on the side of neighbors’ houses. It’s a usual occurrence when he has a party.” Far from repentant, says McDermott, the 6’8″ Rodman, who couldn’t be reached for comment, often reacts by saying, “Get off my property, I can do whatever I want.” Not that he hasn’t made any conciliatory gestures: Once, Rodman reportedly paid $20 for a lemonade at a neighbor’s kid’s stand.

If Rodman wants to make amends, he would do well to take a lesson from Claudia Schiffer: Good fences do not always make good neighbors. Recently, incensed locals have posted signs reading Claudia Out! and Schiffer Go Home! after the German model built a 1.2-mile, l0-ft.-tall fence around the perimeter of her vacation home on the Spanish island of Majorca to block paparazzi’s lenses. (Schiffer has been photographed while sunbathing topless in her yard.) Unfortunately, the fence also blocks a footpath considered a public right-of-way to the Cap d’Andritxo, a 500-year-old ruined watch-tower overlooking the Mediterranean that is popular with locals and tourists. Still, authorities side with Schiffer, and the model—and her fence—remain unmoved.

Country legend Garth Brooks, on the other hand, is taking heat for trying to let the public in. That is, until 100 of his Goodlettsville, Tenh., neighbors, at an Aug. 16 community meeting, voted unanimously against the singer’s proposal to turn his hilltop home, Blue Rose Estate, into a Gracelandesque museum of career mementos. (Brooks is building a new home in Oklahoma.) Unlike Rodman and Schiffer, Brooks backed down. “They’re like family to us,” he told The Tennessean newspaper. “If they say, ‘We’d rather not,’ that’s enough for me.”

Ralph Kramden, Semper Fi

To the moon, Alice? No? How about Baltimore or Pittsburgh? Ralph Kramden, the world’s most famous bus driver and a man who regularly offered his wife, Alice, one-way lunar excursions (Hey! He was only kidding!) is back on the job, standing proud and 8 ft. tall at the entrance to New York City’s Port Authority Bus Terminal. On Aug. 28, as the Honeymooners theme song blared from loudspeakers, actress Joyce Randolph, who played the original Trixie on the show, unveiled a 4,000-lb. bronze statue of star Jackie Gleason as Kramden, clutching his lunch pail and smiling. A plaque at the base of the statue reads: Bus Driver, Raccoon Lodge Treasurer, Dreamer. The work was commissioned (with cooperation from Gleason’s estate) and donated by the cable channel TV Land as part of its campaign to honor television icons. Not to mention paying tribute to bus drivers. Says PABT general manager Cedrick Fulton: “Without them, the buses don’t move.”

POP QUIZ

with David Hasselhoff

Even though he has hung up his Speedo, David Hasselhoff is testing new waters. The 48-year-old Baywatch grad will make his Broadway musical debut in Jekyil & Hyde starting in October. Scoop spoke to Hasselhoff in L.A., where he was recording an album in Spanish.

Spanish?

Baywatch is incredibly popular in Spain. If you walk down the street with me in Spain, people come out of their doors and say, “Hola! Baywatch!” They’re rerunning Knight Rider. “Fantastico!” they say. These people know that I sing, but they haven’t really gotten anything that appeals to them, or to their radio airplay.

Why Jekyll & Hyde?

It’s the most challenging role for a male that I’ve ever seen. It allows you to play two characters, good and evil. It’s a pop opera, and it’s perfect for my voice. It also, in a way, terrifies me, and I like to overcome those fears.

Critics probably are sharpening their knives. Nervous?

I’ve made a living out of bad reviews. I’m not doing this for reviews. I’m doing this for my heart—what a little 7-year-old kid started training for, and went to 37,000 voice lessons for: to go to Broadway.

Why did you leave Baywatch?

I finally had to walk away. It’s very difficult when everyone is saying, ‘How about this much money? Why don’t you stay?’ even though it’s not what I wanted to do.

What do you think of it now?

It was difficult to leave the show in hands that were not as capable of running it. It was an ensemble piece. The creative team split up and it’s not the same show. I hope it continues because it’s a nice piece of change for me every time it runs.

What’s missing from the current show?

Baywatch had characters and stories you cared about. People tried to convince me the only reason people watched the show was for full-busted women and action.

Ready for Broadway?

Bring on the knives.

Calling All Shoppers!

On Aug. 25, fans and bargain hunters mobbed Wynonna Judd’s Leiper’s Fork, Tenn., yard sale to rummage, haggle and throw the occasional well-placed elbow. Who could blame them? Among her discards: a full-length pink faux-fur coat ($100); a still-shrink-wrapped Buns of Steel video; a Harley-Davidson ($18,000); platform boots ($10 and up); and several pink suede couches. Wynonna presided over price squabbles via walkie-talkie.

Boom! Ahh! Shaft! Rah!

You know how it is. You’ve been to a movie with friends, you’re discussing it afterward, and maybe you’re worried that you can’t bring enough intellectual firepower to bear. As a public service, here are some handy facts for people who find themselves caught up in a debate about nuance and motivation in Bring It On, the teen cheerlead-ing epic that grossed $17.4 million its first weekend: 1) In the 1960s Fred Gastoff invented the vinyl pom-pom; 2) Through most of the ’90s the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders earned $15 a game; 3) No surprise: Kathie Lee Gifford, Kim Basinger and Leeza Gibbons were all cheerleaders; 4) Something of a surprise: so was Samuel L. Jackson. P.S.: Sheryl Crow was a majorette. Pass it on….

Williams’s Key Casting

Without that little something extra, gold lame can be just plain lame. Which is one reason producers are hoping that comedian and Academy Award-winning actor Robin Williams will sign on to play the late great Caped Crusader of Camp, Liberace, in a new movie scheduled to start filming this year. Liberace will chronicle the rise of the piano prodigy’s career up to his death at age 67 in 1987. “[Williams] has a talent to do so many different kinds of characters, I think he’ll make out fine,” says Pauline Lachance, a former head of the pianist’s fan club who now keeps track of the candelabra, as the archivist for the Liberace Museum in Las Vegas. “I don’t know if he has any musical talent, but I suppose they could have someone [else] do that.” Besides, she believes, they share at least one physical similarity: the nose.

So will the Bicentennial Man don rhinestones and sequins to become a piano man? Apparently the notion hasn’t yet struck a chord with Williams.

“He was offered it and might end up doing it,” the actor’s manager David Steinberg told Variety. “But he might also play in the NBA.”

ON THE BLOCK

PUMPKIN PALACE

Billy Corgan, lead singer of Smashing Pumpkins, is selling the 100-year-old Victorian house where he composed more than 100 songs. The Chicago home, on sale for $1.05 million, has five bedrooms, a four-car garage and stained-glass windows. Corgan told the Chicago Tribune that it “broke [his] heart” but too many fans were visiting, shattering the sanctuary of his home.

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