Don Johnson hopes to revive that classic 1961 tune “Duke of Earl” in Jersey, a movie to be directed by Robert (Sweet Hearts Dance) Greenwald. Johnson will play a thug named Duke who is always singing “Duke of Earl” and always getting beaten up (maybe that’s why). He is redeemed through a paternal relationship with a young boy. Says Greenwald: “I know Don can play the thug, but I don’t know about redeemed.” Johnson’s agent, Mike Belson, says, “The movie is in the blue-sky stage right now.”
Turner Network Television will be coming in with Hollywood’s first steroids-in-sports movie after Ben Johnson’s Olympic gold medal was taken away because of drug use. Due to air Jan. 10, Finish Line will star father and son Jim (Hotel) and Josh (Private Eye) Brolin. Brolin père plays an ambitious father who pushes his track-star son into using steroids, which end up costing the boy his life.
Although Falcon Crest’s naughty Melissa Agretti will be squeezed off the show early this season, actress Ana-Alicia harbors no resentment about the demise of her character after six years. That’s because Melissa will finally get even with archrival Angela (Jane Wyman). Her swan song will be spectacular and “very costly,” since the show’s producers will pay the remainder of her contract. Says Ana-Alicia: “I had just bought my mom a house across the street from me, and that was the only reason I signed on for two more years. This is a real blessing. And I don’t want my fans to ask for me back. I don’t mind dying at all.”
Sean Connery, who will play Harrison Ford’s father in the next Indiana Jones film, has signed to portray Dustin Hoffman’s dad in Family Business. Matthew Broderick co-stars as Hoffman’s son. The movie, about a million-dollar scam, starts shooting Nov. 7. Sidney (Running on Empty) Lumet will direct for Tri-Star.
After 12 years of marriage, Ed (St. Elsewhere) Begley Jr. and his wife, Ingrid, have separated. Although he and Penny Marshall showed up at the Emmy Awards together, Begley’s manager, Jason Winters, says, “Ed and Ingrid are separated. They’re great friends. And I don’t know anymore than that.”
Little, Brown’s new biography of Richard Burton, Rich: The Life of Richard Burton, won’t be published in the United States until next February, but it’s already on the best-seller lists in Britian. The author, British journalist Melvyn Bragg, was given complete access to Burton’s voluminous journals by Burton’s widow, Sally. “In part, these record the life of a man obsessed with one woman—Elizabeth Taylor,” writes Bragg. Burton’s early entries about Taylor include, “She is a wildly exciting lover-mistress. She is shy and witty…she is a brilliant actress, she is beautiful beyond the dreams of pornography…. Elizabeth is an eternal one-night stand.” The saddest entries are in the diary Burton kept while doing Private Lives onstage with Taylor in 1983, long after they’d twice been married and divorced. “E.T. bad. Couldn’t even read the lines properly…. E.T. as exciting as a flounder…. E.T. beginning to bore, which I would not have thought possible all those years ago. How terrible a thing time is.”