January 15, 1990 12:00 PM


Actor DENZEL WASHINGTON, who stars as a Union soldier in the new historical motion picture, Glory, says before he read the film’s script, he had been unaware of the important role that black soldiers played in the Civil War. “That’s probably the thing that really made me decide to do the picture,” says Washington. “In every class I ever took, the fact that some 200,000 black men fought was never mentioned. You can go as far as saying that if they hadn’t fought, the North may not have won. I think it’s especially good for black Americans to know this, kids who don’t necessarily feel that they’re a part of this country. Making this film has made me more patriotic, as corny as that sounds.”


Roseanne’s JOHN GOODMAN, who also stars in Steven Spielberg’s new movie, Always, is seeing red over what he says is some of the yellow journalism that has been appearing about him. “The tabloids sure had their fun with my wedding,” says Goodman, who married student ANNABETH HARTZOG last October. “In one paper I saw a byline by me titled MY WONDERFUL WACKY WEDDING. The last time I used ‘wacky’ in a sentence was in the sixth grade. It says ‘By John Goodman,’ but I haven’t received a check for my efforts.” Goodman says he figures he’s showing up in the tabloids because ABC’s Roseanne is at the top of the ratings heap. “They can find some soil in my diapers right away. There’s plenty there if they want to look.”


Money troubles put an end last summer to the planned movie version of Evita With MERYL STREEP. Life Goes On’s PATTI LUPONE, who won a Tony in 1980 for the Broadway musical but who has never been asked to do the film, says she doubts whether Streep was right for the part. “I don’t know if she has the right harangue for Evita,” says LuPone, who’s also in the film Driving Miss Daisy. “I don’t think she’s a belter, and it’s a real belt role. But I keep forgetting she only has to sing it once in a studio, not six times a week.”


DANICA MCKELLAR, 15, who plays FRED SAVAGE’S girlfriend, Winnie Cooper, on ABC’s The Wonder Years, doesn’t always see the retro-chic value to the circa 1969 clothes she dons for the period show. “I get to wear some really neat stuff like bright oranges and stuff that would have been neat to wear back then, but I’m not sure about now,” says McKellar. “I remember this one dress that was red with big green and white flowers on it. It was so obnoxious and gross. It’s amazing to think that someone would even create this material. It’s so weird—people actually wore that stuff.” And what about the ’60s surprised her the most? “The drugs. You always hear about these drugs going on now. I never thought that it went on then.”


Movie critic ROGER EBERT sees a more disturbing problem with EDDIE MURPHY’s Harlem Nights than just the film’s incessant profanity. “The fact is that the people who ran Harlem nightclubs in that era would have been repelled by a gutter-mouth like Murphy’s character in Harlem Nights,” says Ebert, who has just published the 1990 edition of his video guide. “I think in that movie and in general Murphy has a very low opinion of women, and there’s a certain mean-spiritedness in the film. At this point in his career, he can do anything he wants, and that’s what he’s doing—anything he wants. Sooner or later the bubble will burst.”

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