RETURN TO SENDER
Since dancer-actress Lisa Niemi joined Broadway’s The Will Rogers Follies last May, husband Patrick Swayze has been reading over her shoulder, and he’s a little steamed. “I see the letters she gets,” marvels Patrick. “There are men who are head over heels in love with her. She gets flowers saying, ‘Oh, you’re so beautiful,’ and they know she’s my wife! I’m going, ‘Wait a minute, slow down, dude. That’s not a stunt man you see in my movies. I will kick your butt.”
KATHY’S “DEEP” SECRET
Often seen onscreen enjoying the company of women—in the convent Whoopi Goldberg loosened up in Sister Act and now as a witch brought back to life in Disney’s Hocus Pocus—actress-comedian Kathy Najimy first tasted the need for feminism at the dinner table. “I’m Lebanese, and that’s a very sexist culture,” she says. “The men smoke and sit around the table while the women cook and wash dishes. I’m a product of that cigar smoke.” Now, finally, the robust brunet’s a hot product. “If I had been a very thin blond girl, I don’t know if I’d have let my imagination, anger and passion grow. When you’re different, you’re a little deep.”
HE SHOOTS! HE SCORES!
When Boston Celtics Hall of Famer Bob Cousy scored a role an athletic director opposite Nick Nolte in Blue Chips, a drama about college basketball, he was as good as his word—written. that is. Offered the part after director and longtime pal William Friedkin read his 1975 autobiography, The Killer Instinct, Cousy, 64, told him, “Billy, I talk funny. I still get letters from English teachers telling me to get out of the TV business (he does commentary for the Celtics) until I learn to speak the language properly.” Friedkin assured him, “Cooz, in Hollywood they call that idiosyncracy.”
THE CAINE MUTINY
After 30 years of playing smoothies, British actor Michael Caine was only too happy to arm himself for Blue Ice, an HBO thriller airing July 31. Caine, who coproduced Blue Ice in England, says, “A lot of British pictures are polemics or too precious for words. The social ramifications always have to come into it. You come up with a movie idea that has murder, detectives and so on, and they ask, ‘What about the police brutality, the corruption? How are you showing what it’s like in England?’ I don’t want to do films like that. To people who say, ‘Let’s make a movie about the homeless.” I say, ‘Make Terminator 2 and use the profits to build homes for them.’ ”