Koo Stark figures she must look innocent “because I’ve never been stopped at Customs.” More convincing evidence was her casting as a 17-year-old nymphet in Emily, reportedly Britain’s highest-grossing adult film of 1977. Like the character she plays in the film, Koo (her real name is Kathleen but she was called “Kitty Koo” as a baby and it stuck) was born in New York. She attended the chic Hewitt School and the Professional Children’s School. After her parents divorced when she was 2, Koo was raised by her mother, New York TV hostess Kathi Norris. Koo stopped wanting to be a psychiatrist (“too much study”) at 11 when she was gripped by “a lot of daydreams and fantasies” about becoming an actress. Now 21, she lives in London with Robert Winsor, a 37-year-old businessman. Although Koo has worked as a model and done TV commercials, she’s unhappy that most of the jobs she is offered now, post-Emily, are in “cheap and tacky films.” She complains also that most of her dramatic scenes in Emily were scrapped (“soul-destroying for an actress”). Instead, she says, the movie has a “lot of meaningless sex which was just thrown in. But I understand why they did it—to sell the product. There’s nothing objectionable or obnoxious. It’s more a tease. Emily doesn’t lose her virginity until the end.”
Pete Corredera cannot legally enter the Hartford, Conn. fronton where jai alai fans bet on their favorite players. At 17, he’s underage. But Pete is a regular visitor to the fronton as the youngest professional jai alai player in the country. He also has one of the highest payoff percentages, ranking him in the top quarter of the 115 players employed by World Jai-Alai Inc. Pete is a Miami native (his parents emigrated from Cuba 20 years ago) who says that his present job “is the only thing I’ve wanted to do since I started playing jai alai at 9.” The hard, goatskin-covered ball travels up to 150 mph, so players wear protective helmets. The game is scored somewhat like handball—one-and two-man teams compete for the winning seven points on a court that’s 176 feet long, 50 feet wide and 40 feet high. Pete is disappointed that no definitive book has been written in English about jai alai and that American fans know so little about the equipment. The reed slings, called cestas, are handmade, he explains. “They cost about $80 each, and I go through 20 a season. And there are only seven men in the world who make the balls, which cost $100.” Pete, who earns $2,400 a month plus bonuses, will be playing at a Fort Pierce, Fla. fronton this spring, and—on the side—finish high school.