Ever since ABC’s The Hardy Boys Mysteries went off the air in 1979, Parker Stevenson has been trying to shake Frank Hardy’s squeaky-clean image. With his debut on CBS’ Falcon Crest next week, Parker thinks he has finally succeeded. “I play a blackmailing, coke-dealing mugger and rapist,” exults Stevenson. “I get to look scruffy. I’m unshaven and my hair is greasy.” But Parker, whose contract expires at the end of the season, may not get to revel in villainy for long. He laments, “I think the producers are either going to bump off my character or redeem him.”
When Lisa (An Officer and a Gentleman) Eilbacher starts shooting an ABC mid-season replacement series called Me and Mom next month, the production will be a family affair. Lisa recently became engaged to the show’s cinematographer, Bradford May. They haven’t set a date yet, but don’t go away. Lisa may persuade the producer to write their wedding into the script. She already wangled a walk-on for her German shepherd puppy, Turk….
Shannon Tweed, the former Falcon Crest actress, whose romantic conquests have included Hugh Hefner, Bob Evans and Gregory Harrison, has a brand new catch: Kiss’ rocker-turned-actor, Gene Simmons. They met just weeks ago in L.A., and Shannon already calls Gene’s Manhattan apartment home. Says Tweed of her new roomie: “When you get to know him, he’s probably one of the most intelligent, caring, considerate men, not to mention the sexiest man alive. He oozes sex.” So much for Hugh, Bob and Greg.
The next music-video fad that’s likely to rock the U.S. is already the rage in “karaoke” bars in Japan. Karaoke means “empty orchestra,” but in music-video lingo, it’s the name of a new sing-along video jukebox, which will be available in this country later this month. The videos, shown on a big screen, typically feature unknown talent who act out stories to instrumental versions of rock and pop tunes. A microphone is hooked up to the jukebox and the lyrics are spelled out at the bottom of the screen so that barstool crooners can join in. Picture Music International, a division of EMI, has already made 20 such videos and is gearing up to make another 100 for worldwide distribution. Two will be directed by Craig Zadan, co-producer of Footloose, to the music of Desperado and Don’t Be Cruel, which Linda Ronstadt and Elvis Presley, respectively, made famous.
A “communiqué” recently went out to members of L.A.’s hoity-toity Touch Club, asking them to leave their personal bodyguards at the front door. “I run a private club with a nice clientele,” says Touch’s owner John Dante. “But some of the members have been trying to out-bodyguard each other. One brings in three guards, another brings in four. These security guys stand like oak trees on the dance floor. They look menacing and they take up room.” Dante contends the club spends $1,000 a week on security measures “to assure our members privacy and protection from unwanted or dangerous intruders.” For those untouchable Touchies who are particularly insecure, Dante will allow bodyguards in the club’s front bar and small dining room only. The Touch dancing area is strictly off limits for watchdogs.
Move over, Jim Palmer. Here’s a preview of how Joe Namath will look showing off his own line of low-slung, high fashion skivvies, due out next month. In 10 styles, the briefs (made by Nantucket Industries) will retail from $4.50 to $7 a pair and every package will contain a signed beefcake photo of Joe in his undies. For female fans, a pinup poster will be available, and, coming up, another line called “Joe Namath For Her.”