Thomas Ian Griffith, who played Catlin Ewing on the NBC soap Another World from 1984 to ’87, has landed the title role in ABC’s two-hour movie The Rock Hudson Story. The telefilm, airing next year, will cover Hudson’s life from his start in Hollywood in 1947 to his death from AIDS in 1985, and then beyond to the court battle this year in which the Hudson estate was ordered to pay Marc Christian, Hudson’s lover, $5.5 million for exposure to AIDS. Executive producer Larry Sanitsky says he cast the 6’4″ Griffith, 29, after seeing a hundred actors. Griffith, who’ll wear some of the shirts Hudson wore while doing McMillan & Wife (NBC, 1971-77), says he’s too young to remember Rock’s heyday. “But my mother used to talk about him,” he says. Also in the cast are Billy (Mystic Pizza) Moses as Christian and Daphne Ash-brook, the actress who just lost a role in Sylvester Stallone’s Tango & Cash (PEOPLE, Sept. 4,1989), as Phyllis Gates, Hudson’s wife from 1955 to ’58. Part of the movie is based on Gates’s 1987 memoir, and she is expected to visit the set, as is Christian, who has been serving as an unpaid consultant. Diane (Black Widow) Ladd, who was a personal friend of Hudson’s, will play his mother. NBC is developing its own Hudson miniseries, based on Sara Davidson’s 1986 authorized biography. No one has been cast yet.
When Liza Minnelli’s LP with the Pet Shop Boys, Results, arrives in America in October, she’ll have wised up about performing rock and roll. While rehearsing her single “Losing My Mind” for British TV’s Top of the Pops, Pet Shopper Neil Tennant interrupted Liza with, “What are you doing? Don’t smile. This is rock and roll.”
WHEN HARRY FOOLS SALLY
Just when you thought that everything had been said about When Harry Met Sally’s faked-orgasm-in-the-restaurant scene between Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal, below, enter Dr. Joyce Brothers with the last gasp. “Men fake them too,” says the Doctor. “When they are drunk and/or tired or bored of trying, men will pretend to climax by groaning and saying something like “You’re great’ and rolling over. A man feels terrible about it, though, because he thinks he is the only one on earth who has ever done it.” Brothers also says that men don’t pretend as elaborately as Ryan did in the restaurant scene. “Women tend to embroider their lies more. Men keep theirs simpler.”