When Fred Ward, who portrayed Gus Grissom in The Right Stuff, signed on to play an ex-New York cop in the upcoming movie Remo: The First Adventure, little did he know that he would be crawling out on the arm of the Statue of Liberty, dangling from cables 300 feet above ground or riding on the outside of a Coney Island Ferris wheel car. "I don't have an abnormal fear of heights," says Ward, who did many of his own stunts. "But it's a little scary climbing around on the Statue of Liberty on a windy day." The crew wasn't permitted to shoot near Liberty's face, because of the restoration that's in progress, so a $500,000 replica of the statue's head was built on location in Mexico where much of the movie was made. Ward was less jittery about crawling around on the replica. He says, "There was only 90 feet between me and the ground—instead of 300."
Not long ago rocker Wendy O. Williams made her so-called legitimate stage debut in a St. Louis production of the cult hit The Rocky Horror Show, but there was nothing legit about one of her costumes. In the final scene, Williams, who played a housemaid named Magenta, bared nearly all in a leather and metal ensemble consisting of thigh-high motorcycle boots and a cut out leather bra with two strategically placed spikes. Maidenform, eat your heart out.
Washington restaurateur Dominique D'Ermo, along with White House Press Secretary James Brady, expects to launch Jim Brady's Famous Chili at gourmet food stores nationwide in September. The chili, at $2.50 a can, will have a picture of Brady and the White House on the label. In October the recipe will be entered in the World Championship Chili Cook-off at Tropico Goldmine, Calif.
Catherine Mary Stewart, 25, who played teen roles in ABC's Hollywood Wives and in the feature films Mischief and The Last Star-fighter, will finally get to expand her range in Highlander, co-starring Sean Connery and Christopher (Greystoke) Lambert. Stewart plays a bonnie lass in 16th-century Scotland who's married to a clansman portrayed by Lambert. He has the power of living forever without aging but Stewart's character, a mere mortal, grows to be an old woman. Looking long in the tooth is only one of the appealing aspects of the part for Stewart, who says, "It's a role a lot of actresses will be jealous of. I age, I get raped by the villain and I get to make love to Christopher Lambert."
Aging surfers don't retire, they just ride smaller waves. That's the motto of actor Don Stroud who will play Kahoona, King of the Surf, in Gidget's Summer Reunion, a syndicated TV movie to air in June. Stroud, 47, convinced the producers that he could do his own surfing in the movie by riding a few big waves for them at Zero's beach near Malibu. Though Hawaiian-born Stroud was a top-ranked surfer as a teenager, he no longer dreams of riding the Big Ones. "I used to ride 15-foot waves when I was a kid," he says. "But now 10-to-12-foot waves make me wonder: Am I too old for this?"
In the hair-today-gone-tomorrow world of showbiz, it's a good idea for young actresses to develop other vocational skills. But that's not why Kristy McNichol, 22, has enrolled at the California College of Hair Design in Canoga Park where she will soon graduate with a degree in cosmetology. "I just love cutting hair," explains Kristy, who plans to open a beauty parlor with friend Ina Liberace. "I'll work at the salon," McNichol adds, "but I'm not going to give up making films." Her next project is a CBS-TV movie called Love, Mary, in which she plays a dyslexic rebellious teenager. Shampoo II could follow.