Randy In The Red
What happened to the Quaids' $3.5 million? They lost it at the movies

FOCUS
In National Lampoon's Vacation and its sequels, Randy Quaid played Cousin Eddie, the poor relation who at one point lived in a trailer home and hit up Chevy Chase for cash. It hasn't come to that in real life, but Quaid, 49, and his wife, Evi, 36, have sold their newly decorated Spanish-Moorish home in Beverly Hills, moved into a hotel (okay, it's a top-notch one in L.A.) and are looking at a Feb. 7 appointment with bankruptcy trustees—all because of a movie named (rim shot, please!) The Debtors, Evi's directorial debut. The film, featured at the Toronto Film Festival, is a comedy about people with various addictions—sex, shopping and gambling—and stars Michael Caine. The reason it has put the Quaids in such deep financial trouble? They sank $3.5 million into it. Seattle-based Microsoft billionaire Charles Simonyi, however, invested $12.9 million. And according to Quaid's lawyer, Simonyi won't let The Debtors be released until one scene—involving a rock band with a naughty prosthesis—is cut. "I sincerely believe," says Evi, who met Quaid while working as a gofer on the set of Bloodhounds of Broadway, "this would not have happened to a male director." Simonyi had no comment when Variety asked about the case. David Neale, the Quaids' bankruptcy attorney, hopes to work a distribution deal to recoup their investment. "Right now," he says, "it's like rotting fruit on the dock. While everyone's fighting, the fruit rots."

A Rosie by Any Other Name...

A rose is a rose is a rose—but "Rosie" is the trade-marked property of Rosie O'Donnell, as a Portland, Ore., radio station is learning to its dismay.

O'Donnell's producers have sued Rosie 105 (KRSKFM) over the name and a logo they say is similar to theirs. "You're insinuating a connection, and there isn't," says O'Donnell spokeswoman Jennifer Glaisek.

Ridiculous, counters KRSK program director Joel Grey, who contends the station's 2-year-old moniker was inspired by Portland's nickname, the Rose City.

KRSK staffers are sad about the suit, Grey adds. "Somebody...wondered if she even knew her lawyers were doing this...because it's not [like] Rosie."

A Few Steps and a Debate
A computer-generated commercial featuring Christopher Reeve walking may be the most controversial play aired during this year's Super Bowl. "I think it could be interpreted as misleading and raising false hopes," says the National Spinal Cord Injury Association's Thomas Countee Jr. of the spot, an ad for Nuveen Investments. William Stokkan, director of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, says that while the ad's shock value would raise awareness of the need for more research, "our concern would be that some people would misunderstand it" and be fooled into thinking a cure exists. Or that Reeve, 47, paralyzed in a riding accident nearly five years ago, had himself been cured. The actor told Good Morning America that he saw the ad as simply "a vision of something that can happen."

Pentagon Hopes to Deploy Top Guns
The mightiest nation in the free world hopes to add a little star power to its arsenal. Defense Secretary William Cohen is "canvassing celebrities right now," says spokesman Ken Bacon, in hopes of convincing the likes of Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts and Harrison Ford to film recruitment ads or goodwill messages for American forces. Ford agreed to read words of support for the troops in Bosnia, the actor's spokeswoman says. Cohen has approached Cruise and Roberts, but specific projects have yet to emerge.

POP QUIZ

with Kathleen Turner

The Kathleen Turner attending last month's Sundance Film Festival bore little resemblance to the dowdy woman she plays in The Virgin Suicides, an independent film screened at the gathering by director Sofia Coppola. But it has not always been that way. Turner, 45, says she once looked and felt rather frumpy herself because of her arthritis medication. During a conversation at Park City, Utah's River-horse Cafe, she gave Scoop the details.

So how's your health?

I've been fighting rheumatoid arthritis, and I'm winning. I was seriously crippled and taking all these medications and steroids for years. The FDA finally approved these new drugs that are targeted specifically for inflammation of the joints, and they're heaven because they don't have any side effects. Before, I had a lot of bloating, anger, depression. Steroids are really heavy-duty stuff, so it was pretty rough there for a few years. Now I'm almost pain-free.

You play a bloated woman in Suicides.

Did you like my body bedding [padding]? It was very hot, and then with the polyester clothes that don't breathe at all....

Does this mean the Body Heat days are over?

In my 20s and 30s I very much enjoyed being a sexual object. Now I'm 45, and the roles must change. But I still think that I could play a very good object of desire. I'm not ready to give up that sensuality yet.

How does your day begin?

I'm up at 6:30 to take the dog out—we have a puppy, a boxer. Get my 12-year-old daughter [Rachel] up at 7 a.m., get some food into her, get her off to school. Walk the dog again. Then to the gym. One of the things about rheumatoid arthritis is that you must keep moving—you must—or the joints and tendons start to stiffen. You have to keep the muscles strong.

Besides the exercise advice, got any beauty tips?

Soap and water and good shampoo. I should do more, but I'm lazy.

Another Smash Hit
You're in good hands with...Boy George? The '80s pop star and '90s club deejay can now be heard on Irish radio touting the values of a good comprehensive collision package for Premier Direct, an auto insurance company. As his "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?" plays in the background, George explains that if, "like me, you're slightly over 30" (he's actually 39), the company wants your business. And what brought about the unorthodox alliance between the cross-dressing pop star and the firm? George, says a company spokesman, "kind of straddles the gender line, appealing to both men and women."

ON THE BLOCK

DOOGIE'S HOUSE

He's not a doctor, but he played one on TV—back in the days when Neil Patrick Harris was known as Doogie Howser, M.D. The television practice earned him enough to purchase a 2,000-sq.-ft., three-bedroom Sherman Oaks property in 1992. Today, Harris, 26, has moved on to a new show, NBC's Stark Raving Mad, and a new home, also in L.A. The Sherman Oaks place, which includes an outdoor spa, is on the market for $599,000.

  • Contributors:
  • Mike Neill,
  • Russell Scott Smith,
  • David Wallis,
  • Liza Hamm,
  • Ron Arias,
  • Alexandra Hardy,
  • Reshmi Kutty,
  • Bob Meadows,
  • Lori Rozsa,
  • Natasha Stoynoff,
  • Michele Stueven,
  • Kelly Williams.