"After every job, I'm terrified I won't work again," says Priscilla Barnes, but she hasn't actually had that problem since exiting ABC's Three's Company in February: She recently made her stage debut in Vanities in Calgary, Alberta, will soon return to L.A. to do a Love Boat segment, and has turned down two other TV offers in hopes of returning to the stage. "I want to get out of the rut of doing a series," says Priscilla, who was dropped from the show, along with other cast members, when the producers decided to restructure the series around John Ritter next season. "I learned to do comedy on Three's Company," she says. "But I could never take the ball and run with it. It was always John's show." Priscilla, 29, also may find time in her busy schedule to marry her longtime steady, L.A. businessman Joel Schur, 46, but notes, "We've been dating 11 years. What's the rush?"
Oscar winner Shirley MacLaine won't have to look for work for a while either. After her five-week run on Broadway in a one-woman show opening April 18, she'll star in a Ray Stark film titled Baja Oklahoma, based on a Don Jenkins novel about an aspiring country-and-Western singer. Her next pic will be Summer Vacation with Soviet director Andrei Konchalovsky, who wrote the screenplay with Gerard (Quest for Fire) Brach. The story was originally about two European women, from vastly different backgrounds, who vacation together in Sicily. But Konchalovsky plans to change the locale to the southern U.S., with MacLaine playing a southern matriarch opposite a flaky northern liberal in the Diane Keaton mold. Says Konchalovsky, who hopes to begin shooting next year, Shirley read the script and "cried all the way through it."
The main lot of Rent-A-Wreck in L.A., where Dave Schwartz began his multimillion-dollar used-car rental business in 1970, is a hubcap of activity these days as actor Jeffrey (Jaws) Kramer and his co-producer, Peter (Zoot Suit) Burrell, start production on Rent-A-Wreck: the Movie. Kramer will play the maverick Schwartz, a long-time friend, and hopes to recruit such Schwartz clients as Alan Alda, Robert De Niro, Paul Newman, Ringo Starr and Ali MacGraw for drive-on roles. Those parts, like Rent-A-Wreck's fleet of heaps, will go cheap—the film budget is only $1 million. As for the story, says Kramer, "We had hoped to complete the movie by the Summer Olympics, with the plot revolving around Rent-A-Wreck as the official car of the Games. We planned scenes with heads of state arriving in beaten-up Mustang convertibles. But because of delays, we will stick to a David-and-Goliath theme about Dave's success against huge conglomerates." Schwartz clearly hopes the movie will put another dent in his rivals' business.