Don King, the flamboyant promoter of dozens of heavyweight bouts and the Jacksons' Victory Tour, is equally intent on promoting himself. That may be why King agreed to play a part in Head Office, a Tri-Star spoof of corporate life due out in June. But King, who was indicted on tax evasion charges last month, may not enjoy the limelight as much as he'd hoped. In the picture he plays a member of the board of INC International, a corrupt company that wheels and deals in the Third World.
Ben (Pippin) Vereen will star this spring in Broadway's musical extravaganza Grind, a behind-the-scenes look at a 1930s burlesque theater. Vereen, 38, says he prepared for the role during his adolescent years by hanging out at real burlesque shows. Though some folks have bitter memories of the segregated theaters, where blacks were forced to sit in the balcony, Vereen says he never minded at all. "I always look at it that the blacks sat up there so they could throw popcorn down on the whites."
Guitarist Eddie Van Halen, from the group of the same name, shed his shoulder-length locks for a look more in keeping with GQ than Rolling Stone. When Eddie showed up for the snipping session with wife Valerie Bertinelli, hairdresser Jimmy Encao says, "I was a nervous wreck. But we figured if he didn't like it, he could always let it grow out." At least Valerie is pleased with the results. "I've always known how cute he was," she coos. "Now everyone else will know, too."
Margaux Hemingway, until now an actress, is working on her first album. She is currently picking out such favorite jazz songs as Billie Holiday's Me, Myself and I, and she plans to start recording in London later this month....
And, why not? George Benson, with more than 20 albums to his name, has just taken up acting. In the final episode of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, which airs January 12, Benson plays a high school friend of series star Stacy Keach. "Everybody kept telling me I needed to take acting lessons before I could be taken seriously," says Benson, who bristled at the suggestion. "I said, 'Try telling that to Richard Pryor or Prince.' "
When Knight Rider David Hasselhoff showed up in the daytime to tape an episode of the syndicated children's show Kids Incorporated, he was expecting to sing Do You Love Me? off his debut Night Rocker LP. But the producers of the show wanted him to sing and demonstrate some of the dances mentioned in the song. "He didn't know any of them," says series regular Stacy Ferguson, 8. "So in less than 20 minutes we taught him how to do the Mashed Potato, the Twist, all the dances. He is a very good pupil."