The latest megatalent collaboration in the music business is between Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash, who have recorded a C&W single called The Highwayman, due out later this month. The tune, written by Jimmy (By the Time I Get to Phoenix) Webb, is about reincarnation and each singer croons a verse about his own life and demise: Nelson is a stagecoach robber who was hanged, Kristofferson a sailor who dropped into the drink, Jennings a dam builder who fell into wet cement and Cash an astronaut who goes off into space. An LP and video are also planned.
"It took about a week to get over my saddle sores," says Tom (The Big Chill) Berenger, who spent four months on the range as a singing cowboy for the Western spoof Rustlers' Rhapsody, co-starring Marilu Henner and Andy Griffith. But Berenger is still sore at his horse, a palomino called Wildfire. Off-camera, says Berenger, "I called him cabrón, which in Spanish means 'pimp' or 'sonofabitch.' That horse was so obnoxious he even kicked over a fake rock during the middle of a take." Worse still, says Berenger, "he gets a billing in the screen credits."
Liz Taylor's one day of work (for a reported $100,000) on the 10-hour ABC miniseries North and South, due in November, met with producer David Wolper's approval. "She's perfect for the part," says Wolper of Taylor, who plays the madam of a bordello. "The character is larger than life, and so is Liz." Only figuratively speaking, of course....
In an odd reversal, success is dressing actor Dan Hedaya, who stars in the low-budget hit Blood Simple. For Blood, his total wardrobe cost was $24, including a 50ø pair of K mart socks. For the Brian DePalma crime comedy Wise Guys, Hedaya was allowed to go on a spree at New York's pricey Battaglia boutique. The result, says Hedaya, is that "in Wise Guys I wear an alligator belt that costs seven times my clothing allowance for Blood Simple."
...Now that Emma Samms, who plays Robert Scorpio's wife, Holly, on ABC's General Hospital, is joining Dynasty, who will console her on-air hubby (and offscreen beau), Tristan Rogers? Word is British actress Finola Hughes, who romanced John Travolta in Staying Alive, will emerge as a woman from Robert's past to help him forget the wife he lost to prime time.
For a key scene in Volunteers, the Tom Hanks-John Candy movie filmed in Mexico, producer Dick Shepherd needed a vintage Pan Am airplane. Unfortunately, that airline was about to go on strike. Fortunately, Shepherd found a similar plane that had brought tourists to Mexico on a charter trip. Unfortunately, it was the wrong color. The solution? Shepherd painted one side of the plane, filmed the scene, then repainted it in time for its scheduled departure five days later. "I've heard of actors who can only be shot from one side," said director Nicholas Meyer, delivering the obvious line, "but this is ridiculous."