updated 07/15/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 07/15/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT
After Ralph (Karate Kid) Macchio landed the role of a gifted guitarist in a new feature film, Crossroads, director Walter (48 Hrs.) Hill applied the pressure. "I don't know how this movie is going to do," Hill told Macchio. "But we're sunk if you don't look like a guitar player." So for the past four months Macchio, 23, who hadn't played guitar before, has been diligently plucking away. "I can't play the music," says Macchio, whose music making will be dubbed. "But at least I know where the notes are." All this practice hasn't left much time to prepare for his next movie, Karate Kid II, which starts shooting in September. "Right now," he frets, "I can't get my kicks up above my waist."
Sam (Mask) Elliott is contending for the lead role in a Dino De Laurentiis film, China Marines, to be shot in China and directed by John (Red Dawn) Milius. Says Elliott, who would play a '30s Marine sergeant in the movie, "I think heroes are needed, and I'd like to be something that the kids can look up to. I'm a big Eastwood fan." Elliott is also, no doubt, aware that heroes are doing well at the box office....
Four-time Tony winner Angela Lansbury will get to sing for her series on this fall's premiere episode of CBS' Murder, She Wrote. In addition to her role as mystery writer/ amateur detective Jessica Fletcher, Lansbury will play Jessica's English dance-hall-queen cousin, Emma Macgill. Lansbury will sing Goodbye Little Yellow Bird, which she first crooned 40 years ago in the movie The Picture of Dorian Gray....
Bruce Dern, the consummate psycho in such films as Black Sunday and Coming Home, likes playing a normal guy for a change. Dern co-stars with Lee Remick in an ABC movie called Toughlove, to air next season, about parents trying to deal with their troubled teenagers. "This is one of the few times I've played a character with a wife, and one of the rare occasions when I've been given a triple-digit IQ," says Dern. "It's great to play a responsible human being."